Lost Pets (what to do if your pet goes missing)

Mar 7, 2020 | Cats, Dogs

It is a very traumatic and heartbreaking experience to find your beloved pet has gone missing. We understand the anxiety when your dog or cat strays from home, and it is hard to know where to start in finding them. Here are our tips to help find lost pets.

What to do if your pet goes missing

The following tips will help you to be reunited with your pet as quickly as possible.

  1. Start searching immediately
    Don’t wait in the hope your pet will find their way home. Start by searching your home and yard thoroughly – our pets are very good at hiding and getting into places you wouldn’t think they could fit. To help in your search call on family and friends. Have them help you in checking any places your furry friend likes to visit, including dog parks or routes they like to walk. It’s also a good idea to door knock around the neighbourhood.
  2. Reach out to councils, shelters, vet clinics, and your microchip company
    Contact shelters, pounds, and veterinary clinics – even ones outside your area, as missing pets have been known to be found far from their home.Contact the animal management sections of your local council on a daily basis to see if your pet has been surrendered to them. Visit the pound in person every few days, as no one knows your pet like you. Also, visit the website of your local council as some have an online register of lost and found animals:Brisbane City Council
    Phone: 3403 8888
    Website: Lost and found animals


    Logan City Council
    Phone: 34123 412
    Website: Lost, found and impounded animals

    City of Gold Coast
    Phone: 5581 7600
    Website: Lost and found animals

    Sunshine Coast City Council
    Phone: 5475 7272
    Website: Lost and found animals

    Contact animal shelters, and visit them in person every few days to see if your pet has found their way there:

    RSPCA Queensland
    Phone: 1300 363 736
    Website: Register and search for missing pets

    Animal Welfare League of Queensland
    Phone: 5509 9000
    Website: Lost and found pets

    Contact the veterinary clinics in your local area, as someone may have handed your pet into them. Use our Find A Local Vet tool to find the vets close to you.

    Contact the microchip company your pet is registered with to check your details are correct and inform them your pet is missing. If your details aren’t correct, update them immediately. If you’re not sure which company your pet is registered with, using your pet’s microchip number visit Pet Address and you’ll be able to find out. If you don’t know your pet’s microchip number, contact your vet or the following microchip companies – Australasian Animal Registry, Central Animal Records, Petsafe, HomeSafeID, Global Micro, NSW Government registry, or SA Government registry.

  3. Make lost pet posters
    Let everyone around your neighbourhood know about your missing pet by creating lost posters. Be sure to include a recent photo of them, as well as their name, sex, age, breed, size, colouring, and any other unique information like their personality. And most importantly don’t forget to include your contact details. When your poster or flyer is ready, do a letterbox drop and add it to any community noticeboards.
  4. Use social media
    Use your online network, post on your Facebook page to let people know to be on the lookout for your pet (make sure your post can be shared to help spread the word further). Post on the lost pets group found on Facebook that are around your area. There are also a number of sites online where you can register and search for missing pets.
  5. Keep searching
    Don’t give up, lost pets have been known to turn up months after going missing.A microchip helped us reunite Staffy Diesel with his owners after missing for more than two years. A good samaritan handed Diesel into our Carrara hospital after he was found wandering along a busy road. We scanned Diesel for a microchip and fortunately the contact details were current, and Diesel was able to be reunited with his family.

Diesel, a lost dog reuniting with familyDiesel reuniting with his family after missing for two years

How to prevent your pet from getting lost

There are measures you can put into place to help your pet find their way home should the unthinkable happen.

  • Ensure your pet is microchipped. If your pet is found a microchip is the fastest way ownership can be determined and you can be reunited with your pet. Make sure if you change address or phone number you update your details. If you take over ownership of a pet who is already microchipped, have the details transferred into your name.
  • Make sure your pet wears their collar at all times.
  • Attach an identification tag to your pet’s collar, with their name and phone number.
  • Attach your pet’s council registration tag so the council can contact you if your pet finds its way to the pound.
  • For pets who are notorious runaways, there are GPS collars which allow you to track your pet’s movements on your phone.

To all who are missing a beloved furry, feathered or scaly family member, we hope you are reunited very soon. We hear many heartwarming and inspirational stories of pets being reunited with their families after missing for long periods and being found far from home, you too could be one of these stories.

If your pet is ill or injured, contact your closest Animal Emergency Service hospital or your local vet immediately.

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands, waterways and skies across Australia. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and Elders past and present.