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Have you lost your pet or found a pet?

What to do if you have lost a pet

1. Search the neighbourhood

  • Circle the area the animal was last seen, calling and whistling, make the circle bigger and bigger, asking people as you see them to help.

  • Make familiar sounds such as tapping the side of a food can and calling out their name.

  • Tell your neighbours and enlist their help to search for your pet.

  • Go door knocking with a photo and description of the animal - consider offering a reward.

  • Be sure to check in ceilings, buildings, trees etc. for cats. For male dogs ask if any bitches have been "in season" or "on heat" as they will search these females out.

  • Ask local shopkeepers to put a notice up and attach some to powerpoles in the area.

2. Call your local vet to see if the animal has been left with them
As an animal may have been picked up, extend the search to 20km if necessary. Call regularly and consider dropping off a flyer with all the animal's information.

3. Contact the AAR to notify them that the animal has been lost so this can be logged
Ensure your details are up to date and you will be contacted as soon as the animal is found.

4. Check at the local council and animal shelter
Be sure to leave all details including registration details, colour, age, size, tag and microchip so they can look for your pet.

5. Place an ad in the lost and found section of your local newspaper to widen the search
Don't forget to check the found section in case your animal has been located. There are also websites on which you can look for the details of your animal: 

What to do if you have found a lost animal

Safety First
First and most importantly consider the safety of the animal and yourself.  A scared, sick or injured animal may behave unpredictably.  Any sudden movement may spook the animal, causing then to rush into danger, such as traffic. If you are threatened in any way call the local animal control authorities or police immediately.

Use Caution
If the animal is approachable, use caution and common sense. Approach the animal using a calm, reassuring voice.  Make sure they can see you at all times and perhaps offer some food. If you manage to capture the animal, you now need to try to reunite the animal with their owner:

  1. Take the animal to a local vet and ask it to be scanned for the microchip. This microchip number will be recorded on a national database, such as AAR and will contain all the owner’s details, so they can easily be contacted and reunited. All vets and animal shelters are equipped with scanners for this purpose.

  2. If the animal is not microchipped you could put up posters in the local area with a contact number. Also check the local paper and internet for lost animals listed.

If you are successful in reuniting a lost animal with its family - well done! You will have not only made a family very happy, but also helped to prevent an animal from becoming homeless and ending up in an animal shelter.