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How to find a lost dog - Missing Dog

Lost Dog
Finding a lost Dog


Help! I have lost my dog

You have lost your dog or puppy! It's heart wrenching and a time of great worry. Your dog may have escaped from your yard or car, or perhaps you were away on vacation. Dogs also get stolen. Instead of taking a passive stance you should do everything  possible to try to locate your dog.

Things you can do as soon as possible after your dog has gone missing.

Phone Authorities, Vets and others

Many local authorities impound dogs that are found roaming the streets. Ring your local council, animal control centre or sheriff's office. It depends on which country you live in and in which area. If you don't know, find out. Many authorities will euthanize stray dogs within a relatively short period of time. Ring them daily or ask where you can see their impounded dogs. If you are able to view the impounded dogs you should do so. Telephone communications can be open to misunderstandings. Your dog may be there but because of misunderstandings between staff and yourself you are not told that your dog is there. All sorts of misunderstandings can occur regarding color, breed and description of the dog.

If your dog or puppy is microchipped ring the microchip registry.

Call all the local vets. Your dog may have been injured and taken there. Many vets also have lost pet registers. If they do have one ask to have your dog put on the lost register.

Call the RSPCA or ASPCA in your area.

Some radio stations have a segment for lost and found pets.

Call any local animal shelters in your area. You may be able to email or send them a photo of your dog. Visit the shelters in person if possible. Ask your vet for phone numbers of any dog rescue organizations in the area.

Make 'Lost Dog' cardsLost Dog

Write out 'Lost Dog' cards with a short description of your dog and your phone number. Cut paper or cardboard into business card size. If you are offering a reward add that to the card.  On the card make sure you write 'Any information however small regarding this lost dog will be greatly appreciated' Some people may have seen your dog two days ago but don't bother to contact you because they think that their information is not useful.


Ask Everyone

Walk around your neighborhood calling your dog's name. Ask family and friends to help you. Hand out your 'Lost Dog' cards to people you meet along the way, walkers, joggers and children as they often see things that adults don't. Check under cars, bushes and out of the way places. Your dog may be lying there injured. Take a torch with you for checking dark areas or if you are searching at night.

Check with your neighbors. Ask your neighbors to check around their yards, garages and outbuildings. It's worthwhile asking your neighbors to ask their children to keep a look out for your pet too.


Finding a lost dogReward

If you can afford it always offer a reward. It doesn't have to be large and not everyone will accept one but it does give people an incentive to ring you with information, especially children.

Make Flyers and Posters

Print out flyers and posters. Include a clear photo of your dog, a description of color and breed and your contact phone number.  Drop them in as many mail boxes as you can.   Make the flyers easy to read with a big heading LOST DOG.

Put your flyers or posters up at local stores. It is also useful if you put tabs on the bottom of the flyer with your phone number on, this way people can rip off a tab & take it home with them for future reference should they come across your dog. Put them up at intersections or traffic lights where they will be seen by as many people as possible. Also put a flyer up near the local school where parents drop off their children and also in the school car park.

Ask at local business's in your area, leave a flyer with them.

Always have your answering machine turned on if you are using a home telephone number.

Children can help

If you have school aged children, have them ask children at their school. Print photos of your dog for you children to show around school.



Place an advertisement in the newspaper. Don't forget to check the "found" listings in your paper too.

Check on the Internet. Many dog websites have bulletin boards or forums which have lost & found areas for lost pets.

Maybe you have moved house recently. Check at your old address. Let the new owners know and leave them a 'Lost Card'.



Stolen dogs and puppies

If you suspect your dog or puppy has been stolen you should report it to the police. Also check the classified ads in your newspaper. If someone has stolen your dog they may be trying to sell it for profit.

He may be frightened

Put some food & water outside your house and even your dog's bed or some of your clothing with familiar smells.

Terrible things do happen

Unfortunately your dog may have been killed by road traffic. Ring your local council or authority to find out who collects dead animals from roads in your area. It's not a pleasant thought to think that your dog is a victim of a road accident but it is better than not knowing what has happened to him.

What you should do now if you haven't lost your dog

You should make your dog easy to identify if he gets lost. Make sure your dog wears a collar with an ID tag with the dog's name and your telephone number. A microchip is another method of identification but does cost more than a collar and ID tag. Ideally both methods should be used in conjunction. Always remember to update contact details if you move or change phone numbers. People often overlook contacting the Microchip registry to change their current details.



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