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Lost and found pets

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

The first thing you should do is contact your local council to collect the animal. By law, you must hand over an animal you have found to the local council.If the animal is wearing ID, please be careful if you decide to approach the animal. A frightened animal can react in many ways, and one of those ways 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 distressing for the animal, but we would like you to consider the family looking for their pet and how distressed they are.

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

I have lost my pet, what do I do now?

Losing a pet is not only distressing for you and your family, but it is distressing 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.

  1. 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 will need to contact and leave your details with both councils in case your pet may have wandered into the neighbouring council.
  2. Visit shelters and vet clinics
    Many people will take a wandering pet into their local shelter. Please remember to check all of the shelters in Melbourne, not just your local one, as many councils use shelters as their pound holding facilities. It is a legal requirement that all pounds hold healthy stray animals for a full eight days, so we suggest a visit to the shelters 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. Here are a list of other shelters in Victoria.
  3. 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 will be a must. Remember to call out your pets name and listen carefully for a response. If you have lost a dog, walk 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 and garage and roof cavity as well, animals can get trapped just as easily at home as they can anywhere else!
  4. Advertise
    Place up posters in your local shops, animal shelters and vet clinics, as well as doing letter box drop. Make use of local radio stations that have free announcements
  5. Microchip 
    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, this may result in your pet never finding their way back home. If you are unsure which database your animal’s microchip is registered with, visit www.petaddress.com.au in which 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 the vet clinic where your animal was micro-chipped, as they will have the number recorded in the medical history.
  6. Never give up!
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