This will of course be a traumatic experience for the entire family, particularly if your dog has been a part of your family for a significant amount of time and has been with you for many years. Even with the best care in the world, a dog or puppy can sometimes become lost or, even worse, stolen from the home. In the event that the worst case scenario occurs, and you and your pet become separated, here are some helpful tips:
Contact your local animal shelter or animal control agency
The first step you should take when you realise your dog is missing is to contact your local animal control agency and shelter. Provide them with a recent photograph and as much detail as you can regarding your dogs size, colour, weight, and sex, any special or distinctive markings and name of your dog.
Once you have reported it locally then report it to other animal shelters within a 60 mile radius of your home, also if you have reason to believe your dog or puppy was stolen then report it to the police with a clear description and photograph.
Make a search of your neighbourhood
Make a through search of your neighbourhood immediately and get the help of neighbours and friends to assist you in your search, the more people who know your dog has gone missing then the chances of finding it are greatly increased.
Give people a good description of your dog and if possible a photo of it, don’t forget to include information on how you can be reached if they find your dog. Continue searching your neighbourhood every day and don’t give up.
Post a lost dog flyer is as many stores as you can, very often local stores will let you post a flier in the window of the shop, include as much information on this as you possibly can and if possible print out a photo of your dog on the flier.
Other places you can post are on websites that specialise in returning lost pets with their owners and local radio stations. Don’t forget to give a clear description of your dog along with your name and phone numbers, it may also be worthwhile offering a reward for the safe return of your dog.
Be wary of pet recovery scams
Very often if you have posted a reward for your dog then some unscrupulous people may try to take advantage of you and claim they have found your dog in the hope of conning you out of the reward.
The honest person will call you and clearly identify your dog while offering to return him to you without mention at first of the reward, they will usually only mention this once your dog has been returned to you. Be very wary of anyone who asks first about the reward before giving you information of the whereabouts of your dog.
Never give up hope
Never give up hope of finding your dog even after several months have gone by, dogs have been known to be safely reunited with their owners even after several months.