Lost Pet Help
A very good and informative web site on search and rescue for lost pets:
Missing Pet Partnership
IT'S LOST... WHAT NOW?
There is nothing more painful than talking to a loving owner in search of their lost pet. Your heart aches for these people.
Where is that dog that wandered out of the back yard or bolted from a car? How can one sweet friendly dog not be found in a suburban area? Surely someone will see your dog and pick it up and take it to the local shelter. Right? Afraid not, over and over again I have to shake my head over the heartbroken owners still looking for their dog and then on the lost dog that was found and no one has claimed. What is wrong with this picture?
I'm afraid the solution and the answer both are "too much technology," too much information and too many places to turn to. We have numerous micro-chip companies vying for their share of the market. We have the old standby like the shelter and the lost and found ads in your local paper and of course, flyers on community poles.
Today we have people putting lost and found notices on Craig's List, shelter lists, Facebook and Twitter sites. Additionally, there is a number of wonderful and well meaning web sites out there to help. Are we seeing a pattern here? All of these sources require you have a computer and that you know how to use it. Honestly, until I got involved with lost and found dogs I had no idea all these resources were available. I wonder if on my own I would have known how to look them all up. How do we expect an older (or younger) non-techie type person to find much less use these resources?
What to do? I'm going to give you a link to a new informational doggy site that might help you.
If you have lost a dog do everything that you can. If your dog is lost in a city or urban area you have a lot you can do and all require your time but necessarily a lot of money.
- Keep in mind that your dog may not stay close to home. A frightened animal can run miles from home. A frightened animal can turn feral overnight. Yes, even your sweet little pet might run from any individual, including yourself, should they be frightened. Don't limit your search to your own few blocks.
- Go to your local shelter and give them a flyer about your lost pet. Painful as it might be, walk the shelter. Also ask to review the list of unidentified bodies that were picked up. Keep in touch with the shelter. Keep checking for weeks or a month or more. Someone may pick up your dog and decide to keep and after a week or so decide it is too much work so they take it to the shelter.
- Make up an easy to read flyer identifying your dog. A picture is worth a thousand words. Give dogs name, color, size, sex. Don't give every bit of information. Advise if the dog has a microchip.
- Post your flyers in the neighborhood. On corners of main streets, freeway entrances. Try to place them where people stop or backed up in traffic can read them.
- Visit and hand out flyers at local vet offices. Spread out to outlying vet offices if you have the stamina. If not, get fax numbers and fax the flyer. Try to make a friend at the vet offices.
- Post flyers at feed stores, pet stores and grooming shops.
- Post a lost ad in your local and community papers.
- This newest suggestion was just sent to me.......post your flyer on your car taking as much space as you can.
- If your dog is (as it should be) micro chipped call the company and report the dog as lost. Made sure they have your updated information.
- Now, it is time to use technology and the internet. If you are not familiar with the net, ask a friend or one of your kids.
- Post a lost ad on Craig's List. For months search Craig's list for either found, for sale, or dog needs home ads. Make sure one of those dogs is not yours.
- If your pet is a purebred, contact the breed rescue. See if they have a site for listing lost dogs. Make sure they know your dog is lost and you want it back should it be turned over to them.
- Search the net for any rescue groups in your area. Contact these groups and send them a flyer. Your dog is lost, not abandoned, and you want it back. For months keep an eye on their dogs available site.
- If your dog is lost in the country or rural area do the above, but you have a lot more work to do.
- Place your flyers on rural roads. Drive these roads. Post flyers at General Stores or camp sites.
- If your dog is sighted be prepared to spend some time in the area. Your dog is probably feral and will not come to you when you call.
- Let the local shelter know your dog has been sighted in this area.
- Put some towels or clothes with your smell on them, and a big bowl of water near where you last spotted your dog. Check frequently. [Do NOT put food, as it may attract other unwanted animals and scare off your dog]
- If you see your dog do not yell for it. Walk slowly with food and a leash in hand. Also keep a blanket with you. If you can get close to the dog don't raise your voice. Crouch down; gently throw out a few morsels of food to encourage the dog to you. If you have to, sit down with food near you and wait.
- If you have another pet in the house bring it with you but don't let it excite your lost one.
- Most important tip of all.....don't give up!!
FOUND ONE SWEET DOG
Now let's discuss "found dogs". May I say to anyone who finds a dog, please remember that someone loves that dog. You simply must make all efforts to find the owner. I know that many of you do not want to take that cute little dog to the shelter, but remember that the place most owners look first is the shelter. If you want to keep the dog then tell the shelter to put the dog on hold in your name. However, if you simply must keep the dog and try to find its owners here is what to do.
- Don't assume the dog has been abandoned because it is matted and dirty. That dog might have been out in the elements for a long period of time. Of course it is thin, it is scared and no one is putting a plate of food out for it.
- If the dog needs grooming, has an ear infection or bad teeth don't assume someone does not love it. In today's economy some households just can't afford the high vet bills. Older people don't smell the bad ears or notice the mats. I know, many of us turn our nose up at someone who has a smelly matted dog, but remember not everyone has the same reaction to mats and smells as you might. They still love that smelly old dog.
- Now that you have decided to find the owner on your own you have work to do.
- Take the dog to your local vet to see if it has a microchip.
- Same as above: call vets, post flyers, post in local paper and Craig's List.
- By law you have to report the found dog to Animal Services. Give them flyers so they will remember the dog should someone come in looking for it.
- Don't give up. Remember someone is probably crying for that lost dog.