Lost and found


Each year we reunite many lost pets with their owners through our lost and found service. If you have lost or found a stray pet we encourage you to call one of our hospitals so we can check our registry for you. We record both lost pets and found pets so that pets can be reunited with their owners as soon as possible. We also encourage pet owners to Microchip their pets (see below). Here's a few things you can do if your pet is lost..

Search your neighbourhood

Walk or drive through your neighbourhood several times a day, especially early in the morning and at dusk. Ask neighbours and their children to keep a look out.

Contact local rangers and animal shelters including...

  • Your local city council ranger and surrounding councils
  • RSPCA - 9209 9300
  • Cat Haven - 9381 1644
  • Shenton Park Animal Refuge - 9381 8166

We encourage you to regularly visit these shelters as colours and breeds are open to personal interpretation and some can easily be confused.

Put up eye catching posters

Distribute flyers with a picture of your pet in as many public places you can think of: for example, grocery stores, churches, schools, pet stores, animal groomers, etc. Also consider letterbox dropping a smaller version to local households. Cats often seek shelter in backyard garden sheds and unknown to residents become trapped or locked in. So it is a good idea to ask owners to check locked sheds if your cat is missing.

Download your poster template here. 

Place an advert in the Paper

Place an ad in the lost and found column of local newspapers. Since many papers allow people to put "found" ads for free, check newspapers daily in case someone is trying to find you!

Check all veterinary clinics

If your pet was injured he or she may have been taken to a nearby veterinarian or animal hospital before being taken to an animal shelter. Vetwest Animal Hospitals keep a central online registry of all lost and found pets reported to us. If you have lost or found a stray pet we encourage you to call one of our hospitals who will check our registry for you, and add any found pets. You only need to make one phone call to a Vetwest Animal Hospital and we will post a message on our online intranet so all hospitals can view your details.

Websites which may help you to locate your missing pet

You can also post an ad on these websites. Check them regularly in case someone has seen your pet.

Don't give up!

Continue to search for your pet even when there is little hope. Some animals who have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners.

Have you found a lost pet?

What to do if you find a pet without an identification tag

  • Take the lost pet to a local veterinarian and ask them to scan for a microchip. If a microchip is found they will contact the national registry who will provide them with the owners details so they can be contacted.
  • Notify the surrounding veterinarians as most practices will keep a log of lost and found pets.
  • Notify the surrounding local councils
  • Place notices in and around the area where you found the lost pet
  • Advertise in the lost and found section of your local paper (this is a free service in most papers), on Gumtree, Facebook and All Creatures Lost and Found website.
  • Often the best place for a lost pet to be is at a shire refuge, this is because it is one of the first places owners will look for a lost pet. If you keep the lost pet at home for a week or so, some owners may give up their search effort and will never be reunited with their lost pet.

Re-homing found pets

We do not re-home dogs directly from Vetwest Animal Hospitals, as in all likelihood the pet already belongs to someone else who may be very distressed and trying to track them. 
If team members or clients would like to adopt the dog, they must do this through the pound, after it has spent the required amount of time there.

Council Law

Any unclaimed stray animal must be held for the legal time by the local authority before being re-homed or the animal is considered stolen property. 

  • No identification - held and advertised by the local authority for 72 hours
  • Identification and attempts to locate owners - held and advertised by the local authority for 7 days 

Following this holding period, the animal can be legally bought from the local authority or their re-homing organisation and is now the legal property of the new owner. 

(NOTE: less than 3% of animals taken to pounds are euthanased. Euthanasia is a last resort for injured or behaviourally unacceptable animals ONLY). 


What is microchipping?

Microchipping is a permanent form of identification for your pet. Inserting a microchip is like a vaccination, it only takes a few seconds. The procedure is very safe and your pet will feel little pain. Once done, your pet's details, and your contact address and phone numbers are entered on a national database.

What happens if your pet strays?

If your pet is ever lost, a ranger or veterinarian anywhere in Australia can scan your pet for the microchip and access your contact details.

The only way that you may not become reunited with your lost pet is if you don't contact the register when you have changed your address or contact phone numbers.

If you change address or telephone number It is your responsibility to contact the Australasian Animal Registry and update your contact details. They can be contacted on (02) 9704 1450 or 1800 025 461. You can also visit their website on www.aar.org.au

Why aren't pet tags sufficient identification?

Collars can fall off or be removed and details on pet tags can fade or become outdated. Ownership of your pet can be challenged if your pet has been stolen and then later recovered. Microchipping is the only way you can prove ownership of your pet.

How do I have my pet microchipped?

Microchips are inserted at Veterinary clinics. Please contact us for more detail on prices.

Microsoft Office document icon lost_found_template.doc68.5 KB