Oh Say Can You See... That Dog Running Away in Fear aka Lost & Found

Ok so stuff happens, and in spite of all best efforts your pet is lost!! What do you do? What if you found a pet? First thing... Think LOST not STRAY. In Dallas the law requires you to make all effort to find the owner... if you believe the owner is negligent or abusive please contact animal control or your shelter...

You need an action plan, listed are some suggestions and resources if your pet goes missing.

  • MicroChip? - assuming your pet is microchipped, contact the chip company and report your pet lost. This will prevent anyone from being able to re register the chip. Some chip companies will also do a blast email in your area. All chip companies have a 24 hour reporting system either on line of by phone.
  • Call The Shelter. And file a LOST pet report. Larger shelters may have staff or volunteers who try to match lost and found reports.
  • Go To The Shelter. Breed descriptions do not always help and your dog may look different. A dog on the run will quickly become dirt, matted and skinny. They may also behave differently so your happy go lucky pup may be frightened or cowering in a shelter. Walk the rows of lost dogs you have the best chance of recognizing your pet.
  • All The Shelters. Depending on where you live you may want to check all shelters close to you. For example if you are in Arlington you may also want to check Grand Prairie, Mansfield and Fort Worth. A frightened dog can travel farther than you may think.
  • Social Media. Put it on your Facebook, Twitter and post on other sites. Visit Lost Dogs of Texas Facebook Page and you will find a ton of tips and a free resource for Flyers. You can also search to see if anyone posted your dog as Found. There also are pages by Cities For example Lost and Found Pets of Dallas or Lost and Found Pets of Fort Worth
  • Craigslist & Nextdoor- If your in a neighborhood that has Nextdoor use it.
  • Leave a Trail - if you have an idea of the area leave a scent trail using torn up used sheets or t shirts with your scent. Dogs can become disoriented when panicked. You can also leave their bed or favorite toys on the porch, an open gate or food bowls to lure them home.
  • Make A Copy- print or copy as many flyers as you can and post them around your hood. Hand them out to delivery people, sanitation workers and neighbors.
  • Rolling Billboard- Use "car markers" (available at most craft stores and I even think Walmart) to post a sign on your back windshield.
  • Hit the Road- Walk, drive or bike areas you frequent with your pet and check for a visual.
  • DO NOT CHASE- a dog on the run may not come when called.. they are scared and you need to advise others to not chase
  • LAY DOWN. If you do see your pet get low, sit or lay down on the ground.. let them catch your scent and come to you... it may take awhile but chasing only forces them out of the area
  • I Spy. Ask people to report visual sightings of your dog with locations. Use a mapping app to post sightings and narrow down your search area.