Collect your lost pet from shelters

Collect your lost pet from shelters

Our staff are happy to help with the efficient release of your animal so it is important that you are well prepared before you arrive at The Lost Dogs’ Home. Unfortunately, without the necessary documentation, we are unable to release the animal.

The Lost Dogs’ Home acts as the pound for many councils and we need to ensure that all processes are completed before your pet can be released back to you.

The main things are:


Your pet cannot be released to you unless it is microchipped and is currently registered with your local Council.

Please take note of the following, you must bring in:

Why? Because we need to ensure you are the person you say you are

We are only able to accept photo ID such as :

  • driving license or
  • passport or
  • proof of age card; and
  • proof of current address if different from that shown on ID, such as an electricity or phone bill in your name.
A sample set of IDs without photo
Photo IDs as proof of personal identity

Please let us know prior to arriving at The Lost Dogs’ Home if you do not have photo ID. You may be able to use a pension card, along with 2 current bills such as electricity, phone etc, or a Statutory Declaration witnessed by a police officer or Justice of the Peace.

A sample set of IDs without photo
Proof of identity without photo IDs
Statutory declaration by a police officer or Justice of the Peace
Alternative proof of personal identity when without photo ID documents

Why? we need to ensure you are the owner of the animal.

And, it depends on whether your name is on the microchip and/or the registration. Some of things we can accept:

  • a microchip number if in your name (15 digit number)
  • council animal registration number or documentation
  • vet bills/vaccination history
  • certificate of sales; or
  • certificate of ownership from Microchip Registry if signed by previous owner;
  • We are unable to accept photos/videos as the only proof of ownership.
  • If unsure, please give us a call as soon as you can.

Sample articles that can proof animal ownership
Prove animal ownership with any one of these articles

It is so important that the animal is collected by a person who has been approved by the owner

  • you must bring signed permission in writing from the owner of the animal
  • you must have a copy of the owner’s photo identification (front and back) and proof of address if different from that on ID
  • if you are paying the applicable fees, the person collecting your animal on your behalf must bring a payment authority. Please print and complete the payment authorisation form.

Why is this important? Because we are not able to release your pet until it is registered with your local council. This is the current Victorian law

So, before you come to The Lost Dogs’ Home, you can either:

  • Drop into your council offices and register your pet with Customer Service, or
  • Register your pet online if your council has this option, or
  • For some councils, Registration can be completed at The Lost Dogs’ Home (check the list of councils below), or
  • Check at home for proof of registration such as a Council bill or receipt or bank statement showing where payment was made.

To register your pet, you may need the following:

  • Desexing Certificate (proof from a vet clinic that your pet has been desexed).
  • Some councils require mandatory desexing for cats and some for both dogs and cats.
  • Or, you may have a Desexing Exemption (for example proof that your dog is registered with Dogs Victoria, or you may have an exemption certificate from your vet)

Please check with your local council before coming into The Lost Dogs’ Home.

What fees? There will be fees that we collect on behalf of council for the release of your animal and in some cases, there are fees for The Lost Dogs’ Home as well

These fees vary significantly depending on which council area you live in and whether the council has a policy of mandatory desexing. An example of these fees are:

  • Council Release Fee – this fee is collected on behalf of council to cover the cost of impounding your animal
  • Council Registration Fee – if we register your pet while you’re at The Lost Dogs’ Home, then we will collect this fee on behalf of council
  • Microchipping Fee – this fee applies if our vet has microchipped your pet
  • Desexing Fee – this fee applies if your pet requires desexing prior to release, as required by council.
  • Other veterinary fees – if your pet has had other veterinary treatment for illness or injury.
  • Some Fees can increase daily based on the length of stay at The Lost Dogs’ Home.
  • Either cash or EFT (debit or credit card, including American Express)
  • If you are paying on behalf of the owner, you must have the payment authority (see attached, if using the owner’s credit card)
  • Note: we do not have payment plans available and we are unable to accept payments over the phone.

Please note that council may issue separate infringement notices to you.

If you have any further questions or your circumstances mean that you are unable to meet the above criteria, please call us on 03 9329 2755, so we are able to help find a solution.

The Lost Dogs’ Home is authorised to process pet registrations on behalf of these councils only:

  • Bayside City Council,
  • Brimbank City Council,
  • Bass Coast Shire Council,
  • Baw Baw Shire Council,
  • Cardinia Shire Council,
  • Casey City Council,
  • Darebin City Council,
  • Frankston City Council,
  • City of Greater Dandenong,
  • Hepburn Shire Council
  • Hobsons Bay City Council,
  • Hume City Council,
  • Kingston City Council,
  • Macedon Ranges Shire Council,
  • Maribyrnong City Council,
  • City of Melbourne,
  • Melton City Council,
  • Moonee Valley City Council,
  • Mount Alexander Shire,
  • Port Phillip City Council,
  • Wyndham City Council,
  • Yarra City Council.

Download or print our Reclaim lost pets factsheet.