In recent months, there have been several lost or stolen dog ads in the local paper. While talking with a friend, she told me that I should check “Craigslist” each day because they have new entries every week on missing and lost dogs. Because of this, I thought a rundown on what to do if your dog is missing might help to bring the missing ones back home.
One of the best ways of locating your pet is by distributing fliers. With this in mind, I checked www.DogChannel.com and pulled up “Lost Dog Flier: helpful tips to create a flier for your missing dog.”
Before covering the mechanics of making the flier, let’s think about where the flier will go. Of course, the newspaper ad is excellent, but fliers should be distributed to all animal shelters, veterinarians, groom shops, pet stores, animal feed stores and radio stations. (I got my wandering cat back because the person who took it in heard my plea on the radio.) I used to post ads for my 4-H dog classes (when I was the leader) at any store that had a community bulletin board.
The longer the dog has been missing, the more likely it has been transported to another county. So, mail fliers to animal shelters and veterinarians in surrounding counties. If you get no responses, send fliers to shelters and veterinarians in a radius two counties away.
This is especially important if the pet has been microchipped for identification. Shelters and veterinarians have the equipment to scan the chips.
Here are some of the tips for making the flier:
Colors and Breed: Keep descriptions under five words. This will catch the eye of people passing by.
Date and Location: Missing dogs tend to travel, so give a major intersection or a well-known street for the last seen location. If the pet has been missing a long time, give the town it is missing from.
Description: Give a brief description of size, coat type and if there is a collar with tags, but leave off one bit of information like “has one blue and one brown eye,” or has a brown hind leg. This bit of information can be used if you get a call saying the dog has been located. It might be a scam artist calling.
Contact Information: Use only your first name and a cell phone number to protect yourself from scammers.
Reward: Indicate there is a reward, but my resource does not recommend posting any amount
Photo: Use a recent photo of your pet showing the entire dog, preferably a side view. Color helps.
Additional places to leave your flier include the post office on the postal carriers’ bulletin board and at the trash collection office on their employees’ bulletin board. These workers cover the entire county and might spot your dog.
If the dog has been gone several weeks, consider sending fliers to the veterinarians in major cities such as Lexington, or Louisville. This is especially promising if the dog has a microchip.