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Finding a lost 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.

Make a Lost Pet Report to the RSPCA

What to do if your pet goes missing

  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 in person, as it is the only sure method of identifying your pet. If you don’t find your pet at a shelter on your first visit, it will be worthwhile to visit again after a few days. 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 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.

See also:

RSPCA Vet Clinics
Learn more
Behaviour and training
> Learn more
your pet
> Learn more 
RSPCA Pet Insurance
> Learn more


 Fact sheet with useful tips

Contact details
Find your local RSPCA shelter 

RSPCA Burwood East

03 9224 2222

RSPCA Peninsula
03 5978 9000

Animal Aid (Victorian Animal Aid Trust)
03 9739 0300

Australian Animal Protection Society
03 9798 8415

Blue Cross 
03 9722 1265

Cat Protection Society
03 9434 7155

Geelong Animal Welfare Society
03 5248 2019

Lort Smith Animal Hospital 
03 9328 3021

Lost Dogs Home & Cat Shelter

03 9329 9493

03 9824 7928