Losing a pet is a devastating ordeal. Many owners are not sure where to begin searching for their lost pets. This page aims to provide detailed suggestions that pet owners can take to recover lost pets. Following the article, GSRCA will provide a current listing of lost and found pets that we have been asked to assist.
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The most important thing one should know is...as soon as one discovers their pet is missing, take action immediately. Starting the search right away dramatically increases the chances of a pet being recovered safely.
Why do pets run away and where do they go?  By identifying the reason a pet may be missing, you may gain clues as to where to search. Pets may leave home for some of the following reasons.
- Boredom or loneliness
- Sexual urges, if the pet is unaltered
- Sudden unexpected events that frighten them
- Curiosity (if doors, gates or windows are not secure)
- New home that is unfamiliar to them
- Taken from home
Facts to consider
- Most dogs are recovered within a 2 mile circle of their home.
- Dogs with current ID tags and collars are reunited with their owners more often that those without tags. However, even dogs that wear a collar with a tag are often found without their collar,for various reasons.
- Outgoing, friendly dogs are likely to be in areas where people are. They will be looking for food, shelter and comfort. Parks, neighbors yards and schools are common areas.
- Shy or older dogs will probably be hiding. Look under cars and bushes and in areas that are not heavily populated.
- Many times, well-meaning strangers will pick up a lost dog, taking him out of the nearby search area.
- People that find lost pets will often take them to their local vets, animal hospitals, kennels, groomers, pet stores, rescue organizations and animal shelters. The location of these sites may or may not be in the region of the dogs’ home.
- Rarely people will try to keep a pet that is not theirs.
- The search area should expand the longer the pet has been missing.
- Finally, the possibility that a pet has been in harms way exists. This is true in only a minority of cases.
What are the steps in finding a lost pet?   The more eyes and ears involved in the search, the greater the chances of a safe recovery. Getting others involved is of paramount importance.
1.   As soon as the pet is discovered missing, walk the neighborhood, calling the dog. Go door to door, alerting everyone. Having a photo of the pet and information where the owner can be reached is helpful.
2.  Drive the neighborhood, calling the dog's name. Dogs that love to ride often recognize the distinct sound of their vehicle.
3.  Call surrounding vets, pet stores, groomers, animal shelters and give a description of the lost pet, when he/she was lost and information where the owner can be reached.
4.  Make signs. Large eye catching signs need to be placed in key locations. Examples of such locations are neighborhood corners, major intersections where traffic signals are located, school bus stops, entrances to grocery stores, parks or any highly public place. Signs work best when a photo of the pet (or one that looks like the pet) is placed on the sign. The words "REWARD" or "NEEDS MEDICATION" get people's attention.
5.  Flyers need to be printed with a description and photo of the dog, when and where the dog was last seen, also including the word, "REWARD". These flyers need to be mailed or hand delivered to surrounding vets, kennels, groomers and pet stores.
**NOTE:  Persons located in bi-linqual communities need flyers and signs posted in both languages. Many search engines on the internet translate text immediately and for free.
6.  Visit shelters. The importance of this step can not be stressed enough. Don’t rely on the person answering the phone at the shelter to know about or look for the lost pet. Shelters should be visited in person every 3-4 days. As part of checking with the local animal shelter, asking about the list of deceased animals picked up may sound like a grim exercise. The majority of lost pets are not on that list but, if a beloved pet has passed on, those who care need to know. Each time the lost pet is not on that list, there is even more reason to continue the search.
7.  Contact rescue organizations, especially breed specific. Often finders notify rescue groups that a lost pet is found.
8.  Placing newspaper ads for lost pets are usually free. Be careful of callers claiming to have the pet. There are people who use these ads to scam reward money. *Be sure to regularly check the "found" ad section as well.
9.  Internet lost and found sites are another avenue. Some well known free sites are Petfinder.com, Alabama Pet Registry, Dog Detective, The Internet Lost and Found, just to mention several. A company called Sherlock Bones assists for a small fee by preparing mailers and posters and sending them to as many as 1,000 locations. Click here for links to these well-known pet recovery sites.
How can losing a pet be prevented?
- Neuter males and spay female pets.
- Be on guard when bringing home a new pet or if moving into a new home. Pets are creatures of habit and this upsets the balance they are accustomed to. Be certain the collar is tight enough the dog can't slip out of it. And always -- every single time a door is opened, put a leash on the dog. Hold the leash tightly in the event the dog tries to bolt. This is the most common way a dog in a new setting escapes. This practice should be taught to the children and every member of the household and done without fail until the dog is comfortable in his or her new home.
- Make life interesting by adding distractions, rotating toys or occasionally adding a new chew bone.
- Think carefully about leaving a pet unattended in a car. If a pet is lost out of unfamiliar territory, locating him or her is going to be even more difficult.
- Having high quality fences, doors, windows and gates are essential. Add hinges to yard gates so they are always closed. Make repairs promptly, leaving nothing to chance.
Now, about identification   One of the most important elements in the recovery of a lost pet are ID tags. Tags make things convenient for good citizens who want to help your pet get home.
- Keep tags updated with two telephone numbers, address, city and state.
- The best tags are of steel and slide onto the collar itself. (You may think your dog is friendly, but a stranger who is trying to help a frightened and confused stray and may not want to get under its chin to look at a tiny tag. Make it easy. Let them get your number without getting close to the dog's mouth.)
- The next best tag is made of heavy plastic and has a strong link.
- Microchipping a pet is a wonderful back-up to have should a pet escape without his/her collar. Most vets, shelters and rescue organizations are equipped with scanners that will read most chips, should the finder of the lost pet take him/her to one of these places.
- Take pictures of your pet. Store them digitally for quick access.
These suggestions are by no means all inclusive, but offer a good starting point. GSRCA empathizes with every pet owner that is looking for a lost pet and hopes for the pet's safe return. We are glad to post information on the GSRCA website that may lead to owner recovery of lost and found pets.
Please email us for assistance at email@example.com
Lost and Found Dogs
Roxy is a 10 month old Sable German Shepherd spayed female with a mostly black face. Last seen May 5, 2011 on County Road 545 in Hanceville AL (Center Hill community of Cullman County). Her collar and tag were found nearby, so she is without identification. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-962-0089 if you have seen her. She is vaccinated and you may also report her wherabouts to Animal Medical Hospital in Hanceville AL on Hwy 31 South. Reward offered for safe return, this is our beloved family pet.
18 month old male/not fixed German Shepherd. Answers to Remi or Remington. He is mostly black with cream color on his neck, legs and underbelly. He is approximately 70-75 lbs. Remi has been missing since Friday October 31, 2008 He was last seen at our home on Lee Rd. 832 off of Lee Rd 241 in the Salem area. He is friendly and wouldn't harm anyone, but shy around strangers. Any information would be appreciated as he means a lot to our family.
Reward is being offered to anyone who finds him!!!!
Ask for Ben or Laura
Please Leave a message if no answer!!
LOST SINCE MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 26, 2008 from Oneonta, AL. This is between Sand Valley and Heritage Golf. She is spayed, three years old, ~ 95 pounds. Her left ear does not stand up all the way. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing a red collar with a tag that read "Gina". If you have since Heidi, please contact GSRCA by email or her owner Steve at 205-625-8849
LOST SINCE SUNDAY, FEB 17, 2008 from Autauga County. Solid Black 5 year old unaltered male wearing red/orange collar. If seen, contact owners at 334-361-0757 REWARD OFFERED
MISSING SINCE DECEMBER 16, 2006
Boone is a seven year old tan/black German Shepherd that is missing from his home in Ashford, AL (near Dothan). He is ~ 75 pounds and has a small scar on his nose. Boone was having problems with his right ear at the time of his disappearance. His back legs are sensitive. He is a much loved family member and spoiled house dog. If found please call 334-899-8246, cell 334-701-1823 or 334-701-9984
Please keep an eye out for these dogs. Ava is a German Shepherd Rescue of Central Alabama dog that was adopted to the Pughs this past summer. ~ Chris Wilson, Sec. GSRCA
Two German Shepherds managed to get out of their back yard on Thursday December 7th in the mid morning from a subdivison in Pelham, AL 35124.
Haus-German Shepherd, male, 6 years old, he is mostly black with brown feet and brown under belly, he has some gray on his muzzle. He is about 90lbs and is very gentle and obedient.
Ava-German Shepherd, spayed female, 1 year old, she is solid brown with a little black on her back. She is much smaller than Haus at about 40 lbs. She is also missing her lower right canine tooth.
Neither dogs had on tags. They are very gentle and obedient and know all commands (sit, stay, lay down, etc…). They were last seen in the Wooddale subdivision in Pelham in the afternoon of Thursday the 7th.
If you think you may have seen one or both of these dogs, please contact the owner immediately!
Jacob & Stacy Pugh
205-296-1182 (Jacob cell)
205-451-6180 (Stacy cell)
205-995-5557 (Jacob work)
Missing since Thursday Oct 12 2006. Last seen around Rosemary Lane, Deese Road, Andrews Ave, & possibly Hwy 27 in Ozark, AL. Her name is “Smokey”. She is 6 years old, Black & Tan purebred shepherd with a little bit of white around her nose. Has a silver choke collar on with no tags on it. She is a big but friendly dog!
If you have seen her please call
774-1642 or 432-0054
UPDATE/SMOKEY HAS BEEN FOUND! We received an email on January 2, 2007 stating...
"I just wanted to thank all of you for being on the lookout, calls, emails, & prayers. I wanted to report GREAT NEWS… She has been found & is back at home. This is the German Shepard that has been missing since October 12th. I can’t thank everyone enough! She was found on HWY 27 on the same side as Vivian B Adams School. She is in GREAT shape!!! You don’t know how happy this made the entire family. Our four year old daughter keeps saying that we use to have 1 dog now we are back up to 2 & holds up her fingers!!! They & We are so excited. I just wanted to pass the good news.
Thank you again,
Scout is one of our rescued gsds who was adopted into his forever home in November 2003. January 27th, while hiking at Lake Martin near Kowliga Bridge (on the east, or Alexander City, side of the lake), Scout chased some deer into the woods. His family has been unable to find him. They have posted signs, searched and notified local humane societies, to no avail.
Scout is a gentle and smart dog. He has been neutered.Please contact GSRCA if you have seen Scout. He is a much loved family member!
January 5, 2006
Roxy is a young adult mostly white boxer, female. She has natural ears and a docked tail. She is all white except a black nose and brown patches over both eyes. She was not wearing her collar. She has been spayed. Roxy is a very friendly dog.
She was lost on I-65 between the Dodge City, AL and Hanceville, AL exits on January 5th. Roxy's owner had a tire blow out and Roxy exited the car via a half rolled down window. There have been no sitings of her to date, so we are assuming someone has her. We need to get the word out as fast and far as possible. Her owner desperately wants to find her and is offering a reward.
Because Boxers are generally not white, she could be mistaken for another breed.
Roxy's mom has taken all the appropriate steps thus far to locate her and continues to do so. She was lost in an area with many truck stops, so PLEASE, we need someone to contact the trucker community.
If you or anyone has seen Roxy, this is Kathy's contact information.