1. Check local councils and animal shelters
If you are in the state of Victoria, be sure to check and follow our Lost & Found pages for dogs and cats. Some councils present found pets on Facebook which you can locate by searching for your council’s lost pets’ page.
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.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Other areas where you can look for your pet include garden sheds, garages, buildings, reserves, parks, schoolyards, beaches, rivers and creeks.
Start your door-knock or letterbox drop in the area where your pet was lost. Drop off notices at local shops and notify local groups such as Neighbourhood Watch.
4. 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.
5. Notify local media outlets
Local newspapers have sections or notice boards dedicated to lost and found pets.
Look to advertise in and regularly check for information about your pet.
6. Broadcast on the Internet
Social media sites like Facebook have dedicated pages or groups for lost and found. You may create posts to the groups and check back regularly for notices.
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.
7. Update microchip information
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.
There are six microchip registries in Australia. Locate the 15-digit microchip number and contact the registry to verify current details.