Found a lost, stray or injured animal?
Stray cats and dogs
- If the cat or dog is injured, take it straight to the closest vet.
- Otherwise, contact your local council, and ask to be put through to the 'animal management' or 'local laws' section. Find the contact details for your local council.
- Your Council will instruct you on what to do next (e.g. whether they will collect the animal, whether you need to bring it into the pound, or whether it needs to be trapped).
- Council will need to check the animal for identification – either a collar and registration tag, or a microchip. If identified, council will be able to notify the owner.
- If the animal is unidentified, Council will impound it for a period of time to give an owner the chance to reclaim it.
- If the animal is not owned or reclaimed, and you wish to adopt it, your council can advise you on how to go about this.
Note that the legislation requires you to notify the local council within 24 hours of finding a lost or stray cat or dog. If you do not contact the local council to inform them you have an unowned / lost animal, you can be fined.
For issues concerning wandering or inadequately confined livestock call your local council for assistance. Find the contact details for your local council.
If you find a sick or injured native animal, call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 for advice on what to do.
Find out who to contact in a wildlife emergency (e.g. the local wildlife rescue shelter) and tips on safely handling injured animals.
Contact details for other relevant organisations include:
- RACV Wildlife Connect – phone 13 11 11 - for connection to the nearest wildlife organisation.
- Wildlife Victoria – phone 1300 094 535. Wildlife Victoria maintains a wildlife care and communication network across Victoria which includes volunteer wildlife shelters, rescuers and transporters, emergency services, government agencies and commercial operators. Using this extensive wildlife network backed by a sophisticated database enables them to respond swiftly and effectively to all manner of wildlife rescue situations, from orphaned ducklings to injured adult kangaroos.