Lost And Found

Lost and found

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There are few scarier situations than when your dog gets out of your yard, slips out of the leash, darts out an open door or jumps out of your vehicle and is gone.  Your dog could be anywhere, but you know that your dog is not where he/she belongs, which is with you. 

If you have followed us, you know that despite all careful efforts taken by our fosters and volunteers, we have experienced escapee dogs. 

What can you do? 

First off, as soon as you notice that your dog is gone, stay calm and follow a plan.  Prepare a plan in advance so that when you are rattled by the disappearance of your dog, will still be able to spring into action quickly.  Have a list of phone numbers for vet clinics, the police and people to help you search written down. 

The initial period is critical because your dog will not have travelled too far on his/her adventure.  The longer your dog has been free, the larger the perimeter you will need to search.  Get out as quickly as possible to look for your dog. 

Your dog should always have an identification tag.  hart outfits each foster dog with a collar and tag as well as a harness and tag.  Hopefully you will get a call from a neighbor or passerby because they have your dog and are contacting you using the phone number on the identification tag.  If the number on the tag is a cell, carry that with you while searching.  If the number on the tag is a landline, either forward your phone or have someone man the landline.    

When a hart dog goes missing we set up "Command Central" and this person is responsible for dispatching volunteers to search areas as well as placing calls to the emergency vet clinics, regular vet clinics (depending on the time) and the police.  This person also sets up a profile on PetLynx (http://www.petlynx.net/) so that the dog if found or turned into Animal Control can be cross referenced.  We have found recently that facebook is a wonderful tool for getting information out to our supporters. 

While searching, take a photo of the dog, if you can, and make sure that you ask people if they have seen the dog as you will get your best leads this way.  Make sure that you take a leash and some dog treats or even a favorite squeaky toy to catch the attention of your dog.  Take some paper with you as well so you can make notes or leave your number with people to give you a call if they see the dog. 

If your dog is still missing and the day has turned to night and then day, make up a Lost Dog poster and get it out to any public place you can think of.  By putting the image of your missing dog out, it is likely that someone has seen your dog and will contact you.  Be specific on your poster by indicating the date your dog went missing, the location your dog went missing, a description of your dog and a summary of important behavior traits.  Of course, include a clear image of your dog.  Be sure to include a number that you can be reached. 

Prevention is the best way to keep your dog safe and sound, but when the unexpected does happen, be prepared and have a plan so that you can bring Fido home as quickly as possible.  

Written by hart at 00:00
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