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Lost pet advice

Here at the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR) and LostPet, we're passionate about getting missing pets back to their worried families.

We understand that when a family member is missing it is a difficult and stressful time, so we have created these tips highlighting how to maximise the chances of getting your beloved pet home.

If your pet is registered on the NZCAR, login to review and update your contact details. Then report them as Lost where you will be prompted to create a LostPet listing (view LostPet information here). We encourage you to do this first to ensure that your contact details are up to date so that if your pet’s microchip is scanned, an authorised agent will be aware the pet is missing and have your correct contact details immediately to hand.

If your pet is microchipped but not registered, you can still register them on the NZCAR and we would encourage you to do so (view further details about microchipping here). 

If your pet is not microchipped or registered, you can still create a LostPet listing, then continue with the steps below.

There are many reasons a pet may go missing – they may get spooked and run off in panic, they may be chased by another animal, they may be injured, ill or trapped. In these situations your pet may be in your neighbourhood so it is important you get out and look for them. 

Where to look first varies between species - check out our extra lost pet advice below, specific to cats and dogs.

Be sure to regularly review 'found animal' listings on:

  • LostPet and other lost/found pet websites
  • Lost and found pages on Social Media
  • Local community pages on Social Media

Remember..All animals found and taken to the SPCA are automatically listed on LostPet.

Searching these can take some time as people and organisations will post to various places. This is why we promote NZCAR and LostPet as the first place to look, list and share.

There are other NZ missing pet websites and Facebook groups too. As well as community pages specific to your area where you can create a post for your lost pet. As social media listings often disappear quickly, be sure to also check social media and community pages for found pet listings as well.

We recommend to create your LostPet listing THEN share your listing to Facebook as:

    1. There are many Facebook pages and groups
    2. Facebook posts are superseded by newer posts and are not easily searchable
    3. Once you report your lost pet as FOUND on LostPet, an alert will show which reads 'this animal has been found or the listing has expired' when the link in your Facebook post is clicked. This means you do not need to update all the various places you posted on Facebook.

Lost pet flyers are a great way to alert people walking around your neighbourhood about your missing pet. Share with neighbours, vets, animal rescues and SPCA in your area.


Lost animals are often dropped off at vet clinics, so it is worth ringing those in your local area and giving them a flyer to display in clinic.


All found animals are listed by the SPCA on

The SPCA are required to hold animals for 7 days, after that, the pet may be rehomed. 

Animal Rescues/Shelters

In many areas there are other rescue organisations who may hold and eventually rehome found pets. We recommend you do an internet search for animal rescues/shelters in your area and contact each one to enquire after your pet.

It is important not to give up hope!

Many pets are found weeks, months or even years after they go missing.

Check out some of our Success Stories here

Four dogs in a row

Extra advice for lost dogs

Read More
shutterstock 203118460

Extra advice for lost cats

Read more

Most importantly when trying to find a missing pet, don’t give up. 

Your pet would never give up on you, so don’t give up on them. 

Many pets are found weeks, months or even years after they go missing.

This information has been created by the NZCAR team based on advice written by Kat Albrecht-Thiessen, Network Director of the Missing Animal Response. Her website is Published with permission.