(250) 414-0233

Find Your Missing Pet

The following methods may assist you to find your missing pet:


•    View the IMPOUNDED ANIMALS section on this website.

•    Call or visit your local Pound:

City of Victoria, Oak Bay, and Esquimalt

VACS Pound & Adoption Centre:
564 David St., Victoria, BC
(250) 414 0233

Saanich & Other Greater Victoria Municipalities

CRD Pound:
5401 Pat Bay Hwy
(250) 658 5745

•    Call or visit your local Animal Shelter:

Greater Victoria      ►    SPCA - 3150 Napier Lane (at Burnside Rd. E.)  (250) 388-7722

Check the SPCA Found Pet Search (Check the found AND adoptable animal sections, but be sure to call and visit the shelter as well)

** The Victoria SPCA generally do not take in stray or abandoned animals, however occasionally they do take them and keep them at their shelter. It is worth giving them a call just in case.

•    Send reports to online Lost Pet groups.

There are several volunteer-run networks of people who will share the posting and provide support for owners of missing pets.

Petsearches Canada / Missing Pets in BC

FLED - Finding Lost and Escaped Dogs (Facebook page)

FLEC - Finding Lost and Escaped Cats (Facebook page)

Vancouver Island Lost Pets Database (Facebook page)

ROAM - Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing (Facebook Page)

ROAM - Cats (Facebook Page)

•    Check the following Websites. If someone has found your pet, they may advertise it on one of these sites:

UsedVictoria - check the Pets section and the Found section

Craigslist - check the Pet section and the Lost and Found section


•    Call your nearest Veterinarian office. People who find animals will sometimes take them to a nearby veterinarian office & drop them off. Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital is open 24 hours a day and accepts found injured animals.

•    Check the Lost & Found classified sections of local newspapers:

      Times Colonist (section #364)

•    Check for found animal Posters in your neighbourhood:

     Check your neighbourhood: hydro poles, trees, corner store, veterinarian office.

•    A thorough search also requires calling the agency that picks up dead animals from local streets:

  City of Victoria Public Works (250) 361-0400
  Oak Bay Public Works (250) 598-4501
  Saanich Public Works (250) 475-5599
  Esquimalt Public Works (250) 414-7108
  Other Areas CRD Animal Control (250) 478-0624

•    Search your home. If you are missing a cat or other small animal - it may not be lost - it might be hiding somewhere in your residence! Closets, cupboards, hollow furniture, basement rafters, drawers in furniture, empty luggage, filing cabinets, holes in walls where pipes come through are all potential areas for cats to explore and sometimes become trapped. We also suggest that you check underneath porches, crawl spaces, outbuildings and even your rooftop.

•    Search your neighbourhood. We recommend you check your area on foot or on bicycle – you will see more, hear more & have the ability to speak to people more easily. Check local parks, school grounds, corner stores, beaches etc. Go slow – it produces better results. Try early morning &/or late evening searches. Voices carry better & your scent may be detected by your pet more easily. Cats are sometimes found hiding in trees, atop hydro poles or may have been unknowingly closed into a garage or other structure.

     DO NOT TRESPASS – ask for permission to look for your pet on private property.

•    Design a lost animal poster:

  1.      Keep it simple
  2.      A photo is a must (colour is best)
  3.      Provide a phone number,  DO NOT provide your address
  4.      Provide unique details about your pet
  5.      Consider a $ reward

•    Distribute a lost animal poster: We strongly recommend delivering your posters door to door. Knock on your neighbor's doors and explain the situation. People are much more likely to remember you and your missing pet if they talk to you about it and understand you are very worried. Although many people do it – it is unlawful to attach a poster to a hydro or telephone pole. Also send a copy of your poster to your local pound and shelter.

•    Other Things to Do:

     Make a lost poster in the form of a waterproof sandwich board and place it at the busiest intersection near your house.

     Hang recently worn articles of clothing outside. Your scent may reach the intended target and be a beacon to guide your pet back home.

     Be vigilant. Don't call off your search even if your pet has been missing for several weeks. Occasionally a lost pet will turn up months after it went missing.

     Cats are sometimes "unknown stowaways" in vehicles and can be transported a considerable distance from your home. Check all the pounds and shelters in the region, not just your local facility.

•    Lost Cat Behaviour:

     Depending on the cat and the circumstance in which it went missing some cats will not respond to their owner's call for any reason. Your cat could literally be just feet away from you hiding in some obscure spot, listening to your voice, smelling its favorite food in the bowl that you are carrying, but, it won't a move a muscle or make a sound. Why? Because the cat's survival instincts are telling it not to. A scared, frightened, traumatized cat can only focus on one thing... survival. The cat's instincts (not wanting to become dinner for some nearby predator) will prevent it from coming out of its hiding spot. It may stay hidden for weeks and weeks.

     Cats that are usually 'skittish' and reclusive are probably more likely to exhibit lost cat behaviour than a cat which is ordinarily friendly and social, however, any cat can suffer from this behaviour.  A cat with "Lost Cat Behaviour" may not be easily recognized when it finally comes out of hiding. It will likely be very thin, dirty and its hair may be heavily matted. Expect severe dehydration, hypothermia, injury, fleas, worms, etc. Your cat may look very old and very sick.

     A hands and knees search of every nook and cranny (strong flashlight recommended) may be the only way to find this type of cat. If you are not immediately successful, keep trying and be vigilant in your search. Keep checking your neighbourhood, update your posters, let people know the search is still "on".

•    The Pee Trail:

     The Pee Trail is a recommended search method developed by Harry Oakes of International K9 Search and Rescue Services - www.k9sardog.com (Unfortunatly Harry is not able to provide services in Canada)

     Harry’s advice is as follows: "If your pet has been seen somewhere - try this before you call me to help."

  1. Have the person who is most bonded with the pet to urinate into a container and then mix the urine with water. It doesn’t matter the mixture ratio – 10:1 is good.
  2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and then go to the area where the pet was last seen or sighted.
  3. Spray one squirt of the mixture approximately every 25 - 30 feet about the size of a loonie onto the ground. Spray it from the area where the pet was last sighted going directly back to your residence, or to a nearby residence or business of someone who is willing to assist you capture and secure your missing pet. If it is your pet, he/she will smell your scent trail and possibly follow it back to the residence or other location. If possible, keep the scent trail away from busy roads.

•    Prevention

     Bylaw regulations require all dogs to be licensed and to wear a licence tag on their collar. Cats are not required to be licensed, however, they too should wear some type of identification. A phone number written on a collar is really all it takes.

     Dozens and dozens of pet owners phone the pound every week looking for their missing pet. Too frequently it is not there. Most owners advise us that their pet wasn't wearing identification.

     Unfortunately, when many people find cats/dogs without identification they assume the animal has no owner.  They might knock on a few doors to see if anyone is missing their pet, but too often they take it in and make it their own with little thought for the pet's real owner. Sadly, your cat/dog may live the rest of its life 3 or 4 blocks away from your home and you will never see it again.

     People who find cats/dogs with identification immediately realize the animal belongs to someone and (more often than not) will make an effort to return it to its owner or will call Animal Control to pick it up.

     99% of the cats that come into the pound have no identification. Very few are reunited with their original owners.
     Most are adopted to new owners. (Indoor cats never get lost and are likely to have a longer and healthier life).

     50 - 60% of dogs that come in as strays have a collar with identification of some type. However, the tag is often unreadable, or is untraceable and therefore ownership cannot be determined.

     Keep identification and licence tags in good condition and info current. Ensure your pet wears identification at all times because you never know when or where they are going to go missing.

     If your dog is impounded (in the City of Victoria), a $50.00 penalty is added to impoundment fees if you do not possess a current dog licence.

     Tattoos and microchips can also increase the likelihood of having a lost animal returned, but they have their limitations and are not a fail safe method.