Reuniting lost and stolen pets across Australia
1300 309 004
PO Box 837, Blacktown, NSW, 2148
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FAQ -Fast answer questions -lost pets

Question : There are free lost & found websites, why list on Pet Search?
Answer : We are not just a website. Anyone who rings us knows that we have people here with years of experience in searching for lost pets. We can talk over the techniques to use, and also the ones not to use in searching for your lost pet and any publicity and posters you distribute. As part of our service, we provide you with a list of hundreds of lost and found websites so you can list your lost pet on there as well as we believe the more people that know about your lost pet, the better it is. We also believe that the less time you spend searching the internet for lost and found websites, the more time you have to actively search for your lost pet.


Question : what ID systems/services do you recommend?
Answer : There is only 1 ID tag and recovery service we recommend. It is called Boomerang  ID (it used to be called Dog-e-Data). They run a 24hr a day recovery service for lost pets. If your pet is wearing his or her 24/7 ID and goes missing, your pet has an id number and a free call number to the 24/7 ID call centre. This enables the finder of your pet to reunite your pet with you at no cost and 24 hours a day.


Question : Why isn’t Pet Search a free service?
Answer : Pet Search receives no government or other funding, our sole source of funding is from the registration fee to search for a lost pet. We provide assistance to the general community, government departments, local councils, animal control officers, vets, pounds and the RSPCA and other animal welfare agencies but we do not receive any form of financial support for these services. All of these agencies work with us because they see the advantages of how working with Pet Search can help reunite more lost animals and reunite them faster. A lot of work and research is behind the advice and techniques we provide to clients and we operate a call centre and provide fast and efficient services for helping to reunite lost pets.


Question : What if I am reunited with my pet by other means, can I get a refund?
Answer : When you register with Pet Search we start work on searching for your pet immediately. We initiate all parts of the service, provide advice and undertake the searching process. In some circumstances we may be able to offer a partial refund but in general no refunds are provided after registration. (see our refund policy and terms and conditions for full details) We hope you can appreciate that one of the benefits of registering with Pet Search is the speed at which we work and the high priority we assign to searching for your lost pet.


Question : Why can’t I just offer a reward for Pet Search finding my lost pet?
Answer : Pet Search acts as an intermediary between lost pet owners and people and facilities who have found a stray animal. We bring both pieces of information together, i.e lost and found animals. This may happen immediately or over a longer period of time. Offering a reward on lost pet signs is just 1 of many motivating techniques and if used incorrectly it can actually damage the chances of finding a lost or stolen pet. Knowing when and how to use motivating techniques it is part of the knowledge our pet detectives offer our clients. While many people do offer a reward, this is not a sustainable system for the Pet Search service to continue operating.


Question What if I don’t get my pet back?
Answer : It is a reality that not all lost pets are reunited with their owners. We do not have 100% success rate with any type of pet. This can be explained with many different reasons such as all reuniting of lost pets relies on someone finding your pet and the honesty of the person finding your pet. Before Pet Search existed a lot less pets were reunited with their owners. We aim to give owners the best chance of finding their lost pet. Together with our active searching and poster techniques we also offer long term support in keeping long term lost pet details in our database. We have many long term missing animals who have been reunited after being lost for many months and sometimes years who have been successfully reunited through them remaining on our database.


Question : Why are there different costs for finding different types of pets?
Answer : Our fees are structured around the amount of time involved in searching for a lost pet and the techniques employed. Different advice, techniques and success rates exist for each type of pet also.


Question : My pet has been missing for over a week, I have given up hope, what can Pet Search do after this length of time?
Answer : While a week may seem a long time to an owner, it is a relatively short amount of time for pet to be missing. Most dogs are reunited within 2-3 weeks of going missing, most cats are reunited within 2-4 weeks of going missing and most birds are reunited within 3 months of going missing. Stolen pets often take much longer to find. The weather, the environment, the pets personality and breed all influence how long it takes to find them. Many of the reasons some pets take longer to be found relate to human behaviour when they find a stray animalor steal a pet too. It is known that in the week before Christmas every year we will almost certainly reunite some of our long term missing dogs. It happens year in and year out. Why? Because we understand the profiles of pet thieves and how they behave.


Question : My cat could be anywhere, how can Pet Search help me find my cat?
Answer : While it is possible that your cat could be anywhere, it is more likely that your pet is still in your immediate area. The good thing about searching for a lost cat is that their behaviour can be very predictable. A lot of work has been done on cat behaviour and in particular lost cat behaviour, so we can talk with you about the circumstances in which your cat went missing and can advise you of proven searching and poster techniques used to help find your lost cat.


Question : I have done my own posters, what benefit is there for Pet Search to do posters?
Answer : This can be best answered by asking yourself the following questions. If you answer no to any of the questions, then you need Pet Search to help with posters. 1. Has my poster been designed to be eye catching using colours and fonts that attract the human eye and are easy to read using human response behaviour techniques & marketing knowledge?  2. Am I contactable by my phone 24 hrs a day every day for as long as my pet is missing? 3. Have I used words and phrases on my poster that emphasise to someone reading it that it is urgent that my lost pet gets home without increasing my pets value to someone else?. 4. Have I included an incentive on my poster? 5. Have I had any responses from my posters?


Question : How does Pet Search help with stolen animals?
Answer : Thankfully there are not many stolen animals, but when a pet goes missing it is often the first conclusion that an owner comes to. We often have people ring us and say “my pet must be stolen as I was only out for 20 minutes” or “I can’t see where my dog got out so he/she must be stolen” or “my cat has gone missing and she is a purebred, she must have been stolen”. Yes it is possible that your pet has been stolen, but it is more probable that your pet has gone missing of its own accord. It is difficult to put a period of time on when a missing pet becomes a stolen bird as anyone can find a stray pet pet and keep it (with the exception of licenced or protected birds).


Question : Can I post a Cheque or pay cash?? (I don’t have a credit card)
Answer : No, I am sorry due to security reasons & company policy we don’t take cheques or cash. Money Order is an alternative & can be just as quick & convenient as we will have other things for you to do to speed up your pets return. Once we have the receipt number we start searching for your pet whilst the money order is in the post to us.


Question : If my pet is micro chipped should the pound/council scan it for a chip, and therefore contact me??
Answer : No, it is not the case, microchipping is only compulsory in NSW (since 1998) and Victoria (since 2007) in other states microchips are optional and it is not a part of the standard routine of alot of places to scan for microchips because only a small number of animals are microchipped. There are also many other reasons you cannot rely on getting a phone call: 1.Microchips can fail. They can just stop working). 2.The information on the microchip may be wrong without you even knowing it is wrong because you have never had to check it 3.If you have moved interstate or your pet was purchased from another state it may be listed on a different microchip registry to the one used in your current place of residence. 4. Human error – most microchip numbers are 15 digits long and some of them are filled with lots of zeros. It is very easy for humans to write down the wrong numbers or miss a zero or add another one in by mistake, and this means your information won’t come up on the registry. 5. If you purchased your pet from a litter of kittens or puppies, microchip paperwork can easily get mixed up between all of the litter, especially if they look similar and most breeders do not own a microchip scanner so they cannot check an animal before it is rehomed. 6.On some occasions the microchip scanner is low on batteries or not working, or the microchip has moved (more common than people realise), so this can cause the result to be “no microchip found” 7. Most stray animals are received by vets and animal welfare agencies such as the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League and these are not pounds. Some of these places do not have access to the microchip registries so they are unable to ring you, they have to wait for councils or rangers to collect the animal or phone you on their behalf. This process can sometimes take days. 8. In regards to deceased animals – Not many councils are carrying out their responsibilities to scan deceased animals and notify owners. Also if a deceased animal is found on a private road or a road managed by the RTA eg motorways, highways etc these animals are not routinely scanned for microchips either as most of these agencies do not own a microchip scanner or have access to the registry.


Question : If a member of the public finds my pet, won’t they get it scanned for its Microchip??
Answer : Not necessarily, not everyone is familiar with micro chipping, especially non pet owners therefore they will not think to take it to a vet to have it scanned this is only one of many reasons why we recommend letterbox drops/posters are important in locating your pet. (Other reasons could be, no transport, elderly, can’t speak/read English etc…)


Question : But my pet is wearing a collar with nametag & its owner contact details, shouldn’t someone call??
Answer : No, unfortunately all too often a pet can so easily lose its collar and/or name tag. Again another reason for delay in locating your pet.


Question : I would like to know do you have my pet with you there??
Answer : No, we very rarely have stray animals on the premises. We are located in Blacktown and sometimes get stray animals brought to our office for scanning of microchips, but generally, we help re-unite lost pets with there owners via information received from Pounds, Vets, Animal Welfare agencies & members of the public etc, We do not physically collect/pickup stray pets.


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