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How to Find your Lost Pet

Image courtesy of Renee GaudryImage courtesy of Renee GaudryLosing a pet can be a heartbreaking time. But the fact that you're reading this indicates you are not giving up the fight and you know that you have a high chance of finding your pet. Here are some tips and hints of things you may want to consider when looking for your lost pet.




  1. Door knock at neighbouring homes. Unfortunately at times some people may have a friendly animal come into their yard and they may think the right thing to do is to keep it until morning and take it to a vet, in order to ensure it is safe. However, at other times the people may be tempted to want to keep it or give it away to a friend!
  2. Look under, around (and in) yours and neighbouring houses, decks, cars, sheds, garages. Especially if you have a cat. Cats tend to hide in sheltered small spaces if they are scared or are injured. They will often live there quietly so they are not preyed on or until they are better.

  3. Ask people if they have seen your pet. Include kids that often play in the yard, postman, delivery people, letterbox droppers, neighbours etc.

  4. Make ‘lost pet posters’ for your dog using coloured photos. Try to include any details about the animal, your contact details & ‘last seen’ location – You may like to leave out one specific physical marking your pet in order to check pet-recovery claims.

  5. Hang ‘lost pet posters’ at local shopping centres and outside of schools. Places that have people frequently going there, especially via walking.

  6. Walk/drive around your streets daily and call your pet’s name. If your dog is lost, frequent the areas where you usually take it on walks and any other places you have recently visited.

  7. Register that your pet is lost with your local council.

  8. Check your council’s website to see which local animal holding facility they send found pets to. You may be surprised to learn that your council uses a pound that is quite far away. Leave a ‘lost pet poster’ with that pound and visit them as much as possible.

  9. Contact local vets as they at times will hold lost animals

  10. Contact your local newspaper and have an ad placed in it. You may also like to advertise in local school newsletters also.

  11. Ensure microchip details are updated and your pet is registered with the council.

  12. Visit pounds that are not local to you and register your lost pet with them. Sometimes people may pick up a wandering pet and then take it to a vet or pound that they are familiar with, even though it is not in the same suburb it was found.

  13. Don’t solely rely on photos on pound websites. Sometimes not all animals will get posted online immediately (or at all). Visit the pound as often as possible.

  14. Ask local rescue groups who volunteer regularly at the pound to keep a look out.
  15. Post 'lost pet posters' on social media sites - including Facebook, twitter, Instagram and lost pet websites. There are specific ‘lost pets’ pages for each state or suburb on all these social media sites, use those to your advantage and don’t underestimate ‘hashtag’, be sure to post with #[your suburb]. Ask friends to share your post.

  16. Image by Renee GaudryImage by Renee GaudryIf you have moved house or your pet is new, consider returning to their old place of residence to see if they have returned there. Complete the above list in that neighbourhood as well in case they got lost making their way back to their old home.
  17. Use a ‘pet detective’ to help spread the word.

  18. Be wary of pet-recovery scams. When talking to a stranger who claims to have found your pet, ask him to describe the pet thoroughly before you offer any information. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out of the advertisements, he may not really have your pet. Be particularly wary of people who insist that you give or wire them money for the return of your pet.

  19. Don’t give up the search. You love your pet and they love you. They need the hope that you are still looking for them, regardless of the time frame. Many animals are reunited months and years after going missing. Don't give up!

Image provided by Renee GaudryImage provided by Renee Gaudry