Finding a lost animal

Found a lost animal?

What if a rabbit hops across unfamiliar lawns, a cat seeks refuge in a stranger’s yard or a stray dog roams aimlessly about? Many people feel helpless and uncertain when they find an animal that has obviously gone astray: What to do? The pet experts at Maxi Zoo know how to help.

Escaped or abandoned

If you can’t find any tags on the animal or any other indication of who it might belong to, then by law you have found lost property. That’s why you are required to contact the nearest animal shelter, police department or regulatory authority. However if the animal appears to be injured, your first step should be to find a veterinarian. As the person who found the animal, you are required to pay the associated costs unless you are able to find out who the owner is. Incidentally, the veterinarian can check to see whether the animal you have found is implanted with a microchip – this will make it easier for you to determine the animal’s origins.

If the owner can’t be found, the animal may have been abandoned – this is a frequent occurrence, especially during school holiday seasons. In these cases the animal shelter will take care of the animal. If you would rather take care of the animal yourself, then be sure to notify the animal shelter or the Gardai– this is the only way of giving the real owners a chance to retrieve their beloved pet! You may only keep the animal after six months have passed without anyone claiming it.

By the way: Anyone who abandons an animal is punishable according to animal welfare laws! Punishments may include high fines and in some cases even multi-year prison sentences.

Disappeared and missing

If you have your own pet, you may one day discover that it has disappeared. Ask around and search your neighbourhood first – it may be hiding in a basement, a garage or a barn. People have also found missing pets by posting signs on trees, in supermarkets or in display windows. If the search is unsuccessful, the next place to turn to should be your local animal shelter. Similarly the Gardai, fire department or road maintenance authority might have information on the whereabouts of your precious pet. The best way to protect yourself from these kinds of unpleasant surprises is to chip and register your pet. In the event you lose your pet, you will be able to report the incident there.

Warning, dog in danger!

They may not be ownerless, but they are still in need of rescue – dogs locked up in cars in the blazing sun during the summer. If you discover a dog that is panting heavily in a hot car, call the Gardai immediately. Every minute counts! You might even have to break the window yourself to rescue the animal, which is not punishable by law in emergency situations.
Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.

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