There are few things as distressing to a pet owner as coming home to an empty house instead of being greeted by your enthusiastic four-legged friend. There are several thousand pets that go missing each year whether they’ve found a hole in the fence, the gate’s been left open or they’ve pulled out of a collar while on a walk. So what can be done to ensure you get your little friend back as soon as possible?
It is law in Queensland that all dogs and cats older than 12 weeks need to be microchipped before being sold/given to a new owner. Why is this so important? A microchip is always with the pet – it can’t fall off! If your pet is found and taken to a vet surgery, RSPCA or other welfare organisation or collected by your council he/she can be scanned and the chip number is instantly available. The code stored on the chip is unique to your pet, and provided you keep your details up-to-date with the registry, it is very easy to contact you to get ‘Banjo’ back as quickly as possible. A microchip needs to be inserted by an authorised implanter (usually your vet) and the owner’s details sent on to the registry. The registry should send out a confirmation letter within 6 weeks to confirm your animal’s registration. If you do not receive a letter, please contact the implanter and registry to confirm your pet’s details. Remember to update any changes to address or telephone numbers if any of these should change.
Pet Collars and Identification (ID) Tags
Pets with collars and ID tags make it quick and easy for anyone to contact you if your dog or cat has gone astray. If you have up-to-date contact details with telephone numbers (try to include at least one mobile and landline) anyone can ring you to let you know where your little friend is and how you can get them home again. All dogs in Queensland must be registered with the local council. Check with your local council whether your cat must be registered. Registered pets have special tags with unique registration numbers attached to their collars. Once again, this makes an easy reference for the council to contact you should your missing pet be found. Ensure these registration details are also kept up-to-date.
Contact ‘Lost and Found’ Services
Call your local council, call your local RSPCA and any vet surgeries in the vicinity where your pet went missing. There are also specific ‘Lost and Found’ services that you can contact such as the Brisbane North Lost Pet Register who have a Facebook page and network to help locate lost pets.
Please provide the following information:
your name and contact details
your pet’s name
your pet’s registration number
a description of your pet
where and when your pet was last seen
your pet’s microchip number.
Here is a list of contact numbers:
Queensland RSPCA: Lost & Found / Pet D Tect 1300 363 736
Brisbane City Council: 07 3403 8888
Queensland Lost Pet Register: 0403 745 647 (8am – 2pm) or 0438 882 466 (2pm – 8pm)
You can also contact the Animal Shelters in your area to check whether they have collected your pet. In Brisbane, they are the Warra Animal Shelter in Bracken Ridge on the Northside and Willawong Animal Shelter in Willawong on the South.
Although it is not very widely used at this stage, there is new GPS technology which is allowing pet owners to know the precise location of their pet at any one time. These are particularly useful for pets that spend a lot of their time going bush walking and camping. One example is the TrakaPet unit available through the RSPCA.
Put up posters in your local area:
Although this is ‘old’ technology, someone walking past a poster at your local coffee shop may recognise your pet. Ensure your contact details are clearly displayed along with a recent photograph and description. Always remember to ask permission from shop and business owners first.
Please contact us on (07) 3266 9992 if you need any further help or information on microchips, ID tags and locating your lost pet – we’ll be happy to help re-unite your family!
Written by Dr Bronwen Thompson for Northgate Veterinary Surgery
Copyright 2016. Northgate Veterinary Surgery, Queensland. All rights reserved.