At AAPS we know how stressful this can be, not knowing if they have been hurt or simply wondered off & gotten lost. We understand they are a very important member of your family & you want to have them back home with you where they are safe but most importantly loved.
The good news is there are some simple steps you can take to help ensure they are home in the quickest time possible.

The best thing you can do before your fur-baby goes missing is to ensure your contact details are updated, for more details on where & how to do this have a read of our tips on Keeping your contacts updated to give your fur-baby the best chance of finding their way home to you.

Step one: take a deep breath & make a plan

We know it’s hard not to start thinking the worst but there is a still a possibility you’re fur-baby
is safe & will come home. You need to make a plan & take action now to help them find their
way back to you.

Step two: the search – start small

Search your home, every inch, inside & out. If it opens look inside, if it moves, move it & look
behind it, look under everything! Look in places that appear too small, you’d be surprised at the
places your fur-baby will fit if they’ve been hurt or scared. Use a touch, they might not call back
to you but the light will catch their eyes.

Step three: update contacts!

If you have a regular vet, call to notify them your fur-baby is missing & ensure they have your
correct contacts. Also call your council & check your contacts are updated, if your pet has a
council tag on they might be contacted.
If your pet is taken to a vet or shelter, they will be scanned for a microchip, ensure your
fur-baby’s contact details are updated. Most will allow you to add a second contact & allow you
to mark your pet as missing.

If you are not sure who your microchip is registered with log onto Pet Address; and simply enter your fur-baby’s microchip number in the search engine to find out.

Step four: create a flyer & Facebook post to spread the word

Create a flyer that can be printed & posted on Facebook & online. When you are posting online ensure you set the post to public to allow your post to be shared. It is important to include all information below or as much as possible.

Flyer details:
  • A recent photo- if possible print in colour
  • Your pets name/s, breed, age, male/female, de-sexed
  • List if your pet has any medical conditions that require medication
  • Was your pet wearing a collar & name tag?
  • Details about their personality/ habits
  • When & where was your pet last seen or where did they go missing & when
  • What’s your local area, don’t list your home address just suburb/area is enough
  • List if you are offering a reward, simply include “REWARD OFFERED”, don’t list the value of the reward
  • Your name & all contact details, list a second contact if possible
Step five: continue searching – go big

It’s time to start searching the surrounding areas & neighbourhood. The more people involved in
searching will allow you to cover move ground much quicker. If you have created your flyer print
it & take it with you.
Start close to home & widen your search as you go as animals mostly tend to stay close to home.
Keep in mind an entire male might be willing to travel some distance to find a female who is in season.
Approach people you see in the street & their front yards, knock on doors, don’t be afraid to ask if you check their yards or if they can check their property, leave your flyer or at least your contacts.
If no one is home it doesn’t hurt to leave a flyer in the letter box.
If you have lost a dog check places you take them regularly for walks or play time, they might
find their way back to somewhere familiar while trying to get home.
Continue calling while you search, again remembering to pause & listen for noise or movement.

Step six: make a list & start calling around

Make a list of vets, councils, pounds & animal shelters this way you can tick them off as you call
them. Cover as large an area as possible, in case your pet has been picked by someone in a car, as people tend to take lost animals to a shelter close to their own home as they know where it is located. Often this is in another suburb from where the animal was found.
Keep your flyer with you as it has most of the information you’ll need. Also have pen & paper to
write down any details they give you (names, contacts, emails)

Other information they might ask:

  • Microchip updated?
  • Type of temperament, shy, outgoing, friendly, frightened of anything, drawn to anything in particular?
  • Ensure you leave your contact details
  • Any other information you think might be useful

Please check the list of local councils & shelters at the bottom of this page.

Step seven: visit shelters & pounds

Be prepared to visit shelters & pounds in person, we can’t stress enough how important this is.
Describing an animal to someone who has never seen or met them is very hard to do over the phone, to a stranger your black & white fur- baby might look like one of a dozen other black & white other animals that have been handed in. No one knows your fur-baby better than you, only to you will your
fur-baby stand out because you know their features, you know their body language, movements
but just as importantly they know you & chances are they will hear your voice & react to it.

When visiting local animal shelters and pounds make sure you are prepared by bringing:

  • pet carrier (cats/small dogs) or collar & leash (large dogs)
  • registration papers
  • microchip number
  • photo identification (for you)
  • photos, etc. (of your pet)

Animals can sometimes be picked up & held onto by a good samaritan for a few days, they think
they are doing the right thing by looking after the animal & caring for it, even posting found
notices online & calling to report the animal to local councils, vets or shelters trying to find the
owners themselves. This can delay your pet being received & scanned for a chip.
Because this is extremely common we recommend calling & visiting organisations,
pounds multiple times.
We also highly recommend posting photos & your flyer on lost & found pet groups as well as checking the same groups if to see if anyone as posted a photo of your fur-baby.


Be sure to call your council and visit the pound as soon as possible.  Your council can advise you of which pounds to check.  Your council may also have an online listing of the animals that have recently been impounded.

City of Greater Dandenong – Phone 03 8571 100

Lost and Found Animals page

City of Kingston – Phone 1300 653 356

Lost or Stray Pets page

Frankston City Council – Phone 1300 322 322

Lost Animals page

City of Casey – Phone 03 9705 5200

Lost and found pets page

Animal shelters

Lost Dogs’ Home – Phone 9329 2755
2 Gracie St North Melbourne
RSPCA -Phone 9224 2222
East Burwood
Lort Smith Animal Hospital – Phone 9328 3021 or 9328 3128
North Melbourne
Save-a-dog scheme inc – Phone 9885 1188 Mobile: 0418 389 810
293 Tooronga rd, Malvern
Blue Cross Animal Society – Phone 9722 1265
Wonga Park
Victorian Animal Aid Trust – Phone 9725 5608 or 9725 3596


Peninsula Animal Aid – Phone 5978 6706 or 5978 6811
(RSPCA) Pearcedale
Geelong Animal Welfare Society – Phone 5248 2091
Online lost and found notice boards where people can register their lost pets:

Dogs 4 sale
Pet Link
Dog Sites

Other organisations to contact

Missing Animals Bureau – Phone 9885 3603
Missing Pets Line – Phone 9748 5350
VicRoads Road Patrol Depots – Phone 9854 2666
to obtain number for local depots.
You may also like to place an ad in your local papers under the lost and found sections. Some local radio stations will make announcements regarding lost pets.  Search for these radio stations in the yellow pages.

Click here for an extensive list of Victorian radio stations.
Don’t forget to check the ‘Found’ section daily in all newspapers’ 


As previously mentioned, you may need to make repeat visits to these organisations. When you find your pet, it’s a good idea to collect up your old posters.  You may like to thank everyone who helped you.