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Lost and found cats and dogs

My cat or dog is missing - what do I need to do?

If your cat or dog has been missing for more than 72 hours, you must notify your local council within 24 hours. If your dog is a restricted dog or a declared dangerous or menacing dog and it is missing, you must notify your local council within 24 hours of your first noticing that your dog has gone missing.

Your local council will change the status of your cat or dog on the NSW Companion Animals Register to 'missing', which will lock the microchip record until your cat or dog is found or has returned home. This will prevent a person who is claiming to be your cat or dog's owner, for example, where it has been stolen, from transferring ownership.

It is important to confirm with your local council that your contact details are correct when you report your cat or dog as missing, so that you can be contacted when your cat or dog is found.

You should consider contacting local vets and approved animal welfare organisations, such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare League and the Cat Protection Society, to check if a cat or dog with your cat or dog's microchip number or matching your cat or dog's description has been found.

My cat or dog has been found - what do I need to do?

You must notify your local council within 72 hours of your cat or dog being found or returning home after being reported as missing. This enables your local council to unlock the microchip record and update the NSW Companion Animals Register.

I have found a stray dog - what should I do?

If you have found a dog that you believe to be a stray, you should first check to see it is wearing a collar and tag. If it is, use the contact details on the tag to contact the owner.

If it is not wearing a collar and tag, you must by law, take the dog to a council pound, an approved animal welfare organisation or an approved premises (usually a veterinary practice). The dog can then be scanned for a microchip, the owner's contact details obtained from the NSW Companion Animals Register and the owner contacted and re-united with their dog.

While councils are not obliged to collect stray animals, many councils offer this as a complimentary service for their ratepayers. However, councils are obliged to accept animals that are seized by members of the public and are taken to the council’s holding facility/pound.

I have found a stray cat - what should I do?

Any person can lawfully seize a cat, owned or un-owned, whether in a private or public place, if that action is reasonable and necessary for the protection of any person or animal (other than vermin) from injury or death, providing that action meets the animal welfare requirements of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.

While councils are not obliged to collect stray animals, many councils offer this as a complimentary service for their ratepayers. However, councils are obliged to accept animals that are seized by members of the public and are taken to the council’s holding facility/pound.

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