written by Kathy Stewart
1) Most dogs do not go more than 1 1/2 or 2 miles away from the area they were lost, so concentrate your search there.
2) While it is unlikely, your dog may have been stolen by:
a) Dog napper for resale
b) Puppy mill looking for breeding stock
c) Someone looking for a family pet
What to do:
Last but not least, DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE. Lost animals seldom go far from the place they were lost. Many are recovered. Some don't make it back to their owners for several months, up to a year. KEEP LOOKING.
1) As soon as possible organize friends, family, local dog club members to help you do a thorough search of the area. Look at a map and have each individual cover a certain area. Take a collar and leash with you. Use cell phones or walkie-talkies if they are available. Knock on doors, show a picture of your dog and leave a number to call should they see him/her.
2) If your dog is used to a crate or dog bed, place it at the location where the dog disappeared and put an article of your soiled clothing inside. Should a crate or bed not be available, check with the SPCA to see if they have a humane animal trap which you can leave there instead. Place it in an area out of the elements.
3) Notify the following, and call every day:
a) Local SPCA and dog shelters,
b) All law enforcement agencies in area,
c) All veterinarians in the area,
d) Radio and television stations, (Ask if they will announce your loss)
e) Government agency that removes dead animals from roadways,
f) Local dog clubs,
g) Local dog groomers and boarding kennels,
h) Pet stores,
i) People who normally travel the local streets,
(mail man, milk man, school bus drivers, home heating fuel delivery man)
j) Girl Guides and Boy Scouts,
k) Schools - ask principals to make announcement,
l) Dept. of Highways, and
m) The Canadian or the American Kennel Club
It is important to stress the dollar value of your animal; give positive identification, such as tattoo number or implant numbers; offer a reward and stress that they can call you any time, night or day. Call back frequently, thus keeping the pressure on, so that these people will not forget.
4) Make up a poster and have a minimum of 250 printed up. These should be distributed to all of the above. Be sure to distribute these in a 2 mile radius, or more, of where the dog was lost; including door-to-door delivery. Should you not have the time to do this yourself there are direct mail services that can do it for you.
The poster should:
a) be as simple as possible,
b) use large lettering,
c) use the word 'REWARD' in large letters at the top,
d) include a recent photo or sketch, and
e) use the words "CALL COLLECT - ANY TIME DAY OR NIGHT" and give name and phone numbers of your home and office
If the dog was lost far from home, perhaps there is a friend in that area that would allow you to use his or her name and number on the poster.
The posters should be put in places where the general public will see them -- stores, gas stations, motels, etc. Be sure to include the method of positively identification of your dog on posters to vets, animal shelters and police.
5) CB operators can be helpful. There are networks that will gladly pass along the information for you.
6) If you have access to the Internet and World Wide Web, be sure to put messages out on dog related lists.
7) Make up an ad for local newspapers. Give a complete description of the dog -- when and where it was last seen. Make it simple and offer a reward. This will encourage people, who normally would not do so, to be on the lookout for your dog. If you suspect that your dog was stolen you may also include wording such as, "I will not prosecute if the animal is returned."
8) Should your animal not be recovered within a week you may wish to find organizations that send out newsletters, that would be willing to include a lost dog notice for you. Some of these might include:
a) Veterinary Associations,
b) Pet supply stores,
c) Dog clubs, and
d) SPCA or animal shelters
Feel free to contact us.
Summer location: Alberta, Canada
Home phone: (780) 987-4456
Winter location: Arizona, U.S.A.
Cell Phone: (780) 718-5940