What should I do if my pet goes missing?

Posted Jan 29, 2024
RSPCA's top tips to help reunite you with your best friend
1. Keep Calm and start searching immediately!
  • Thoroughly search your property – sometimes your pet can simply be hiding
  • Notify your neighbours and ask them to keep an eye out for any sightings of your pet
  • Check the places they regularly visit like a local park or shop
  • Call in help from family or friends
2. Make 'lost' flyers

Make sure to include your pet’s name, description and their photo. But most importantly don’t forget to include your contact details. Once you have finished the flyer, do a letterbox drop or add it to your local noticeboard.

3. Contact the Councils, vets and animal shelters

Start with your local ones and then try those outside the area. Sometimes pets wander far from home or are found by people and taken to pounds in another area.

4. Register your pet as missing with the RSPCA

RSPCA Qld have a Lost and Found Service. You can register them as missing and search for them. The service is available either online or via phone on 1300 363 736

5. Get social

Use social media - search for your local suburb's Lost and Found Pets social media page and local Community Noticeboards online. Post a photo of your pet and contact details. You can also write a general post on your own Facebook page - just make sure it is public so it can be shared!

5. Keep Searching

Pets have been known to turn up months, and even years, after going missing – please don’t give up!

Important information to put on your "Lost" poster
  1. Pet’s name 
  2. Photo section
  3. Description
    1. Sex, age, breed, weight, height, colouring 
    2. Other unique 
    3. Personality
    4. A description of their collar if they were wearing one
  4. Microchip and registration number
Who to contact
  • RSPCA Lost & Found Team 1300 363 736
  • Local contact numbers: Vets, Council, other animal rescues
  • Neighbours contact details
  • Facebook  - local lost and found pages
  • Places they are likely to go e.g. dog parks, walking routes etc.

>> Download your very own lost and found guide

Charlie's Return Home
Charlie is a three-year-old, indoor cat who spent two weeks lost on the streets. 

His distraught family spent every waking moment looking for him. They even managed to reunite another cat with its owners that had been missing for two years while they looked for Charlie!

Charlie and his twin sister Lola were adopted as rescue kittens by Karen Lowe and her family in suburban Brisbane. 

charlie and lola missing cat reunited

“We raised them as inside cats for safety reasons and for the sake of the wildlife,” Karen says. Desexed and microchipped, with access to an outdoor enclosure and plenty of enrichment throughout the house, the siblings never showed interest in escaping. 

But one day, Charlie did.

“We are still not sure exactly how he got out, but assume the front door hadn’t totally clicked shut.”

“Day and night, roaming the neighbourhood with torches, calling him, door knocking, putting up posters and dropping hundreds of flyers into letterboxes and places of business.  We posted on every local lost and found Facebook group and online site we could find, notified the RSPCA, vets, family and friends.”

After nearly two weeks without any luck, they installed security cameras that notify when a cat or dog is detected. Finally, the next night Karen woke to a video of Charlie on her phone eating the food they had left out for him in the garage!

charlie kitty cam reunited

“We woke the kids and we were all hugging and crying basically in a state of both disbelief and incredible relief!” Karen remembers.

Charlie was given the all-clear by the local vet, despite losing about 600g and having a few scabs on his paws.

Karen’s advice to others in the same predicament is “Never give up! Keep doing all the things we did, let as many people know as possible.” 

“They are the most beautiful, affectionate and funny cats, best friends, and an integral part of our family.”

charlie missing cat reunited

Emma Lagoon
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