How to Find Your Lost Dog
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The idea of your losing your beloved pup is every dog owner’s nightmare. Unfortunately, it happens more often than it should. The American Humane Association estimates that over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year. As a responsible dog owner, it goes without saying that you should do everything in your power to keep your pup safe and sound. However, accidents happen! Your dog can easily slip out the front door or jump the fence in your backyard and be gone in an instant. If this happens, it’s crucial to act quickly to ensure you have the best chance of bringing your four-legged friend back home. In the unfortunate event that your dog runs away, here are the first things you should do.
Stay on your dog’s trail When your dog is scared, he or she can run several miles in a matter of minutes. If you know the general direction your dog went, immediately grab your dog’s favorite squeaky toy and some treats and hit the streets. Make sure someone stays behind in case your dog makes his or her way home during your search. Leaving a bowl of water as well as a blanket, a piece of clothing, or a toy outside is also a good idea.
Use social media Facebook is going to be an important resource for spreading the word about your missing dog. Post a status update with a picture of your pup and be sure to include details about where and when he or she was last seen. Encourage your friends to share your post. You can also use Twitter to share a photo and details about your missing pup. Use hashtags like #LostDog #Chicago to alert anyone in the area who might have information.
Update your dog’s microchip As soon as you realize your dog is missing, it’s important to call the company responsible for your dog’s microchip. This is a good time to make sure your contact information is up to date. They will also flag your account and many will send out an alert to vet clinics and animal shelters within a 25-mile radius of where your dog was lost. This way, you can stay off the phone and on the streets actively looking for your pet.
File a report with Lost Dogs Illinois Lost Dogs Illinois is an organization run by volunteers with the sole purpose of providing a free service to help dog owners reunite with their four-legged friends. Visit LostDogsIllinois.org and file a lost dog report as soon as possible. The organization will post your dog’s photo on its website and on its popular Facebook page where you’ll get a ton of extra eyes on the lookout for your precious pup.
Post an ad on Craigslist Post a Craigslist ad with your dog’s photo and details. Be sure to post in both the “Lost + Found” and “Pets” sections. Remember, you can repost your ads every 48 hours. Continue to do so until your dog returns home safe and sound to reposition your ads at the top of the search results pages. Consider offering a reward to give incentive to someone who may have found your dog and wants to keep it as his or her own.
Print and post flyers Even in a technological age, the good old-fashioned method of printing up flyers and taping them to telephone poles is still one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your missing pup. Be sure to hit bus and train stops, dog parks, and intersections with heavy foot traffic. It’s possible your dog is several miles from home, so it’s a good idea to expand your search radius further than you think is necessary. You’d be surprised how far your dog can get in a short amount of time.
Losing your dog is an extremely stressful and emotional experience. However, it’s important to remain calm and act quickly to give yourself the best chance of bringing your dog home safely.