Lost and found

Losing your dog is stressful. If your dog goes missing, contact your local council, animal shelter and vet as soon as possible. These agencies often receive 'lost' pets and will scan them for a microchip to find their identity.

What do I do if my dog goes missing?

Act quickly! Any dog that cannot be identified by a registration disc, collar with details or microchip, may be rehomed under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.

  • Log in to Dogs and Cats Online and check your contact details are up to date;
  • Update your dog's status to ‘lost’ and set a message for public display;
  • Contact your council, the RSCPA, the Animal Welfare League and local vets as soon as possible – your dog may have been collected and taken to a shelter;
  • Notify your neighbours;
  • Place an advertisement or lost notice on community notice boards and social media sites, e.g. the Lost Pets of South Australia Facebook page and the Animal Welfare League of South Australia has a section for lost and found pets on their website;
  • Check any additional microchip registries have your up-to-date contact details.

Include the follow information about your dog in any advertisements or notices you post:

  • Time and place last seen;
  • Breed;
  • Sex (e.g. desexed male);
  • Approximate age, size, and colour;
  • Any distinguishing features;
  • Whether it was wearing a collar;
  • A clear colour photo.

I’ve found a dog. What do I do?

If it is safe to do so, check if the dog is wearing a collar with identification. You may wish to contact the owner directly or look up the dog’s registration number on Dogs and Cats Online to check if the owner has provided contact details.

Call the local council. Councils have authorised officers trained and equipped to safely retrieve and accommodate found dogs as well as search for owners using multiple systems. If council cannot identify the owner, a public notice will be displayed at the council’s office where dog was found (or police station if no council office in the area) for at least 72 hours and the dog will be safely housed with appropriate care.