Question Mark Icon
  • Home
  • Pet Advice
  • I’ve lost my pet
  • I've lost my pet

    What to do if your dog or cat has gone missing.

    If you have lost your cat or dog, please follow our advice below:

    We understand how worrying it is when your pet goes missing. We have put together some advice to help you and your pet reunite as quickly as possible if this should happen.

    1. Check the areas that your pet is familiar with

    Take a look around all of the areas that your pet is familiar with, including any local parks or community spaces that you visit on a regular basis. If you have recently moved house, make sure you check your old neighbourhood as your pet might have made their way back there.

    Ask your neighbours to keep an eye out for your pet, especially in areas where they could easily become trapped, such as a garage or shed.

    When out looking for your pet, try to bring along their favourite treats and toys. Familiar smells and sounds may alert them to your presence.

    2. Call your local dog warden

    Dog wardens can help if your dog goes missing, so make sure you contact your local one. It’s also worth contacting the dog wardens in your neighbouring boroughs, as your dog may have strayed further than you think.

    3. Report your pet as missing to your microchip company

    Contact your microchip company and report your pet as missing as soon as possible. This will stop anyone from trying to change your pet’s microchip details if they have been stolen and provides you with the opportunity to check that your contact details are up to date. If someone finds your pet and they are scanned for a microchip, they will be able to contact you immediately.

    4. Call your local animal rescue centres

    Call your local animal rescue centres to leave details about your missing pet, along with your contact information. If the centre takes in an animal that meets your pet’s description, they will be able to contact you. If Mayhew is your local animal rescue, please get in touch.

    5. Publicise, especially with lost cats

    Create posters to let people know that your pet is missing, and place them around your local area. Register your pet with lost dog and lost cat websites, and use social media to let people know that your pet is missing. This is particularly helpful if your cat has gone missing, as people occasionally mistake lost cats for stray cats and begin to care for them.

    6. Let everyone know if you find your pet

    Please let everyone know when you find your pet, and don’t forget to take down any posters that you placed in your local neighbourhood.

    Found a stray?

    If you think you have found a stray animal in London, you can find advice on how to help them here.

    I've found a stray

    If your pet is lost

    If we are one of your local rescue centres, please contact us to report your dog or cat as lost.

    How to keep you and your pet together

    There are a few ways which will help keep increase your chances of being reunited with your beloved pet, should they go missing.

    1. Collars

    Having a collar and tag on your dog is legal requirement under the Control of Dogs Order 1992. Any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner. Your telephone number is optional, but advisable. Cats can wear collars too, as long as they are quick break collars, which will snap quickly should the cat get caught on something.

    2. Microchipping

    Since 2016, it has been a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped, and from June 2020 all cats will need to be microchipped. Microchipping is the safest way to ensure that your pet is returned to you, should they become lost. The microchip gives your pet a permanent identification, which contains your contact details and other information you wish to be included, such as medical conditions.

    3. Neutering

    Neutering is a quick and simple procedure that can help prevent any unwanted behaviours, such as roaming and fighting with other animals.

    Reunited through his microchip

    After being missing for eight months, Pepsi was brought to us by a member of the public who thought he was a stray. Following a health check, our Community Animal Support team scanned Pepsi for a microchip and were happy to find that he had been chipped. Using the details stored on the microchip, we were thrilled to be part of a very emotional reunion between Pepsi and his owner.

    keep reading