Losing your pet can be a very distressing time for owners. Hundreds of animals become lost or GO missing from their homes every year. Some are returned to their owners but unfortunately many never find their way back home. Below are some tips on how you can attempt to locate your missing animal.
At SPCA Canterbury we receive hundreds of phone calls about lost and found animals. Among these pets are cats, kittens, puppies, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, horses and many more. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend microchipping your pet. For more information regarding this, please visit "Microchipping your pet".
If you have a LOST pet, we suggest you do the following:
- Property check:
Make sure you thoroughly search your property - check in cupboards, under the house, in sheds and garages. Frightened and sick or injured animals may hide for days under bushes and will often ignore your calls. Think like an animal and consider all possible places your pet may have gone.
Tell your neighbours and ask them to check their garages and sections for your pet. It is a good idea to take a photo of your pet with you. Remember some animals wander a long way from home, particularly if they are not desexed and looking for potential mates, so don't just ask your closest neighbours.
Create "Lost Pet" posters and display these around your neighbourhood, in local supermarkets, library, shops and community notice boards. Make sure to include all pet details, a photo, and more than one contact phone number. Download our ‘Lost' poster template here and distribute it in your local area.
Place an advert in your local newspaper and/or school/church newsletters.
- Lost & Found websites:
Register your pet on www.trademe.co.nz and www.lostpet.co.nz - these are free services!
Check the 'Found Pets' section - all animals brought into our Centre will be listed here. If you think we have registered your pet, please call us on (03) 349 7057.
- Animal Control - Lost DOGS only:
Phone Animal Control to see if they have collected your dog. CCC Animal Control, 24hr phone (03) 941 8666.
Please note: SPCA Canterbury does not accept stray/lost healthy or uninjured dogs - this is the responsibility of the local Council Animal Control. Please phone us if the animal is sick or injured - (03) 349 7057.
- Vet clinics:
Advise your local vet clinics so they can keep an eye out for you.
- Animal Welfare Organisations:
Phone other animal welfare organisations to check if they have received your animal. There are several welfare groups around Christchurch & Canterbury including; Cats Protection League, Cat Rescue, Cat Care Rangiora, Dogwatch, K9 Rescue and many more.
- Social Media:
If you have a Facebook or Twitter account make sure to use these methods to highlight your missing pet. Ask your friends and family to share your post and don't forget to include your contact details, date and location from where your animal went missing.
- Visit SPCA Animal Centre:
You are welcome to come out and visit our Centre at any time, to ensure your animal is not in our care. As mentioned earlier, we post all of our 'found' animals on www.petsonthenet.co.nz. However it is sometimes easier to view them in person as descriptions and photos can sometimes be easily mistaken for other animals.
- City Council:
Call and register your pet with the local Council. They can assist with deceased animals found on public roads.
- Don't give up!
Pets can go missing for weeks and sometimes years. The picture above shows Obi the cat with his owner, Gavin. Obi was found, 'thanks to his microchip, one year after he went missing!