What to do if your Pet gets Lost

by Deb Morrison / Pet Owner Advice / 8 Sep 2016

What to do if your Pet gets Lost

Losing a pet can be heart breaking. So prevention is always better. However in the event that you have lost a pet, here are some tips to help you.

Step 1. Ask Family and Friends to help you search

Stay calm. Carefully search your home and make sure that your pet isn’t hiding. Be sure to check any unusual places it has access to. Ask family and friends to help you search.  

Step 2. Tell Neighbours and walk around your neighbourhood calling your pets name

Begin searching for your pet immediately. Do not wait in the hope that they will find their own way home.  Tell the neighbours that your pet is missing. They could help you look for it or just keep an eye out. Make sure you take a recent photo to show them. Walk around the neighbourhood and call your pet’s name. If your dog is lost, concentrate on the areas where you usually take it on walks and any other places you have recently visited.

Step 3. Contact all Animal Shelters and Pounds

Contact all animal shelters and council pounds – even the ones outside of your area. Sometimes animals wander far from home or are found by people and taken to pounds in another area. 

Step 4. Create and Distribute Flyers

Create a ‘Lost Pet’ flyer and distribute it to houses and shops in your neighbourhood. The flyer should include a photo, your pet’s name and what it answers to, a detailed description (type, breed, size, age, sex, colouring), when and where your pet went missing, your name and contact number, and mention a reward (if applicable).

Lost Dog Information

Step 5. Contact Vets and leave them a Description of your Pet and your contact Details

You should also contact Vets in your area to see if your animal is there or if someone has left details.

Step 6. Contact your local Council & also your Pet's Microchip Registry to ensure your address and contact details are current

If your pet is microchipped, contact your council and ask them to note on the Companion Animals Registry (note there are about 4-5 different microchip registries) that your pet is missing. Do not rely on the fact that your pet is microchipped or wearing an ID tag and that you will be contacted. Sometimes scanners will not pick up a microchip and collars are lost or removed.  If your pet's microchipped details are not current, contact the microchip agency and update your details immediately.

Step 7. Search for your local suburb's lost Pets Group on facebook and post your contact details and a picture

Utilise social media - create a Facebook page or group, or alternatively post on one of the numerous Facebook lost and found pages out there.

Step 8. Contact the RSPCA in your State and ask about their Lost & Found Service

Contact the RSPCA in your State.  From State the State they offer different lost and found services.

RSPCA QLD Lost and Found Service 

RSPCA NSW Pet Reunite service

RSPCA ACT Lost and Found Service

RSPCA VIC Lost and Found 

RSPCA TAS Lost and Found 

RSPCA SA Lost and Found 

RSPCA WA Lost and Found 

RSPCA Darwin Lost and Found 

Remember to be persistent and keep looking. The RSPCA recommends repeated visits to your local shelter or council pound at least every six days. However, bear in mind that legally, these facilities are only required to hold stray animals for eight days.Frequent visits to shelters in your local area will give you the best chance of finding your lost pet.

Please note:

  • Proof of ownership may be required.
  • Photo ID is required to claim an animal and proof of registration is necessary for council pounds.

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