Ideas for searching
Losing a companion animal is a very distressing time for the owner as well as the animal. The wider and sooner you search the better your chances of being reunited. You can try a number of tactics to find your non human friend. Please read the strategies below and try as many of them as possible. To help us to keep this web site up to date please e mail us at email@example.com when you find your pet and we will remove your entry.
Please note: animals who are found dead on the road and moved by Wastemasters do not get checked for a chip. They get taken to the tip directly.
If you have lost your pet
Register his/her loss with:
- This web site – see ‘report an animal’ the registration system involves a simple e mail with your pets details and your phone number and preferably a photo.
- Local vets (see contact details below)
- Face book sites – links on our main site. Your post will automatically be transferred to our FB site.
- RSPCA An alarming number of ‘stray’ animals pass through animal shelters each year.
- Local radio stations
Local newspaper – NT News
- Councils – Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield . Darwin council also deals with cats, the others don’t at this stage. Links are on our main page
- Rubbish removals – (Wastemaster (08) 8935 1111 in Darwin and Palmerston) they keep a record of animals who have been killed on the road and they are most helpful. It’s often the ‘not knowing’ that is so painful
- Inform your neighbours that your pet is lost and ask if they have had any recent sightings of him.
- CAT If you have lost a cat:
- Leave a dirty litter box outside and hopefully he/she will follow his nose. If you don’t have a litter box leave some dirty clothes (same concept).
- Leave food and water outside. Many cats will venture home in the middle of the night when they feel safer. Cats will often go into hiding for days if scared.
- Check under bushes, in sheds etc, especially if they have been closed up. Cats can easily get locked in with the owner of the shed unaware that they are there.
- Ask if anybody in your area is moving out – your cat might have ventured into their shipping container.
- Looking away from home: Cats can stow away in cars/boats etc. unknown to the driver, and be transported thousands of kms from their home. Cats can try to (and sometimes succeed) travel hundreds of kms back to their old territory.
- We recommend keeping cats in for a few days/weeks once reunited, to enable them to re-establish their territory.
- Desexing will increase your cats life expectancy. If your cat is not desexed it is a common behaviour for them to stray some distance to search for a mate. It is strongly advisable that cats get desexed at approximately 10 – 12 weeks to help eliminate straying as well as unnecessary reproduction – please ask us or your vet for further information on desexing if you require it.
- DOG If you have lost a dog:
- Leave some dirty washing on your line and hopefully he/she will follow his nose.
- If your dog is not lost from home leave some food, water and dirty clothes or his blanket wherever you last saw him.
- Drag an item of smelly clothing from where you lost him to your home.
- Favourite walking spots. Concentrate on the areas you have taken him walking or visited regularly.
Call to your pet – walk around your neighbourhood and call your pet’s name, or what she normally answers to. Spend some time standing in one spot to allow your pet to detect direction.
Do a letterbox drop – around your neighbourhood. Print a picture of your pet so people know what to look for
Reward – If you can afford to, offer a reward.
Print up fliers with a picture and distribute them around your neighbourhood shopping centres, vets and RSPCA
Details to include:
- Contact: Your contact name and number.
- Location: When and where your pet went missing from.
- Description: A detailed description of your pet (approx age, colour, size, collars, microchip or other distinct ID, whole or desexed etc)
- Name: What name your pet answers to.
- Photo: A photograph (colour if possible).
- Reward: Include a reward (if possible)
Microchip: If your pet is microchipped ensure the microchipping company has your correct contact details.
Recent house move: If you have recently moved go back to your old address, and ask the new occupiers and neighbours to keep an eye open for your pet
Food for thought:
- Don’t restrict yourself to your local area. Many animals hitch a ride, or are stolen and later dumped, many kms from their original homes.
- Check every few days at the local animal shelter and local pound. Only you really know what your pet looks like. Identifying an animal over the phone or even a picture can be difficult. Your pet may be brought into a pound or shelter at any time after he is lost. Some people can take the animal home for a few days/weeks even months prior to contacting the shelter or pound. Some animals may be roaming the streets for days, even months or years in the case of cats, prior to being picked up.
- Your pet may have sustained an injury (car accident, dog attack, human cruelty) and have holed up somewhere so don’t assume he will bounce up to you if you call his name. Your pet may be distressed and therefore uncooperative or appear not to recognise you in a new environment especially if the animal is in shock.
- Be cautious if your pet is injured – you don’t want to cause more injury or injury to yourself. If your pet is in a lot of pain – they can bite.
Who to Contact:
RSPCA Berrimah – 8984 3795.
Palmerston City Council Pound- 8935 9977
Darwin City Council Pound – 8947 2099
Litchfield Council 8983 0600
Wastemasters – rubbish removalists – 8935 1111 (they move dead animals from roads – they do not check for a microchip)
PAWS – 8947 1272
All Pets (Rapid Creek) – 8948 0056
Ark Animal Hospital (Yarrawonga) – 8932 9738
My Vets (Wulagi) – 8927 3657
Darwin Vet Hospital (Wanguri) – 8927 9033.
Girraween Vets – 8983 1183
Howard Springs Vets 8983 1458
Humpty Doo Vets – 8988 3340
Litchfield Vets (Coolalinga shopping centre) – 8983 2838
Palmerston Vets – 8932 2344
Parap Vets – 8981 9767
University Ave. Vets (Palmertston) 8931 0455
(its worth registering with all the vets as your pet could have been transported well away from your local area. The vets also keep an eye on TELAF)
- It is important to note that even if your pet was wearing identification, don’t assume that you will be notified. The collar and tag may have become lost, or your pet may not have been scanned for a microchip. However microchipping can be extremely useful in reuniting you with your pet in as short a time as possible. One cat in Qld was reunited with his owners after 10 years!!
- Please note that microchips are not infallible – they can malfunction or fall out. They also have a life span of up to 10 years so after this might not work. There have also been bad batches in the past. Microchips are however the best we have at present
- If your pet is microchipped please notify the central data base whenever you change your address/phone details. So many people don’t do this which makes the microchip ineffective.
- If you have lost your pet and are unsure if the microchip company has your correct details we suggest ringing the vet where your animal was microchipped or if you know the chip number you can go to Pet address at http://www.petaddress.com.au/
- Proof of ownership: If somebody contacts you to let you know they have found your animal please take identification – vet papers, Microchip papers, old photos etc. There are people who will claim an animal as theirs for various reasons some of which involve cruelty to the animal. We ask people who find an animal to request ID to prevent this.
Back to report an animal
Do all you can to prevent your pet getting lost
You can reduce your pet’s chances of getting lost by:
- Providing secure fencing
- Keeping your pet in during storms and fireworks
- Keeping your cat inside from dusk to dawn (or all the time preferably)
- Providing plenty of shelter
- Desexing your pet (wandering to find a mate or fight over territory will be eliminated)
- Providing entertainment (toys) if you are out a lot.
- Check out the Oscillot web site (under links) for cat containment systems or Google cat containment. There are a heap of ideas for keeping cats safe.
- Padlock gates. There are many examples of trouble makers opening gates to let dogs out.
- Make sure your pet has good identification both a microchip, (ensure details are updated with the company when your details change) and a collar with tags engraved with phone number for dogs.
If you have found a lost companion animal:
- Tags: If you have found a stray dog, cat, or other animal it is important that you first check for any ID. If the animal has visible contact details on a tag, please contact the owner as soon as possible – this makes it easy.
- Microchips: Vets, shelters and councils all have microchip scanners. A quick scan will soon tell if the animal you have found has been microchipped. If so it should be easy to contact the owners. Please note to ensure the scanner covers the entire body of the pet. Microchips can migrate away from the neck to different parts of the body.
- Cats: if you are taking a cat to a vet for a scan please ensure the cat is well secured into a proper cat container (borrow one if possible). Cats are very good at getting out of cardboard boxes and you do not want an unrestrained cat in your car. They hate car travel as a rule and can create a dangerous driving situation, not to mention escaping in an unknown location to be even further lost.
- No ID?: If the pet does not have ID then register your find with this web site, RSPCA or other local animal shelter, vets and local pounds. You may want to take the pet to the local pound or you may prefer to keep her until somebody contacts you. Please note that shelters often have limited space and may not be able to keep the animal for more than a few days depending on their policies. Most pounds will only keep an animal for a few days before they either euthanize or give to one of the rescue groups or shelters.
- Proof of ownership: Please request proof of ownership- vet papers, Microchip papers, old photos etc. There are people who will claim an animal as theirs for various reasons some of which involve cruelty to the animal. We recommend you request ID to prevent this.
If you come across an animal that has been injured it is important to remember the following points:
- Approach an injured animal carefully. Fear and pain can result in aggressive and unpredictable behaviour, even in your own pet. Call for professional assistance as soon as you have assessed the situation Where possible and safe to do so, confine the animal/and or stay with him, keeping him quiet, still and warm If the animal is badly hurt, do not try to move him unless it is in a dangerous place such as on a busy road. Do not panic. Always put your own safety first.
- Use a blanket or other cloth to form a makeshift stretcher if you need to move a badly injured animal
- Do not attempt to feed or give water to an injured animal in case there are significant internal injuries.
- Professional Help – Remember that the best way you can help an injured animal is to call for professional help immediately.
- Do not attempt to administer any medication to any animal. Let the vet decide what is safe and suitable.
DON’T GIVE UP HOPE! The longer your pet is missing, the more despondent you will feel. However, every bit of effort you put into trying to find your pet is a step in the right direction. Keep talking to people and searching – your pet is a family member – don’t give up, some pets do get reunited with their owners years after separation. Great persistence may be necessary.
Back to report an animal