Losing your dog can be a devastatingly stressful event to go through. Maybe your dog jumped a fence, someone left the front door open, or he could even have been stolen right from his own home. After you have taken the typical step most would to reclaim their missing pets, such as posting fliers both online and locally, there are several other things you can do to help increase the chances of your precious pooch making his way back home where he belongs.
Only about 22% of lost dogs that enter shelters year round are ever reunited with their family according to Petfinder.com. Of those dogs that are returned, over 50% of them were microchipped. A microchip is a tiny device that can be injected just under the skin of your pet. When scanned with another device, a number will pop up on the screen identifying the dog as an individual. When the number is put into a microchip search, the dog’s owner’s information is readily available so that his pet parents can be contacted to bring him home once again.
Getting your pet microchipped is an easy and painless task. While you can do it yourself by purchasing an individual microchip ready to go in its prepackaged syringe for your dog, you can also go to any veterinarian or even local shelter and have the chipping done professionally for a small fee. Then, you must activate the chip so that when your dog is scanned his ID number will provide your contact information in case he ever becomes lost or even stolen and is found or brought into a shelter, vet clinic, or police station.
You can do far more than just post fliers and lost pet ads in your local classifieds! Make it a first priority to alert your local police station, all veterinarians in your area, pet stores and shelters. Make sure they all know that your dog is lost, when he was lost and the last location he was seen. They should be aware of his breed, size, age, gender, neutered or not, and any medical conditions that he may have that could require immediate care upon being found.
Next, make sure your neighbors know your dog is lost and needs to come home! Many neighbors may see your dog wondering and not even think anything of it unless they are told first that he is lost! For anyone you tell about your lost pet, make sure they know not to chase him to catch him! Even the most friendly and social of dogs can quickly become scared and run when someone is trying to help them.
Post a sign!
Not every dog that is lost ends up at a shelter or the local police station. In fact, most that are found are picked up by your neighbors without knowing who the dog belongs to! It’s quite common for someone who just found a wandering dog to scour their neighborhood in search for someone who lost him. If you make it obvious that it is your home that lost a pooch, they will see you a mile away!
Do this by making a sign, bright, colorful and eye catching to stick in your front yard. As large as possible, it will guide the finders of your dog, and alert passerby, that your home is missing a pet. If he is found, this could potentially bypass the trip to the shelter for both you and your dog, as well as a well intentioned Samaritan who may otherwise decide to keep your dog as their own, assuming no one was looking for him to begin with!
Never Lose Hope
Never give up on your lost pet! Search online and paper classifieds for found dogs, and even dogs for sale, adoption or to give away! Even microchipped pets are illegally kept by their finders and sometimes a shelter may miss the microchip, assume the dog is a stray, and place them for adoption. Check your surroundings communities, too! Dogs are mobile creatures and can easily find themselves in the next town, county, or even state over from their home! Don’t give up hope, and bring your dog home!