Lost and stray pets

Lost and stray pets

Lost and stray cats and dogs displayed on our website are being held on behalf of local councils. We will keep them for at least the required eight days while trying to find their owners. After this time, or earlier if they are reunited, they will be removed from this site.

All unclaimed animals will spend time with our vets and behaviourists to assess their medical health and behavioural needs. Many unclaimed animals will be suitable for rehoming through our adoption program after some basic health care whilst others may require further treatment or time in foster care prior to adoption. Once ready for adoption they will appear on our cat and dog adoption pages.

Here at the Home we work hard at matching the right pet to their new owner. If a pet needs some extra time before adoption and away from the shelter environment, we have an extensive network of community rescue groups with the space, time and expertise to assist in the rehabilitation and rehoming of those animals needing prolonged care or a different pathway on their way to a new home. It is also our responsibility to not rehome humanely animals who may be too ill for standard treatment or who present an unacceptable risk of injury to other dogs or people through untreatable aggression.

Last year 92 per cent of all dogs were returned home or found their new home through our animal rehabilitation and pathway programs. For cats, an improved rate of 67 per cent of cats were able to return home or found a new one through our animal adoption, rehabilitation and pathway programs.

You can help us by becoming a foster carer or volunteering to help look after cats at the home.

Other ways to search for your pet

Check local councils and animal shelters

It is important to visit your local council pounds and animal shelters as soon as you can.

Expand your search to include shelters in other areas. Your pet could have wandered or have been picked up by a concerned member of the public outside your council area. You can view a list of Melbourne animal shelters here.

Some councils present found pets on Facebook which you can locate by searching for your council’s lost pets’ page. The Home is undergoing a review process of lost and found pets on dogshome.com so check back for developments.

When searching for your pet in the shelter, bring along any documentation which can help identify them. This includes pedigree papers, council registration receipts and photographs.

It is important for pet owners to ensure your contact details on their pet’s identification are current. If your pet is microchipped, wearing an identification tag and your contact details are up-to-date, the council pound or animal shelter holding your pet will contact you if they are found.

Check vet clinics

Contact vet clinics in your area You can find a list of local vets via Yellow Pages.

Expand your search to a 20 kilometre circle from where your pet was last seen. Your dog or cat may have been taken outside your local area by a member of the public.

Search your neighbourhood

A flyer is a good way to help locate a lost pet. Make sure your flyer has key information, including:

  • Your pet’s name
  • A thorough description of your pet
  • The date they went missing
  • The area they went missing from
  • Any unique identifying features (e.g. existing medical conditions, three legs, etc.)
  • A contact number.

Start your door-knock or letter box drop in the area where your pet was lost. Drop off notices at local shops and notify local groups such as Neighbourhood Watch.

Other areas where you can look for your pet include garden sheds, garages, buildings, reserves, parks, schoolyards, beaches, rivers and creeks.

Advise local police

You may want to give your local police station a copy of your lost pet flyer – especially if you believe your pet was stolen.

Notify relevant media outlets

Local newspapers and social media sites like Facebook have sections and notice boards dedicated to lost and found pets.

Look to advertise in and regularly check these sites for information about your pet.

You can also create your own Facebook page or digital card for your lost pet. Share this across your social networks and use your contacts to help spread the word.