Or perhaps you lost your dog.
What do you do now?! ACT FAST. As soon as you find your dog gone:
If your dog is microchipped, call the company and report your dog lost. Depending on your service contract with them, they may contact local vets and shelters for you. Ask them who they contact so you don't lose valuable time contacting the same places. Hit the streets!
Spend an hour or so looking for your dog close to the area he escaped (ie a 2 mile radius). Contact your family/friends/neighbors to see if they will help look for your dog or split up the tasks below with them. Make sure everyone looking has some super enticing treats like meat (go pick up fast food burgers if you need to) and a leash. Be efficient and get as many people to help as possible within the shortest amount of time.
***Think about your dog and why he may have escaped: is he/she intact and possibly out to mate?--start with neighbors with intact animals. Is your dog a hunting dog?--look in your nearby parks. Does your dog have a best friend nearby?--head over there. Does your dog have a favorite hangout nearby?--check for him there. Knock on doors, drive around, check neighboring yards, check out parks/fields.*** If there is no sign of him after an hour/two and you have no one assisting you,
take a break from the search to make sure all of your local vets, shelters/rescues, animal control (or police/sheriff if you don't know your AC) are contacted with your information. If you can email them a oood photo, do it. Give them the time, day, location from which the dog went missing, a physical description, dog's name, and any important health/behavior they need to know if they find the dog.
(After the first 24 hours, extend your search to regional/statewide shelters/vets/AC and also contact your local groomers, trainers, petsitters, etc.) (If you have any helpers, make sure some keep searching while others get the word out.) Use technology
-Throw up an ad on Craigslist in the Pets and Lost/Found section--offer a reward but don't list the amount.
-ut up a lost post on your Facebook and your other social networks and ask your friends to share it.
-Send out a group text with the info above and ask them to forward it--with both the lost dog info and a request for volunteers to help you continue looking for your dog. -
-Locate lost/found FB groups in your region (Google) and try posting to Missing Pets US.
-Also try posting to your local/regional dog training clubs and dog trainers and groomers' FB pages. Google "lost my dog" should bring up services for your area if your internet has permission to "know" your location.
-Some websites that provide lost dog services include: petamberalert.com, lostmydoggie.com, missingpet.net, fidofinder.com .
After you spend an hour or so getting the word out, go back to canvasing your neighborhood/city. If you have lost flyers ready to go, take them and post them wherever you can legally in a five mile radius. If it's nearing the end of the day, head out to dog parks, pet stores, farm/feed stores, popular coffee shops and bars, etc to post your flyer.
If after the first day, you still haven't found, go old school! That night, submit online to your local classifieds papers and newspapers a lost dog ad; if they don't have an online form, call them asap in the morning. Many times, this is a free service for a basic ad, but I'd recommend you pay a little for the photo ad. Then, go check the likely areas again and stop by your shelters to see if he has turned up there. It can be difficult for high-volume shelters to identity dogs from lost reports to incoming dogs. What to do if your dog is gone overnight:
open your yard gates and/or a familiar door to the house if possible. If that is not possible/applicable, leave a familiar crate and/or bed outside of your residence with some water and a piece of your clothing. (If your dog went missing from someplace that is not your home, leave that crate/water/clothing at the last place you were together with your dog.) Take the weather into account and check for him frequently. Don't leave food out if there any any chance of wildlife or stray/outside animals that may eat it/hang out/deter your dog from getting closer. What to do if you/someone spots your dog and he doesn't come right to you:
Use a happy, friendly, excited voice. Resist any urges to use a stern tone to 'make him mind.'
Clap, make kissy sounds, whistle--whatever you can do to be exciting.
Don't face the dog or try to approach him directly. Don't try chasing or cornering him, especially if you are in an area with traffic. Squat down, angled away, show the yummy food you brought, and let the dog approach. Roll little bits towards him, while trying to call him over.
If you are struggling trying to get his attention, try running the opposite direction or "find" something super interesting over on the ground and make a huge deal over it.
Remember that dogs can and will travel a long ways when they get lose. Even dogs that are friendly and well trained may get very frightened, stressed, and overwhelmed when they get loose and may be difficult to catch. They may also be picked up by people "traveling through" and end up hundreds or thousands of miles away. Someone may take the dog in, think they want to keep him, eventually decide they aren't the right home for him, and then, even months later, put up "rehome" or "found" ads for him. Don't give up.
Keep checking shelters and rescues for your dog--go visit them IN PERSON
, don't just check on their websites or sites like petfinder--many shelters don't keep those updated or put found dogs on them during their holding period. Things you can do to improve your chances of having your dog returned:
-MICROCHIP your pet AND keep the contact information UP TO DATE with Photo.
-Keep a collar and ID tag on your dog.
-Have good quality photos available for flyers/ads
-Even better, make the template for your flyer Today, so that all you have to do is fill in the date/location of when/where he went missing.
-Maintain his city/county dog license and/or rabies vaccinations--both tags/databases provide yet another way to reconnect you to your dog.
Other references: http://www.petfinder.com/dogs/lost-and-found-dogs/ http://public.homeagain.com/find-a-lost-dog.html http://www.petfinder.com/dogs/lost-a...find-lost-dog/ http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/finding-lost-pet