Ten things to do if your dog is lost

  1. Start looking immediately.

The person that tells you ‘oh, they’ll find their way home,’ is lostnot helpful.

  1. Put out a personal item your dog will recognize.

Put out food, water, your dog’s bed or an article of your clothing at the location where your dog was last seen. There is a good chance that your dog may return to that spot.

  1. Make signs. 

Post signs of your pet on your street & local businesses. The posted signs should be in bold, readable letters. Be sure to include:

  • Description of your pet (size, color, sex, marketing, etc)
  • Picture; color pictures work best
  • Phone number or e-mail;
  • Reward, if found.
  1. Search the neighborhood.

Go door-to-door with your flyer in the neighborhood where your dog was last seen.  Also, walkers and runners cover a lot of ground and so don’t be afraid to approach them when canvassing an area. When calling out for your dog, make sure you also bring a favorite toy (especially if it makes a sound). Also, allow for quiet time so you can hear any sounds your pet might be making.

  1. Contact the previous owner.

Depending on how you obtained your dog, whether it was from a shelter or an individual, call them immediately.  It’s not unusual for the dog to make their way back to a place they are familiar with.

  1. Contact relevant community organizations.

Contact your local animal shelters and animal control facilities, vet clinics, and police departments to report your dog missing. Visit their offices in person and give them a photo of your dog and your contact information.  Calling the animal control department or shelter on the phone is not enough.

Plan to visit the shelters within a 20-mile radius every other day.  Many shelters are very busy and the person you talked to the day you visited may not be the same person working there tomorrow.

  1. Instruct everyone that is helping you to NOT call or chase your dog

Your dog will already be extremely stressed and will likely run if anyone, including you, calls its name or chases it. Tell people that if they see your dog, they should sit or lay down (no eye contact) and gently toss out tasty treats to the side of the dog to lure it to them.

  1. Use the  power of social media

Post to all your social media channels.  Not on social media? Find someone who is.  Social media has mobilized many animal lovers to keep an eye out for missing animals. Be sure to post updates on any recent sightings.

Also, please complete the Lost Dog form and we will list the information on ClevelandDogBlog.com and post to our social media sites.

  1. Post to other lost and found websites

Also contact the city hall of the city where the dog was last seen. They may have a lost and found website.

  1. Try not to panic

The found-dogodds are in your favor. The ASPCA conducted a survey of 1,015 pet households, and the findings of its five-year effort are published in the June 2012 issue of the
journal Animals.

Among the key findings:

  • Percentages of lost dogs versus lost cats were nearly identical: 14 percent for dogs and 15 percent for cats.
  • 93 percent of dogs and 75 percent of cats reported lost were returned safely to their homes.
  • Only 6 percent of dog owners and 2 percent of cat owners found their lost pets at shelters.
  • 15 percent of dogs were found because they were sporting identification tags or microchips.