Brisbane's flood-affected residents have until Monday to claim lost pets from council shelters.
The council this morning clairifed its position on its euthanasia amnesty, saying healthy animals would not be put down until February after flooding separated countless pets from owners.
Pets are salvaged from flood waters. Photo: Pat Scala
Recollection fees have been waived until Friday.
In usual circumstances, pets can be euthanised after five days.
Ipswich City Council also has initiated an amnesty on collection fees and an indefinite hold on putting down any pets in its shelters.
Numerous animals have become lost after thousands of residents were evacuated from their homes last week.
Council shelters have been under added pressure because the RSPCA in Fairfield, in Brisbane's south, went under water.
However, Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said it was important to give residents time to deal with the tragedy of the floods.
“This is a very stressful time for Brisbane residents and getting much loved family pets back is an important part of the overall recovery process,” he said.
“We are particularly keen to see pets reunited with their owners after the floods and want to avoid a situation where people cannot afford to collect them."
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said the amnesty should be made indefinite for flood victims.
The RSPCA has had to place all of the animals in its care into foster homes and few can be adopted out because of damage to the desexing clinic.
Mr Beatty said a small number were being desexed at the University of Queensland but there would be delays.
"They're not going to be able to desex 30-50 animals a day, which we were able to do before," he said.
"We've got problems but as far as we're concerned, we're certainly not euthanasing any [healthy] animals."
Mr Beatty said community websites listing missing animals, while well intended, were hampering efforts to reunite residents with their loved ones.
He said pet owners also needed to register directly with the RSPCA.
"All [the websites] are doing is putting more work on the over-worked [RSPCA] call centre staff because people think they've listed on the lost and found website but they haven't listed them with us," he said.
“The key to locating your pet is to get all your information together, list the pet's details with the RSPCA and your local council and then start a methodical search of all possible locations.
"If your pet is micro-chipped and registered it will make the process easier but it is still a case of hard work and perseverance."
The RSPCA recommends collecting detailed descriptions, including any distinguishing features such as pricked or floppy ears, a curly tail or the colour of its collar. A photo also is helpful.
Pets that are micro-chipped should be reported missing to the organisation that holds the record.
To list a pet with the RSPCA Queensland Lost and Found service phone 1300 363 736 or 07 3426 9999 or visit www.rspcaqld.org.au.