Finding Lost Dogs Is Difficult,
So Here Are Some Helpful “Tips”
by Keith Somers / Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook
You also did not realize the great responsibility that became yours when you began this adventure with your new puppy. Among companion animals, dogs are unmatched in their loyalty, obedience, devotion, attention, friendship and love. When you become a dog-lover, your dog will out-love you at every turn: excitement when you come home, tail-wagging, playfulness when you throw the ball, delight in always pleasing you, . . .
. . . ready to go “bye-bye” before you are, responsive “thank yous” at meal and treat time head nestled in your lap or across your leg for a nap and much more. You now have a life-long friend whose love for you is unconditional.
Right Now, Help In Finding Lost Dogs, Is Just What You Need
Finding lost dogs is now suddenly first on your list of priorities. Your baby is gone—lost, stolen, frightened, and perhaps hurt. What can be done? Here are some “tips”.
1. Identification is important. There are three types of identification used for help in finding lost dogs: tags, tattoos, and microchips. Each has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. No one method offers complete protection, but when used together they provide the best chance of a reunion with a lost dog.
Does your dog have tags? They may have needed information on them, but they may be gone. Sometimes they are torn from the dog’s collar by underbrush in the woods or a barbwire fence, and sometimes the collar can just fall off. Also tags may be purposely removed by a thief so that he can sell the dog without a trace. Finally, tags may be as useless as no tags at all, when the information on them is outdated. If you need tags, here is a good place to look. Remember to keep all tag ID information current, always. Finding lost dogs is not easy.
Does your dog have a tattoo? A tattoo is a semi-permanent ID and is great for finding lost dogs. It cannot be removed unless it is done on the ear—thieves have been know to cut off ears. Because of its visibility, it may a deterrent to a would-be thief. Tattoos can be done painlessly, by a qualified professional or a veterinarian. It is noisy and may take some time to do. If your dog is squirmy, you might want to consider anesthesia. It could be done in combination with teeth-cleaning. Be sure that you give careful consideration to the identifying mark, remembering that it is permanent and should be absolutely unique to you and your dog. Then register the mark/code/number with the National Dog Registry, or similar service. They can help you with the ID mark.
Does your dog have a microchip? A microchip is available only through veterinarians and animal shelters. Chips are tiny, battery-free devices, no bigger than a grain of rice. Each one is programmed with a unique, unalterable code number and some sort of information identifying the chip’s manufacturer. Check with you veterinarian for more details. From my The Incredible Dog website, read the story of a micro-chipped dog, who lived in Virginia, but was found in California by a woman whose business is finding lost dogs— “Missing Dog Found, After 8 Years.”
2. Get busy right now. The most critical time is the first 24 hours. The sooner you begin looking, the sooner you will find your dog. The longer you wait, the larger the perimeter becomes for your dog to roam and the less chance you have of ever finding him. But whatever you do, don’t give up looking and hoping!
3. Use the phone. Call all the local animal shelters, veterinarians, police and sheriff animal control departments, and rescue agencies. Then call the National Dog Registry, or any other registry service where you may have registered your dog. Give each of these folks complete information on your dog’s identity. Then, call all your neighbors, family members, and friends. They can be very helpful in finding lost dogs. They might even take flyers (below) door to door on their street.
4. Use a photo and make a poster/flyer. Get a recent photo, printing lots of copies with the photo, the ID information about your dog, and your address and telephone number, a description of where the dog was last seen, and an offer of a reward but do not specify an amount. If you don’t have a photo, find one of the breed and color he most resembles and use that. Hand them out. Post them everywhere. Hit all the public bulletin boards, community centers, dog parks, super markets, everywhere you can put one up with permission if needed. Give some to your postman, UPS and Fed Ex delivery people, and anyone else who gets around in your neighborhood on a daily basis.
5. Check lost and found sites. Online—like Craigslist, local news and others, or in print, there are those who are ready to help in finding lost dogs. Someone may have found a dog that matches yours—finding lost dogs does happen.
6. Finally, here are some organizations that are solely committed to finding lost dogs. Read about who they are. Check out references and reviews. Make comparisons of what they do and the cost. Then make your decision.
Pet Amber Alert
Animal Missing Broadcast Emergency Response Alert
American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery
A Lost Pet’s Best Chance
Lost My Doggie
National Lost Dog Recovery System