SAFELY HOME© FINDING
DOGS Courtesy of Wildwood Pet Network revised 7/05
Use the internet,
post your missing dog on: (You may need
to renew your post).
Lost and Found.com
Getting the Word Out
A. Make a report to your police and animal control. Most departments keep a missing animal log.
Use these non emergency numbers if you live near these areas. Please provide us with phone numbers for your neighborhood so that we can update this resource for other families.
B. Check every other day at all local shelters.
· Clermont County 513.732.8854
C. Call the ER animal hospitals. (East Kemper 530-0911, Grady's 931-8675 and Redbank 561-0069).
D. Call these shelters.
· League for Animal Welfare (513) 735-2299
· Paws Adoption Center Inc. (513) 422-7297
E. Find out who in your city is responsible for animal remains removal, call them. If your city has a website ask to post a photo and info there.
F. We suggest an ad in all local papers, post flyers with a photo in page protectors (open side taped closed) or laminated is even better, on fluorescent poster board cut 2” larger than the flyer. Post on every corner within a 5 mile radius. Go door to door (not alone) 1 block in all directions for each day the animal has been missing passing out flyers. Don't worry if you get emotional when you're talking to people they'll understand. Walking and person to person contact are key, I don't recall any animal being found by driving up and down streets.
G. Use Mapquest's yellow page feature and pull up all pet related businesses within 25 miles and get flyers to them. Don't be overwhelmed by the numbers of possible contacts, you'll find that some are duplicates. Besides, the more people who know, the greater the chances are of someone seeing the animal and taking action to protect them.
H. Use Mapquest to get detailed maps of the area where the animal was last seen. Note dates, times & locations of reported sightings
I. Get flyers to people who are regularly in your neighborhood, postal workers, utility, cable, phone, school bus drivers, UPS, FedEx, etc.
J. Make description/contact cards for family, friends and co workers. Ask them to pass them along. When someone sees the animal they have the contact info handy. Email your flyer to the same group, ask them to forward (this works well).
If They Are Still Close To Home
A. Lost animals are trying to finds sounds and smells which remind them of home. Tie two of your dirty socks together and secure them outside at the base of your mailbox pole or on a stake. You'll need to change these out every couple of days. Another scent suggestion which has worked well is to sprinkle some of you own urine around the yard. For obvious reasons do this discretely.
B. If there is another animal in the family they are friends with put the buddy in a sturdy carrier or on a sturdy leash (you don't want two missing animals) and during good weather set them in a protected place outside for short periods of time. Stay close and see what happens. If there isn't a buddy, then you sit outside and read out loud. Remember, they're trying to find familiar sounds and smells. Calling their name repeatedly isn't what it sounds like the inside of your house. Shaking treats, rattling food in their bowl or squeaking a favorite toy are good ideas.
Physically Catching Dogs
A. Dogs are much easier to catch than cats, however they usually won't come running to you once you find them. Never call or attract your dog if they are across the street from you, this is how dogs get hit by cars. You cross to them. Dogs see the lost and found situation as either a game called "you chase me" or the "I'm in big trouble now" problem. For these reasons when you see your dog don't approach, drop down and baby talk them to you. If they don't move, stand, turn around and begin to walk away slowly, most dogs will follow. Always have a leash, treats and a favorite squeaky toy as incentives. Check over your shoulder to see if they are following. If they are, drop down but don't turn, see if they will come closer, continue coaxing gently, never speak loudly. If they get within reach grab them and hold on for dear life. They may bite as a stress reaction but hold on anyway. Be prepared for them to be injured or ill. Bring a plastic sled with blankets to move a large, injured dog. Blankets or bath towels will work for small to medium sized dogs who can be carried.
B. When you begin to get reports of sightings (never go alone and always let someone know where you're going) we recommend setting a Have A Heart Trap with smelly food and a couple of your dirty socks (our feet smell the most like us) or a cloth with your urine on it. Ask well meaning people not to set food out, the point is to get them into the trap. This phase is nerve wracking because we usually catch other animals before we catch the animal we're after. Tape your flyer in a page protector (and a notice not to let any trapped animal out) to the trap which you've also locked to something. Check the trap at least 3 times each day. If you have coyote problems (and we do) don't set the trap after or before dawn. Email for additional help in your specific case.
Does This Really Work?
Yes. We've been doing this since 1996 and have helped families find over 90% of the animals reported missing to us. It is hard work but this system works. Each missing animal teaches us something that helps us find other animals so it's very important to follow up with details once your animal been found. The key to finding any animal is to think about who your dog really is, how they react to things, what time of the day is your dog most active, does your dog like to lay in the sun or the shade, is your dog bold or shy, etc? I can help you with this part of the process.
How Long Does It Take?
We usually find dogs within 10 days after the family begins using our system. The earlier we get involved the better. Keep track of everything you're doing, people you've talked to (with phone#s), delegate some of this work to trusted family or friends, get rest, eat well and we think prayer and meditation are good ideas. We suggest ‘Please get (insert your dog’s name here) to someone who can help (him/her)’. Some families have used psychics with good results. If you'd like a referral, let me know.
Good luck and keep in touch
Wildwood Pet Network
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