What Steps Do You Take If Your Dog Goes Missing?

December 21, 2012  

Our Community Question of the Week

With all the comings and goings over the holidays, it can increase the chance of your dog slipping out the door or hopping a fence while you are distracted or otherwise occupied. So we asked out Facebook fans: What steps do you take if your dog gets lost or goes missing? Do you go straight to Facebook or keep it simple and put up fliers?

Whether you prefer fliers and searching the neighborhood or hitting Facebook and other social media or online outlets, it seems there is no stone that would be left unturned to bring your dogs home safely. Thanks everyone for sharing.

I go out looking, ask neighbors and post to Facebook. ~Darcy Miller

I go to the shelter, call the police and look in my neighborhood. ~Kimberly Neall Bloomer

Call PetWatch (my dog’s micro chipped), put up fliers, go to Facebook, call SPCA. ~Anna Semyonova

Luckily we have never had to do this, but I would assume we’d hit Facebook, Craigslist and every online outlet we can find. Then fliers and door to door in the neighborhood. I would rent a helicopter if I had to. ~Tom Featherstone

My friend’s brother’s dog was recently stolen here in Hawaii. She is a social media queen so posts went up on Facebook, Twitter, everywhere. It was picked up by the local media and a segment aired on TV. The publicity was so effective that someone recognized the dog as he was being walked on the other side of our island by a stranger! The dog was happily reunited with his family. ~Jayne Hirata

Facebook, fliers, media, call police and get a team together to search. ~Jill Vega

I take proactive measures against this and never let my dogs out of my sight. ~Ashlie Burke

Check shelter, fliers, Facebook, post to lost dog sites. ~Lois Wright

I would search the neighborhood, call shelters, post ads. My dogs are micro chipped and have name tags as well. I’d probably never sleep until they were home safe in my arms. ~Amber Norris

I would need to be sedated and would request not to be woken up until she was found. After notifying the SWAT team of course. ~Laurie Beall Toth

When my dog was lost, we also did it old school with fliers around the neighborhood. We live in a college town and it turned out that the guy who drove the school trolley saw someone putting our dog in their car. We put ads in the paper but no response. We also went to the local shelter near our home every morning and night and left fliers there. The worst part was checking “death row” ads we were advised to do even though our dog had a microchip. After a few days, someone at the shelter recognized our dog who was at the dog park with a young woman who attends the college near our home. The shelter worker told her the dog belonged to someone else. The woman denied this and tried to leave but the worker would not let her go until we got there. ~Jayne Hirata

Everything I would do if it were my child. My advice, microchip! ~Joanna Littlepage

Mine never gets out of my sight. ~Holly Haire

Shelter, fliers, Facebook, police, vets and clinics, neighbors, ask friends for help. ~Dark Geena

I call vets, pet stores and shelters in my area to see if anyone came in with my missing dog. I also scour the neighborhood. My dogs occasionally get spooked and jump the fence so we have them chipped and keep them in doors if we are gone long. ~Breanna Reeser

Fliers, talk to neighbors, call the non-emergency police line (depending on town), if you have a local adoption group (we have greyhounds) let them know! Then, get out there and look for them. My best advice – always make sure your dog has up to date tags securely attached to his/her collar. If you can afford it (and it’s pretty cheap), microchip. If you can afford it (expensive) buy a doggie GPS – especially if you have an escape artist. Oh and on the other side of the fence, I keep an extra leash in my car to help any lost dogs I find. ~Emily Dickinson Speight

My dogs are chipped, tagged, registered, first stop Craigslist then pound and fliers. ~Lindsay Monchamp

All of the above plus a reward and warn the local animal ambulance! ~Carla Aijtink

I make sure it never happens! My backyard is like Fort Knox! Double paneled fence with railroad ties on the ground. And metal screens! You can’t cut mine with a razor knife! ~Chris Winicky

Our dog is micro chipped and has a dog tag on every collar/harness and is never allowed outside alone. ~Jennifer Zimmer-Fiene

1) Craigslist lost ad with photo 2) call our vet to notify 3) hit the streets with high value treats, working concentric circles away from where the dog was last seen. And for those who say they make sure it doesn’t happen- ours aren’t allowed out alone. We had a dog break a window out during fireworks one year and bolt. ~Becky Britz

Microchip. ~Skye McFarlane

Fliers are useless – a dog will travel out of the neighborhood incredibly quickly, and who gets out of their car to look? They are just blurs. I’ve never lost one of mine for more than an hour, during which I am pounding the neighborhood screaming their name, and they got tired of exploring and answered. I would do Facebook and then start checking animal services twice a day, and even then, there’s a good chance they would have euthanized them. ~Nocte Vena Cava

Never had my dogs get loose. But they wear tags 24/7, are double chipped, and registered. First stop alerting all the vets in the area, the shelters, rescue groups, then Facebook, Craigslist, and fliers. Plus our neighborhood has several people who would help look. ~Alyssa Edwards

I put up fliers, check the local animal shelter(s), walk the neighborhood, call surrounding vet offices and leave my number everywhere. Oh, and offer a reward for the safe return. ~Slpaok Perez

My dog got out once, for about 15 minutes. I found her up the street. If she got out though and I couldn’t find her then I’d look to neighbors, Facebook, call the shelter, put up fliers, call the vets in the area and drive around and around and around calling her until I dropped! Libby has a tag with my phone number and she is micro chipped, but I would worry about her getting injured more than anything. ~Dana Cattarasa Lee

I heard that it works well to put a sign and picture in your yard so if found, they know where the dog belongs. I rescue and have had two slip the leash, I chased them until I caught them, not letting them out of my sight! ~Lisa Williams

Post on Facebook immediately and monitor while hanging flyers. Call all the local pet stores, shelters and especially the vets. ~Wendy Matteson

My Lucy wouldn’t leave the street without me, but : do every step available to you, check GPS tracker, Facebook, put up fliers, asking stores owners, residents within the area, vets, shelters, city agencies. Walk the neighborhood yourself. ~Nansi Schneider

Facebook for sure, my Riley has a microchip so thankfully I have that peace of mind. ~Samantha Lynn Frank Morse

We live in a logging town, so we don’t have those options. I grab my ref’s whistle and start blowing like crazy. They know the whistle means the yummiest treats are waiting. ~Ann Ilchuk

I check/post on craigslist, Facebook, post fliers, and check with local animal control. ~Christy Eve

Fliers, searching, Facebook, call rescues, go to pound morning and evening, talk to neighbors, call family to help search! ~Jackie Hartman

I’ve never had a dog go missing, but I would post to Facebook and local forums and call the animal shelter first thing. I’d probably focus most on following up regularly with the shelter and on driving around the neighborhood calling the dog. ~Kelly Tessena Keck

The first thing I would do is scan the neighborhood by car. The second thing I would do is have petluck.ca post it with a few recent pictures and other info and share like crazy. Then I would contact the local pounds, shelters and rescues, as well as the police and all the vets around here. I would tell all my neighbors and put fliers in the area’s mailboxes. Then I would go out on foot or by car again. ~L.A.P.: Lola’s Animal Page

Contact non-ER police number and let them know. Contact local vet to let them know. Put an extra-large sign on your front lawn saying, “Dog Lost,” and description/picture so folks know. Zero of my local neighbors are friends of mine on Facebook so I’d grab family, man the phone that is on her tags, and canvas the neighborhood. Bring a dog she knows with me so if she sees us she might come. There is a Lost Dogs of Illinois Facebook page; I would post there. ~J.L. Gall

I would notify the microchip company, look for him/her while checking with neighbors as I searched. I would call our vet, the local pounds, and the police to let them know that my friendly dogs were missing, they happen to be pit bulls so I’d tactfully emphasize their good nature to avoid misconceptions. If I didn’t find them upon my initial search, I would make fliers to post and ask family/friends to help me hang them up and post on Facebook asking people to share. ~Zeus Paradis

Walk/drive every street within a mile of where they were lost, calling their name and asking everyone you see, bring a picture. Contact every shelter within 20 miles. Put up fliers with a good, clear picture and phone number, post at grocery stores and of course, Facebook. ~Mary Horvath

Facebook, fliers, shelter check and drive around for days. I would also get word out to the local pet sitters because as a former pet sitter I know I found more than my share of stray dogs that I had to drop at the shelter because there were no tags. ~Layla Michelle Hodges

My dog doesn’t get lost. We walk for miles from the house at times. One time I went to the ER and was admitted and my roommate accidentally let him out and my dog ran to a friend’s house about 5 blocks away. ~Samuel Sheets

You mean after the tranquilizers kick in from my freak out? ~Kirsten Thompson

Our dog is micro chipped, registered with the city, and has his name on his tags. I’d also post fliers, Facebook posts, and local Craigslist type sites. Nothing is too much to get our boy home. ~Frances Kelsey

I’ve never had my dog go missing, but they have tags and are micro chipped if they do. Keep those microchips updated! I work at a vet emergency clinic and we often get injured animals in. Sometimes they are chipped but only about 20 percent have up to date info sadly. Also, we frequently check Craig’s list and have found owners several times that way. ~Andrea Sparzo Blomquist

First I call a few friends to help me look, then I go straight to our local email Lost Dog list – they have helped to find many dogs in our city. Then the local Facebook page for lost dogs. Then back out to scour the hills looking. Fliers would be if they aren’t found the first day. ~Martha Kennedy

File a report with your local animal control/shelter, put up fliers, contact friends to help look and don’t give up hope. I have found it sometimes takes more days than you can imagine or want and it is just darned heart-breaking to be in this situation. ~Nancy Goodman

I immediately call the local Humane Society and then walk the streets in my neighborhood. Last time I did this last and found her in a back yard three houses down! ~Carly Risko Rowland

It happened to me with my pit bull. I immediately put up fliers with a 500 dollar reward and called all the local shelters. I got him back 24 hours later and paid a 500 dollar reward. ~Veronica Bethan

Happened once. I live in a small town and I went straight to Facebook and posted it. I had people looking in no time. ~Sierra County Animal Relief Fund

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