LOST OR FOUND PETS?
The following is for information purposes only, no guarantees are implied. These tips/hints are suggestions on actions that can be taken to help find a lost dog, or can also be used to help find owners of a dog that has been found:
- The most effective way to get a dog back is to post fliers and the sooner you do it the better. If you do not have access to a printer, handwritten works just as well, the important thing is doing it quickly. Often if you do this within a matter of hours you will find them while posting the fliers. If someone took them in they may be looking for any sign of someone looking for a lost pet. Posting fliers, driving through the neighborhood slowly and calling the pets name may get their attention. If you have a companion dog, squeaky toy, whistle or anything that the dog is familiar with and can smell or hear take that along with you. Also take a favorite treat in the event you find them but they are hesitant to come to you. Understand that they may be very scared when you get to them because they have been lost and confused and may have run into people that chased them away.
- Keep the fliers simple, as large as possible and on bright/neon paper. CVS and Walgreens carry all the supplies you need (bright paper, poster board, extra-large sharpie, plastic covers and packing tape). An effective flier should read: LOST DOG*SIZE/COLOR*PHONE NUMBER(S). The less info you provide the more leads you'll get and don't use breed specifics or complicated color descriptions (i.e. brindle, blue, etc…) because not all people are familiar with dog breed types/colors.
- Put a poster in your yard or on your door (if you are in an apt or condo) with the same info. This will let anyone who might be looking for you, know exactly where they belong. If you are in an apt or condo let your manager know in case someone contacts them.
- If you haven't already post an ad on Craigslist under COMMUNITY then LOST and FOUND as well as under COMMUNITY then PETS.
- Take fliers to animal control for the area and/or contact them to report him missing in case he shows up there, they are the public intake facility. (NOTE: in most areas they are not the same as the Humane Society). If your pet is taken there they have a three day hold before becoming the legal property of the county. At that time they can adopt them out to another individual or rescue group so make sure you check often. A lot of times people don't take them there right away so if you checked right after they went missing and it's been a few days, check again. Check at least three times a week (daily is best) after that if they are still missing. Also going in person is much safer, as mistakes are made by overworked employees and volunteers.
- Call all of the vets in your area and take fliers to them. Fliers get more attention and are seen by more people.
- Enlist the help of your mail carrier (also give them a flier), they are a great resource and see a lot while they are on their routes. Also include the workers for the electric, gas and phone companies.
- Hire a sign spinner/dancer - this is a person that stands on a street corner with a large sign, a local neighbor hood teenager, collage student will do this, very effective.
Set up a dedicated facebook page to help network all of the information of the lost pet and remember to post updates to let any followers know the latest information, having a separate facebook page will help to keep the information separate from a personal page, allowing easy access to the needed information. Be sure to make posting public so that followers can share. Even if there is no "new" information, it is still good to communicate with interested followers.
- With a glass marker (you can get these from CVS, Walgreens or any office supply store) write the information on your car window so it can been seen as you move around town. Make sure you provide a phone number.
- Post an ad online in the local newspapers, lost ads are usually free. Even if there is a charge for the ad, it is worth the investment to help. Not everyone is on social media, placing a newspaper ad will help to get the information out to more people. And also consider placing ads in newspapers in surrounding communities.
- Print fliers and place them in between dog food bags at the grocery store.
- Walk the neighborhood, talk to everyone, have a flyer to personally hand out.
- For some the price of an outdoor advertising sign, the large kind, may be high, but perhaps if asked an owner will help with the price, given the reason.
These websites offer help on finding a lost/stolen pet. Some sites may represent certain areas of the country while others are for all locations. Also, please remember to remove any listings when the pet is found.