If Your Dog is Lost!
1. If you can't get your dog back in FIVE minutes, the best thing to do is call your adoption group if you have one. This is important if your dog is found & someone calls the number on the ID tag from your group. Someone is there to help you. Then call your friends and family - anyone that can help. Group members, volunteers and your friends and family can initiate a search. ALWAYS keep collars and ID tags on even in the house, just in case. You never know when they will get loose.
2. If a search of the immediate neighborhood comes up empty, call your local police department, animal shelters, animal control and state police if you're near an expressway to see if they have received any news of a lost dog in the area or if any have been found.
3. Make up flyers and posters as well as an ad in your local newspapers, also radio stations may be able to give you a plug. Make flyers in large, clear letters, including your phone number, and possibly a clear picture. Plastic protectors will help preserve those out in the weather.
4. If one person can't stay home, change your outgoing message to include your cell phone number and include your dog's name and instructions to keep your dog safe. Many people will just let a dog loose that they have found, thinking that the lost dog will find their way home. It's important to let them know you will come get your dog immediately.
5. Work in pairs. If in the car, each person can search
on one side of the road. It's easier than for one person to try to scan both sides.
6. Keep your windows down and radio off. Listen for tags jingling or other dogs barking - this can sometimes lead you to your dog.
If there's a cat or bunny in the yard, your dog has probably not been in that area yet. Make sure to test your dog with a squawker. If he or she is interested in the sound, use one to attract them while they are out. Know your dog - some are frightened by squawkers.
7. If your dog is out over a day, the best times to search are early morning and after dinner when other people are walking their dogs - one reason is they may have seen a lost dog in the area
attracted to theirs. Also, they'll be looking for food.
8. Put flyers on telephone poles, especially near intersections where traffic has to stop - also on mailboxes, give them out when school lets out - kids love to help, especially when it is to find a lost dog.
9. Put them in the post office, pet shops, convenience
stores, vet's offices - wherever you think there is foot traffic.
10. Keep a picture with you and show it to anyone walking on foot - mailman, construction workers, cable guys, telephone repairmen, etc. This is where it comes in handy to have two people, especially if you're approaching kids. Everyone is safety-conscious these days - remember, kids love to help.
11. If your dog is sighted and is allusive, you can usually borrow a humane trap from the local Humane Society or shelter especially useful if you have a spook, but you must know approximately where the dog is - also, leave your garage or gate open in case the dog finds his or her way home - this happens often.
12. If you're stressed, you may forget that you need a leash and collar and a blanket in the car, as well as treats for your pet. Make sure to take good smelling treats such as hot dogs or cat food.
13. Drive with your hazard lights blinking - this is for two reasons: Other searchers can recognize you, as well as local people and neighbors who may have news of your lost dog. It is also good for safety and to alert other cars that you may make sudden stops.
14. Place a large sign in your front yard so your neighbors and local people know where the lost dog belongs.
15. Purchase 2-way radios. They can be an invaluable tool as they allow you to communicate with everyone at the same time preventing fumbling for cell phone numbers and phones ringing at inopportune times. Sounds like a lot to remember? It is - that's why it's also important to have just one or two people coordinating the effort - have sectors to search and central numbers to report to, especially if the dog is found. Ask for help! If it's your dog, you're just not going to be able to think of everything, so ask for help and be willing to listen to suggestions. Last, volunteer when you can - it could be your own lost dog out there in the dark, scared and alone, one night.
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