Every day The Home admits nearly 60 dogs and cats into its shelters. Dogs and cats arrive at The Home through one of four ways:

  1. An Animal Management Officer or Council Ranger may pick them up.
  2. Members of the public often bring in strays which they have found.
  3. The Home’s Ambulance rescue them.
  4. An owner may not be able to take care of their pet anymore, so the pet is surrendered to us.

When a lost or stray dog or cat is brought to The Home, we immediately check to see whether it has been microchipped or is wearing an identification tag. If the animal can be identified, the owner is immediately contacted to pick up their pet. If not, we hold and care for the animal for eight days. We hope that owners will visit us during this time looking for their pet. Any sick, old or injured animals are treated immediately on arrival by one of our veterinarians.

**If your pet is lost, make sure you visit local animal shelters and pounds**

Fortunately nowadays, nearly 50% of dogs are claimed by their owners. This percentage is increasing as more people become aware of microchipping and placing identification tags on their pets. There is also a new law in Victoria which will help reclaim rates at animal shelters. Microchipping is now compulsory for all cats and dogs registered with a council for the first time. We believe this new law will have a positive effect on the number of lost pets we can reunite with their owners.


Cat reclaim rates, however, are very disheartening. The majority of cats admitted to the Home are strays and don’t have any identification. Also, owned cats are less likely to have identification than dogs. Cats can often be co-owned by more than one person and therefore no one person takes responsibility to search for them when they are missing.  There is also a perception that cats are independent and that if they are missing for a few days it is normal behaviour and they will find their way home. This is untrue. The Lost Dogs’ Home joined with the State Government and 11 other animal welfare organisations to develop a program called Who’s For Cats? The program is designed to help the public think about the welfare of our semi-owned cat population. The message is ‘stop feeding a bigger problem’ and either take the stray cat(s) you may be feeding to a local animal shelter or take full ownership which means vaccinating, desexing and microchipping the cat(s).

Dogs and cats not claimed by their owners are assessed by our experienced veterinary staff after eight days.  We put as many as possible up for adoption, based on their temperament and health.  Click here to view our dogs and cats for adoption: adoption animals.