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Lost And Found

By Dr Katrina Warren on March 2, 2011 in Other

The recent floods and cyclone in Queensland saw thousands of pets get separated from their owners and unfortunately, several weeks later, hundreds of them have still not been reunited. It’s heartbreaking stuff and highlights the need for pets to wear proper identification and for people to know how to go about finding a missing pet.

What To Do If You Lose A Pet

Collate your pet’s details. Write a detailed description of your pet including the breed, type, sex, colour, coat length, size, age, collar type and colour, the details engraved on the tag it was wearing, council registration details and micro-chip number. Also include any distinguishing features such as ears being pricked or floppy, nose being long and pointy or short and rounded – the more information you can provide the better.

Is your pet micro-chipped? In NSW there is one centralised database for companion animals that are micro-chipped and registered. Contact your local council, advise them your pet is missing, ensure they have your current contact details and they will update your pet’s record on the NSW Companion Animals Register.

List your pet with animal welfare organisations and shelters. Many animal welfare organisations such as Animal Welfare League and RSPCA have on-line facilities for registering lost and found pets.

Contact the council pound in your municipality and in areas where you think your pet may be. If possible, ring the pounds every day and visit in person.
Contact veterinary clinics in your area and surrounding areas. A simple phone call will do.

Search your neighbourhood and talk to as many people as possible. Pets may stay hidden if they are frightened or injured, so carry a torch to check in dark areas. Check yards, sheds and areas that are out of the way.

Widen your search with a flyer, which can be placed in public areas. Include a description of your pet, a recent photo, your contact details and the date. Distribute this as widely as possible: letterboxes,  schools, supermarket notice boards, vet clinics, animal welfare shelters and council pounds. Keep one identifying characteristic, such as a marking on your pet, private, so that if someone rings you can quickly check whether the pet is yours or not.

Place advertisements in the ‘Lost and Found’ section in your local newspaper. Often you will find that this can be done free of charge.

Phone breed clubs of your breed. They often ‘rescue’ dogs of their particular breed from vets and pounds.

If You Find A Pet

Keep the animal secure and, if possible, immediately take it to an animal shelter or vet so it can be scanned for a micro-chip. If the animal is micro-chipped the owners will be contacted.

Notify your local Council that you have found a pet and list the pet with animal welfare lost and found registers run by organisations such as RSPCA and Animal Welfare League.