Contacting Horsham Rural City Council remains the best way to have lost pets safely returned to their owners.
People who find a dog or cat out wandering should contact Council on 53 82 9777. If the dog or cat has no immediate identification, a ranger can check it for a microchip, and if it is microchipped, will be able to make contact with the owner.
This will improve the chances of the animal not being impounded and assist with a speedy and safe return to the owner.
“If your dog or cat is registered with Council, we can easily identify the animal owner and in most instances return them safely to you,” Community Safety Unit Co-Ordinator Scott Bastow said.
“If it’s a pet’s first-time at large, then there’s no fee for its safe return.”
Mr Bastow said the percentage of dogs and cats that are returned to their owners or re-housed had increased considerably in recent years.
This is possible because the vast majority of animals are now microchipped.
Registering, microchipping and having identification tags on a pet’s collar gives people the highest probability that their lost pets will be returned.
“All of our officers are actually animal lovers and they play an active role in making sure that lost dogs and cats make it home safely,” he said.
“They also work hard to find new homes for dogs that are unregistered or whose owners cannot be found,” Mr Bastow said.
Owners of domestic animals found to be unregistered, or who haven’t had their registration renewed for 2020, can be fined $322 per animal.
People can advise if their pet is deceased or relocated by calling 5382 9777 or completing an online form.
A service request can also be made to report an animal you have found.