Lost and found pets

Losing a pet is distressing for you and your family, and for your pet. With this in mind, we have provided you with some useful information that will enable you to begin your search as soon as possible.

Call your council

They will be able to tell you if they have picked up an animal fitting your pet’s description. Remember to leave a detailed description of your pet and all your contact details in case they do pick up your pet at a later date. If you are on the border of two councils, you should leave your details with both councils in case your pet may have wandered into the neighbouring municipality.

Visit shelters and vet clinics

Many people will take a wandering pet into their local pound. However, please remember to check all of the shelters in Melbourne, not just your local pound, as many councils use large shelters such as the RSPCA and Lost Dogs’ Home as their pound-holding facility. It is a legal requirement that all pounds and shelters hold healthy stray animals for a full eight days, so we suggest a visit to all facilities once every seven days. You will also want to call all the local vets in your area in case your pet has been hurt and has been taken to a vet clinic for treatment.

Check your neighborhood and walking route

Your pet may be trapped or locked in a neighbours’ backyard, shed, garage or roof cavity, so a door-knock of all your surrounding neighbours is a must. Remember to call out your pet’s name and listen carefully for a response. If you have lost a dog, travel your normal walking route as dogs are creatures of routine and may be taking themselves for a walk! Remember to check your own house, including cupboards, garden, shed, garage and roof cavity as well – animals can get trapped just as easily at home as they can elsewhere!


Put up posters in your local shops, animal shelters and vet clinics, as well as doing a letterbox drop of your neighbours. Saturate social media and ask your networks to share. Make use of local radio stations that have free announcements.


Every animal that is found and taken to a shelter or pound will be scanned for a microchip. If your details are correct, this will result in a speedy return home. If your details are incorrect, your pet may never find their way back home. If you are unsure which database your animal’s microchip is registered with, visit www.petaddress.com.au where you can enter in the microchip number and the site will tell you which database the microchip is registered to. If you do not have your animal’s microchip number, you will need to contact your vet clinic, as they will have the number recorded in your pet’s medical history.

Never give up!

I have found a lost animal, what should I do?

Contact your local council to collect the animal. By law, you must hand over an animal you have found to the local council. Please be careful if you decide to approach the animal. A frightened animal can react in many ways, and one of those may be to lash out at you, or run away.

We also understand that you may be reluctant to call the council to collect the animal, as the pound can be a frightening place for pets, but we would like you to consider the carer looking for their pet and how distressed they might be.

In fact, the animal’s best chance of getting back home is through council as carers will contact their local pounds and shelters in search of their beloved pet.

Lort Smith