Thursday, 28 March 2024



Shellharbour City Council is launching a new service to help reunite lost dogs with their owners.

From Tuesday 2 April, the RSPCA Illawarra Shelter will no longer be accepting animals, and the Shellharbour community will need to report lost and found dogs directly to Council.

Shellharbour City Mayor Chris Homer said that from next week community members that have lost or found a dog can contact council for help.

“As part of the new animal welfare and rehoming service, Council will work with local veterinary services and a network of regional kenneling facilities and are working towards partnering with alternate animal welfare groups.

“Dogs are often a beloved part of the family, and the City Regulation Team wants to give pet owners the best opportunity to return lost animals back home,” Cr Homer said.

“I urge pet owners to please make sure that your pet is microchipped, has a collar with an address and phone number, and all details are up to date,” he said.

Shellharbour residents can update microchip details online at online at or by contacting council on (02) 4221 6111.

How will the new service work?

What do I do if I have lost a dog?
Please call Council on (02) 4221 6111 to see if your dog has been found and collected. From Tuesday 2 April, you can visit the Lost Dog Registry page on Shellharbour City Council’s website to see if your dog has been listed. Our City Regulation Team want to see pets safe and will do their best to return your lost dog home. If possible, we recommend checking local social media groups that share lost and found pets.

What do I do if I find a lost or stray dog?
If you have found a lost dog, please call Council on (02) 4221 6111 to arrange collection. 
• If it’s an option for you, keep the animal in your care overnight, then call Council the next day.
• If you are unable to keep the animal, as it is displaying aggressive behaviour, call Council on (02) 4221 6111.

What happens to abandoned dogs that aren’t returned home straight away?

The dog will be looked after at a temporary facility as council works to reunite the dog with its owner. If Council is unable to find the owner and no-one comes forward, the dog may be offered up for adoption or given to a rehoming agency.

When a stray animal is found, we will keep them safe and secured at a temporary facility and do our best to reunite it with its owner. Please visit Council’s website to view Council’s lost dog registry (live from Tuesday 2 April).

If we are unable to find the owner and no-one comes forward, the dog may be offered up for adoption or given to a local rehoming agency.

I want to surrender my dog. How do I do that?

It is the owner’s responsibility to find a new home for an unwanted dog. If you are unable to rehome your pet yourself, you can surrender your pet to Council by calling (02) 4221 6111. There are fees involved in surrendering your pet to Council.

Last updated : Wed 3 Apr 2024