Lost Dog Tips
Dogs go missing for lots of reasons, and when it happens we are filled with worry and sadness, hoping that we will soon be reunited with our lost family member.
There are a few things each of us can do to be prepared, just in case our dog (or cat) goes missing.
1.STERILISE -dogs (and cats) have a tendency to wander if they have not been spayed or neutered. So sterilizing can help prevent situations which might lead to your pet going missing.
2.MICROCHIP - an easy and affordable way to permanently identify your pet, microchips provide Vets and Welfare organizations with a means to locate owners no matter where their pet is found. Microchips are not tracking devices, but if a lost dog has a microchip, the owner can be contacted within a matter of minutes.
3..COLLAR WITH A TAG- include at least two contactable cell numbers and your dog’s name. People are attracted to dogs with collars as this indicates that they belong to someone. But please remember that collars can fall off or can be removed.
4.PHOTOS - take regular and updated photos of your pet.
5.CONTACT NUMBERS - keep a list of contact numbers handy, including those for vets in your area, rescue and welfare organisations, SPCA, local kennels, dog clubs.
6.IF YOU’RE GOING AWAY - make sure the person looking after your dogs (and cats) has your contact information, the list of contact numbers of vets, welfare organisations etc, up-to-date photos of your pets, and knows what to do if any of your pets goes missing.
My dog is missing - what should I do?
Report to local VETS - make sure you give a good description of your dog (breed, sex, sterilised, size, colour and markings, microchip), its collar, and where it went missing. Remember to check that the vet has all your contact details.
Report to the RESCUE and WELFARE organisations - These organisations often have public websites with lots of visitors as well as enormous networks. Again, make sure you give a good description of your dog (size, colour), its collar, and where and when it went missing. Remember to check that the person taking your report has all your contact details.
Report to the SPCA and kennels - Dogs can wander very far whilst on the run, or can be picked up and dropped off at an organisation which is even further away.
Report to your breeder and/or dog club - they will likely have a facebook page and a significant network. Often if a dog of their breed is found, the dog is fostered in a private home and not kennelled. The dog is then rehomed if not claimed.
Check your GATE - lost dogs very often return home especially under cover of darkness, but if they find a locked gate, they may run off again.
Get the WORD out -
ask neighbours, local security companies and police stations to keep a lookout
issue an EMAIL with a description of your dog, attach a picture, and info on when and where it was last seen and send off to your whole address book, as well as the organizations mentioned above for further networking
post an AD on websites for lost and found pets
issue POSTERS and put them up in your neighbourhood and local shopping centre / supermarket
post posters at and check with SCHOOLS in the area as dogs tend to gravitate to the sound of children playing and the offer of food
put an ad in the local newspaper
offer a reward (only as a last resort)
CHECK regularly - make sure that you keep in contact with the various organisations that you’ve made aware of your missing pet. Remember, no administrative process is perfect and so it’s always good to check whether your dog has been found.
THE SOONER YOUR DOG IS REPORTED MISSING, AND THE SOONER PEOPLE CAN START LOOKING FOR HIM/HER - THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES ARE OF FINDING HIM/HER.
How long do Rescue and Welfare organisations have to keep a missing animal before rehoming?
After just 7 days you, as the owner, lose all rights to the dog and the various organisations are entitled to rehome him/her.
YOUR DOG IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
I found a dog…what should I do?
NOTE where you found the dog - this is important, as you will need this information when you report the dog missing.
MAKE a note of whether the dog has a collar - keep a record of the type and colour of the collar. This can be used when telling organisations about the missing dog and in preparing posters.
Take a PICTURE of the dog - if you have a camera on your cell phone take a picture. This will be helpful for alerting various organisations about the missing dog.
TAKE the dog to the nearest Vet - if the dog is local to that area the staff at the vets may be able to identify the owner, but they will certainly be able to check it for a microchip and provide it with food and shelter. If you find the dog out of hours, call the vet and follow his/her advice.
Report to RESCUE and WELFARE organisations, SPCA, kennels, etc - These organisations often have public websites with lots of visitors as well as enormous networks. Make sure you give a good description of the dog (size, colour), its collar, provide a picture if possible, and details of when and where you found the dog.
Get the WORD out -
if you live in the neighbourhood where you found the dog ask neighbours whether they know anyone who has lost the dog you found.
issue an EMAIL with a description of the dog, attach a picture, and info on when and where it was last seen and send off to your whole address book, as well as the organisations mentioned above for further networking
issue POSTERS and put them up in the neighbourhood where you found the dog
We post information about lost and found dogs on our Facebook page