Top End Lost and Found

Reuniting lost and found pets with their humans

Moving house?

Many people when they move from the Top End feel they need to leave their pet behind. This is sad for the owners but devastating for the animal whose whole social and environmental world will be destroyed. If you are in this situation maybe some of the tips below may help.

  • Negotiate with your new landlords to have your cat/dog come with you. Many landlords will be more accepting if the animal is desexed and vaccinated.
  • Ask your old landlord for a reference to prove your pet(s) is not a problem
  • Offer to pay a higher bond to offset any possible damage.
  • Put your pet in kennels/cattery until you can find a place where you can keep him safely
    (if you are in Defence – we believe this is paid for by Defence – check it out). Many catteries and Kennels will arrange for your pet to be flown to your destination
  • Ask a friend/family to care for your pet until you can make necessary arrangements if you can’t afford boarding. Make sure you chose a responsible friend

Cat specific

In some ways its easier to move with a dog than a cat. Cats are very bonded to their environment and hate change and become very distressed. its essential to keep a cat in the new place for a period of time or there is very high chance that he will run away trying to get back to his old territory if let out too early. The following tips may be of help:

  • During the actual move itself, we suggest putting your cat into boarding or with a friend until all the house is set up.
  • If you can’t do this identify a room in the house such as the bathroom where removalists are unlikely to enter, put a big no enter sign on the door and put your cat/s in there with bedding, food and a litter tray, keep him in there until all the boxes are in the new house and the doors can be kept closed. Discuss with all members of the family so they understand the importance of keeping the bathroom door shut. Many cats become distressed with removal boxes etc so you may consider keeping your cat in the bathroom until most things can be put away and boxes removed.
  • When you move house with your cat make sure he stays in the house for 2 – 4 weeks. Cats can easily become disorientated and get lost if let outside too early.
  • When you first let your cat outside, stay outside with him to keep an eye on him. Make sure its just before dinner time and your cat is hungry, give him a short period of time only ie 15 – 30 mins then call inside for dinner. Do this a few times extending the length of time outside.

Every cat is different and will react slightly differently but the vast majority of cats hate change and especially moving house.

Many people leaving the Top End leave at the beginning of a new year. This is the worst time to try to rehome animals due to the shelters being full to capacity from the influx of animals from people who are moving as well as people who dump their animals just before they go on holidays and all the new puppies/kittens which hit the shelters at this time of year.

If you really have to rehome your pet –

  • Take a very appealing picture, develop a good poster depicting the best qualities of your pet and put this poster up on local notice boards. You could try the vets notice boards or pet shop windows.
  • E mail to all your friends and relatives to see if anybody would like your pet
  • Start the rehoming process as early as you can. It can take months of persistence to find a good home
  • Be aware that if you take your pet to a shelter he may well be euthanased as supply exceeds demand.
  • Be very cautious of who your beloved pet is being rehomed with. There are some very unscrupulous people out there who will take a pet for live bait (crab bait), dog fighting or just not understand the responsibilities of pet ownership.
  • DON’T offer money with the pet, this will not attract the right type of new owner.

Please note telaf advertises ‘forever homes needed for rescue’ animals only. These are animals who have no home or who have only a temporary home after being rescued as a stray.

Telaf promotes desexing to reduce the numbers of stray and unwanted animals on our streets. Telaf also promotes the concept of pets being the responsibility of an owner for the lifetime of that pet. The average life span for a cat or dog is approx 15 years.


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