Found Pet Advice

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Have you found a missing pet? Or do you have an animal hanging around your property?

As animals can not talk to us, we need to act for them to help them get home. Especially if the animal is sick or injured.

There are a number of easy steps you can take to help:

  • You can take any animal to your local vet or SPCA and have them check for a microchip. If registered this will quickly allow the animal to be returned home. If needing treatment the vet can then immediately talk with the owner to explain the options. On this website you can view our map showing many of our over 850 outlets an animal can be checked for a microchip. This includes vets, SPCA’s, rescues, shelters, pet stores, local council’s and many other locations.

  • Remember that nowadays many animals are microchipped. The NZCAR has over half a million dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, pigs, goats, donkeys, lizards, birds and other animals registered.

  • 170720 pet collar templateIf it is a cat you can put a paper collar around its neck and see if anyone responds. The NZCAR, in association with Wellington SPCA, have a downloadable template for a collar. Click here to view or print.

  • You can list the animal on missing pet sites such as petsonthenet.co.nz and neighbourly.co.nz. Both of these sites offer free listings for lost and found pets. Remember to also search the lost notices too as a worried owner may have already placed n advert themselves.

  • You can put a found pet notice in your neighbours letterboxes, or put up notices in your local shopping centre.

  • You can also place a found poster by your letterbox if you are comfortable with people coming to check if the pet is theirs.

  • You can contact local media (community radio and newspapers) to ask if they  will place a free found pet advert.

  • Ask your local SPCA or vet if anyone has called reporting a lost pet matching the description of the animal you have found.

  • If you have found a dog, you may like to take it for a walk just in case the owner is out looking and spots you.

I think I will just keep it….

No matter how friendly or cute the animal you have found is, deciding to just keep it is NEVER the right decision. There will be a family missing their loved pet.

The law requires that any stray or found dog must be handed over to Animal Control within 48 hours.  While you may be trying to find the owner using any of the steps above, we do not advocate that you break the law. You can hand the animal over and if you are contacted by the owner after this you can advise them where the dog is. If you are keen to keep the dog yourself, then let animal control know you are willing to offer the dog a good home. If the owner does not claim the animal within the legal timeframes they can then call you. Any Animal Control Officer would much prefer to see an unclaimed dog find a good home, when the alternate choice is euthanasia.

Finding Dead Animals

If the animal you have found or seen is deceased then there is most likely still an owner who would prefer to know than keep worrying. Dead animals can, if possible, be taken to your local SPCA or vet. They can often store the remains for a period, to allow time for the owner to make contact and collect them.

If they can not be moved then call the SPCA or your local Council and they may be able to check the animal for a microchip before removing the remains.

If possible, it is still worth taking many of the found pet steps above, but do not include photos or other images.

Any other questions?

Give the NZCAR team a call on 0800 LOSTPET (567873), or email us at info@animalregister.co.nz.