What to do if your pet goes missing

Microchipping has made reuniting lost pets with their owners so much more successful. So always make sure your pet is microchipped and the details held by the database are up to date and correct. It is a legal requirement for dogs now, but we recommend all your other pets are microchipped too.

Here is a check list of things you can do in the event of your pet going missing:

  • Call the microchip database or go online to register the missing pet. Ask your vet for the contact details if you can’t find them. This applies to dogs, cats and rabbits.
  • Contact your local authority (local council). Dog wardens are contacted by anyone finding a lost or stray dog and they have a responsibility to keep the dog for 7 days.
  • Contact neighbouring local authorities in case the dog has moved across local council borders.
  • Contact all the vets in your area. Animals that have no apparent owners are often taken to the nearest vet, whether or not they are injured. All vets keep lost and found books.
  • Contact all the rescue centres or animal charities in your area. Dogs, cats and rabbits often end up at these establishments whilst waiting to be re-united with their owners.
  • Do a local search – knock on doors where you last saw your pet. This may be in your own neighbourhood or somewhere you were out walking.
  • Download a good picture of your pet and write a small paragraph saying that your pet is missing. Distribute this in your area and don’t forget to include your contact details and the date. Put it in a plastic folder and attach to places where a lot of people will see it, such as a lamppost near a school. Ask local shops if they will allow you to put it in there too. Especially with cats, it is important to ask that people check their sheds and garages as cats can easily get shut in.
  • Check online lost and found websites and noticeboards in your local area. Register your lost pet on specific sites such as Dog Lost, a free national database which is run by volunteers who will help you search for your pet.
  • Share a photo and a short description of your pet on local community Facebook pages/ groups and dedicated local ‘Lost and Found’ Facebook pages/ groups.
  • If you really think that your pet has been stolen, then you should call the police.