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Lost or Found an Animal?

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  2. Rehome a Pet
  3. Lost and Found

Lost or Found an Animal?

What to Do If You Have Lost or Found a Pet

“I have lost my dog”

Sadly dogs go missing for a number of reasons, but it is important to act quickly and calmly to increase your chances of being reunited. Follow these steps;

  • Remain in the area your dog was last seen for as long as possible. When you leave the area, leave an item of your clothing and some tasty food if possible.
  • If your dog is microchipped, contact the chip company to register your dog as missing.
  • Contact all local authority dog wardens (phone numbers below), who must legally hold all collected dogs for a minimum 7 days before rehoming or humanely putting to sleep.
  • Contact the Rehoming Team at Raystede. We will take your dog’s details and check our Lost and Found records for any matches.
  • Spread the word in your local area; use posters, social media, and contact all local rescue centres and vets (the Rehoming Team can provide you with contact details). Pictures shared on Facebook have been known to work for missing dogs. 
  • Contact your local authority’s Environmental Health Department, who deal with deceased animals found, just to rule out the worst. 
  • Share your dog’s details on www.doglost.co.uk and www.animalsearch.co.uk and on their Facebook pages.
  • If you believe your dog has been stolen, contact the Police immediately.
  • If you are reunited with your dog, remember to contact everyone again to let them know.

Remember, it is a legal requirement that;

  • Every keeper of a dog (unless exempt) must ensure that the dog is microchipped and registered on a compliant database with up-to-date contact details (The Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2014)
  • Every dog (unless exempt) shall wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it (The Control of Dogs Order 1992)

These inexpensive forms of identification significantly increase the chances of you being reunited with your dog.

Local authority dog wardens:

• Wealden, Rother & Hastings: 01424 490034 (Out of hours: 01323 644422)  

• Eastbourne: 01323 410000 (Out of hours: 01323 644422) 

• Lewes: 01273 471600 (Out of hours: 01323 644422) 

• Brighton & Hove: 01273 294266 (Out of hours: 07827 967088)

“I have lost my cat”

Cats are prone to exploring their local area and travelling distances to hunt or find a mate. However, if your cat does not return home for some time and this is out of character, sadly your cat may be lost. 

Follow these steps;

  • Firstly check he/she is not hiding or trapped in your home or with a neighbour. Check behind furniture, on top of wardrobes and in sheds/outbuildings.
  • Leave your cat’s belongings and tasty food in the garden to encourage them to return.
  • If your cat is microchipped, contact the chip company to register your cat as missing.
  • Contact the Rehoming Team at Raystede. We will take your cat’s details and check our Lost and Found records for any matches.
  • Spread the word in your local area; use ‘lost’ posters, social media, and contact all local rescue centres and vets (the Rehoming Team can provide you with contact details).
  • Contact your local authority’s Environmental Health Department, who deal with deceased animals found, just to rule out the worst scenario. 
  • Share your cat’s details on www.animalsearch.co.uk and on their Facebook page.
  • Remember, if you are reunited with your cat, contact everyone again to let them know.

If your cat is microchipped, this significantly increases the chances of you being reunited should your cat be found. Neutering will help to reduce the likelihood of your cat straying.

“I found a stray/abandoned dog”

Under the Environmental Protection Act (1990), any person who takes possession of a stray dog shall either return the dog to its owner or take the dog to the local authority dog warden for the area. This means that by law, rehoming organisations such as Raystede cannot accept strays; they must stay with the dog warden for a minimum 7 days before being rehomed or humanely put to sleep.

  • If it is safe to do so, check the dog’s collar for the owner’s contact details that will enable you to return the dog straight away. 
  • If there is no identification, immediately contact the local authority dog warden (phone numbers above) to inform them and arrange collection. If you do not inform them you could be accused of theft, but more importantly, you could be stopping a lost dog from being reunited with its owner.

“I found a stray/abandoned cat”

Cats tend to roam vast distances to set their territory, hunt for food and to find a mate if they are not neutered. They may be new to the area and simply lost. 

Most seemingly stray cats do have a home, but are just wandering. Before assuming a cat is a stray or abandoned, you must be sure it does not have a home. 

If you believe the cat is a stray and you need to find the owner, follow these steps;

  • Put a paper collar on the cat with your phone number and a message asking the owner to contact you.
  • Contact the Rehoming Team at Raystede. We will take the cat’s details and check our Lost and Found records for any matches.
  • Spread the word in your local area; use ‘found’ posters, social media, and contact all local rescue centres and vets (the Rehoming Team can provide you with contact details).
  • If the above steps produce no results and it is safe to do so, use a secure carrier to take the cat to your local vets practice. If the cat is microchipped, the owner may be contacted.
  • Although tempting, please refrain from feeding cats in your garden or home; this encourages them to stay away from home and causes unnecessary upset for the true owner.

If you cannot locate the cat’s owner or the cat appears to be in immediate danger or distress, please contact the Rehoming Team at Raystede to discuss the cat and the availability of space in our Cattery. 

We may ask you to kindly care for the cat until we have space in our Cattery. All stray cats are held for a minimum of 7 days before we consider rehoming them.

If you would like further advice, please telephone 01825 880468 to speak to our Rehoming Team. We are open from 10am and 4pm seven days a week.

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