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It's A Dog's Life-Lost Dog



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It’s A Dog’s Life—

Lost Dog

Mary Jane Anderson

Many times you have heard the story, “My dog was right in front of me as we walked in the woods and the next thing I know, he disappeared. Just like that!” Desperate notices affixed to telephones, tree trunks, or ads placed in the newspaper by forlorn owners are commonly seen in towns and cities around the country. What would you do if you lost your dog? Couldn’t happen, you say? There is not a dog who will not wander, given an incentive like chasing another dog or cat or squirrel.

From previous efforts to find a lost dog, there are effective techniques in searching and recovering your animal. First run newspaper ads, place posters at eye level in areas two miles from your home. Give as much information as possible such as the breed, sex, age, name, physical description and/or unusual markings or features. A recent picture is always helpful. If your dog has medical problems, state the illness and symptoms.

If a reward is offered make sure it is mentioned in big bold type, “Reward — No Questions Asked.” John Keane, a professional tracker of lost pets, in his book, Sherlock Bones, suggests a guideline for offering a reward: $50 for the average mixed-bred pet, $100 for a pedigreed animal, $300 for an outstanding-looking animal. A substantial reward will have a better chance of finding your dog.

Make sure your ads and posters list several phone numbers. People tend to give up or forget to call back when the phone is constantly busy or unanswered Distribute the posters to local supermarkets, laundromats, bus stops, and schools. Go to local veterinarians, groomers, kennels, and animal shelters. To the untrained eye, all dogs of the same breed look alike. Only you can definitely identify your animal. Check the lost and found columns in the local newspapers.

When your dog becomes lost, concentrate your reach in the area he was last seen. Comb the area with thoroughness. The exact area where the dog disappeared is extremely important. Lost dogs usually stay put. Patrol the area yourself and remember that most recovered dogs are found in the first 48 hours. But do not give up if your dog is still missing after several days. If your dog is gone for more than two days, it would be wise to extend the search area, keep patrolling, and keep asking anybody, and everybody, neighbors, children, postal carriers, sanitation personnel, newspaper deliverers, and other delivery people. If your dog was lost in a wooded area, leave a sweater or blanket in a secluded spot. Often a dog will locate the familiar scent and stick around until you get back.

Another aid in finding a lost dog is a quick, organized plan of attack. Possibly several of your dog friends will help. Everyone must have a clear-cut plan of what their job will be and it all must be done all at once. There are also national breeder clubs and individuals who provide rescue services; look into these possible supports in your area.

Hopefully, you will never have this experience with your dog, but if you do, the guidelines will maximize the possibility of your animal’s safe return. The best answer is to be prepared before hand. This means that your dog has a collar on, with a dog license and name tag attached. A spayed or neutered dog will also lessen the dog’s chance of roaming. Also a tattooed dog has a better than average chance to be recovered.

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