The Seaver family arrives at San Francisco International Airport to catch a flight to Canada. They check in their pets: Chance (Michael J. Fox), an American bulldog; Shadow (Ralph Waite), a golden retriever; and Sassy (Sally Field), a nervous cat. But the confused pets burst out of their carriers and escape to the city. There they fall in with a group of strays and struggle to avoid an overzealous dogcatcher. But when the trio tire of vagrancy, they set out to find their beloved owners.