My dog is lost! – Tips for finding a lost dog

Narrated from: General Info

We are very sorry if you have lost your dog! This is a terrible experience, but never lose hope – dogs have a habit of turning up when you least expect them!

1. Stop and think it over!

Do not panic – calm down, pause for a second and evaluate all the facts that you know.

First off, make sure your dog is truly missing – could a friend or a relative have taken it? Does the dog have a tendency to hide, in some favorite spots perhaps? Has the dog get stuck/locked somewhere in the house?

If you are certain that the dog is lost, list all the facts about the disappearance. There are two important questions:

- Did the dog run off or was it stolen? Consider whether the dog could have run away on its own, taking in mind dog ingenuity and human ruthlessness;

- In what manner did the dog escape? If the dog simply walked out through a hole in the fence, or an open door/window, then your buddy will probably be taking a stroll in the vicinity; however, if the dog was agitated, and worked actively to escape (chewing off a leash, etc.), then the canine could already be miles away, and still going.

2. Organize a search

After you have considered how far the dog could have gone organize a search party. Start in the immediate vicinity, and widen the perimeter – if the dog has some preferred hiding spots, start there!

Make sure you take a flashlight (you don’t know how long you will be searching), and either a whistle the dog recognizes, or a favored squeaky toy.

If the dog is lost, then it will be able to pick familiar sounds from far off, and might come running.

However, keep it in mind that a frightened dog will ignore your calls, and may even run away from you – so, be meticulous in your search, and check in canine hiding spots behind cars, in yards, etc.

Also, don’t forget to leave someone behind in the house – the dog might return fast, or someone might phone you even in the first hour or so.

3. Write a description

If the initial search fails, then it is time to revert to other means.
Write an accurate description of the dog. Describe its size, breed, looks, and most importantly – any specific scars, marks, color spots, etc. Of course, it would be best if the dog has a dog-tag with a name on it!

In many ads and flyers, you will also need to post a picture of the dog. If you don’t have an up-to-date picture of the dog, then browse the web for pictures of the breed, and pick the one that is most similar to your dog – but make sure people don’t miss the list of specific traits of your dog!

4. Calling and posting

Well, if Fido hasn’t been found yet, it is time to involve other people in the search. Visit the neighbors and inform them that your dog is missing.

Check all the animal shelters and rescue centers in the entire city. You will need to find a way to monitor them constantly – either make regular trips, or leave your dog’s description and your contact details.

You need to be especially alert if your country/state has tough legislation about stray dogs – some laws require these dogs to be euthanized, sometimes within a short period of time after they are captured! Check regularly whether your dog hasn’t been picked up as a stray.

Check whether you can have a local radio or TV make an announcement about your dog – many stations have a segment for lost and found pets. If not, then go to the newspapers, and post flyers all around the neighborhood.

5. The reward

Of course, it will be best if you offer a reward. This will give an incentive to some people to look for your dog, especially children.

Keep it in mind that the reward must not be insultingly low, but if it is too high, someone might decide that the dog is valuable and would fetch a hefty ransom.

6. Stolen

If you have reason to believe your dog has been stolen, contact the police.

Check whether someone is trying to sell a dog with characteristics similar to yours – stealing purebred dogs is a common means of making a hefty profit.

7. Never give up

Don’t you dare lose hope – no matter how much time has passed, there is still hope your canine friend will return. Just look at what Lassie did – dogs do such things in real life too! A year may pass, but there will always be hope that a dog can find the path to the home hearth.

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