What to do if you lost your pet

We understand the distress families face when their beloved pet goes missing and hope that the following tips will help reunite you with your lost loved one.

Report a lost pet
Search for lost pet

Other things you can do

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, when and where your pet went missing, your name and contact number, and mention a reward (if applicable).
  5. If your pet is microchipped and the details are not current, contact the microchip agency and update your details immediately.

Who to contact

  1. Your local council
    Your pet could be at the council pound, or a member of the community could have seen it in the neighbourhood and notified the council.To find your local council’s details, click here.
  2. Animal shelters in your region and surrounding areas
    This is best done by calling your closest RSPCA shelter so we can see if your lost pet has come into our care. We may ask you to send us photos of your pet if we are unable to make a clear match.  We would encourage you to also make a lost pet report with us via our report a lost pet link on our website. To find your local RSPCA shelter, click here.
  3. Local vets
    Many vets have ‘Lost and Found’ display boards.
  4. Local papers
    You can place a notice under the ’Lost and Found’ section of the local newspaper. Some local radio stations will also make announcements about lost pets.

View our fact sheet

Download our fact sheet on what to do if you lose your pet, including relevant contact details on our shelters and local councils.

Download the fact sheet with a list of useful contact numbers

Remember to be persistent and keep looking. We recommend repeated visits to your local shelter or council pound. It’s important to keep looking for your pet as often and as quickly as possible – don’t wait a few days to see if they come home before looking. Shelter and pound facilities are only required to hold stray animals for eight days, and will make every effort to find a pets owner during this time. However if no one comes forward, after this time you risk losing ownership of your pet and facilities can choose to rehome them after the eight day period. 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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