Dear Jo and all of our readers,
Last week we offered some advice to Jo about precautions she could take to prevent her new dog becoming lost. This week we want to talk about what to do if the worst case scenario happens and your dog comes up missing.
First, panic! Then get over that and start working. (You might also want to feel guilty, but you don’t have time at first, so save that for later.) There are many steps you can take to locate your missing dog. Swift action coupled with major neighborhood networking, will increase the odds. The key is to get the information out to as many people and places as you can. So enlist the help of friends, family and neighbors in your search.
Knock on doors and talk to the people in your own neighborhood first. Cover at least a three block radius, or if you are in a rural area, go to the nearest neighbors. Hand out flyers with your pet’s picture on them, the date of loss and your phone number, and offer a reward.
Give copies of your flyers to veterinarians, groomers, trainers, pet stores, the post office, the grocery store, and any place that gets neighborhood traffic and ask them to put them up. There is very good advice about how to turn your flyers into effective posters here.
Contact all of the Animal and Dog Control Officers, and all animal rescue groups, including the Oswego County Humane Society, in a 20 mile radius. Visit the local shelters in person, bring a picture and ask to see their animals. Don’t give a description over the phone; descriptions can be misinterpreted. Go back every couple of days.
Don’t assume that your Animal or Dog Control Officer will be looking for you. Under New York Law, they are required to hold the pets they find for five business days to give you time to find them. If your pet has no identification (or has lost it), the DCO’s and ACO’s that may have found your pet have no resources to conduct a search for you but they do love to reunite pets with their owners. So keep contacting them.
Many local media and shopping guides allow free “Lost and Found” ads. Also check the media listings for Found Dogs and Cats. Some people only look in the local media to locate an animal’s owner..
You can often register your pet online on services such as the online newspapers and Craig’s list and even upload a picture. You should also search the “found” section of these same online services. There are also online lost pet recovery services that charge a fee. One is www.petamberalert.com.
Do it all again and again.
Don’t give up. Lost pets have been found weeks, months, and occasionally years after they go missing. Good luck! When you find your missing best friend, that is when you can indulge in guilty feelings, but you won’t want to because you are so relieved.
Speaking of guilt, the Oswego County Humane Society is always in need of dry cat and kitten food for its foster cats and for low-income families in our county.
There will be a collection cart at the Fulton Price Chopper until May 4.
Stop by to chat with OCHS volunteers and make a donation if you can so you will have nothing to feel guilty about. And thanks for all you do already!
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other!