Claiming a lost pet from the SPCA


When the SPCA finds lost pets, we hope they can be reunited with their owners as quickly as possible.

Permanent identification that provides a link between the animal and its owners is the primary means of assessing and ownership claim if present.

Where this is not present, the SPCA has an assessment process to try ensure that pets are returned to their rightful owners.

Assessment criteria

Assessment of ownership claims are based on multiple factors which include but are not limited to:

  • Permanent individual identifiers such as microchips or tattoos that can be linked directly back to an owner through documentation (licensing, vaccination cards, medical records etc)
  • Knowledge of an animal’s individual characteristics (age, breed, colour, markings, sex, neuter status etc)
  • Non-permanent identifiers (collar, identification tags)
  • History related to the case, including location, timely reporting / record of loss report etc.
  • Physical proof such as photographs of the animal with the owner or animals in the home setting.
  • Any other relevant information pertaining to the claim.


Often multiple claims for the same animal are lodged and these have to be assessed thoroughly to ensure that the true owner may be identified and unsubstantiated claims eliminated.