- Call all surrounding town police departments and alert them (calling up to six is not a bad idea). Give the breed, size, sex, color, name and where it was lost and last seen. Give your name and phone number in case they find it. If the police department does not ask you what your phone number is, then call BACK and make sure they have it and understand why. Continue to call each day or every other day to find out updates. They won't LOOK for your pet. They'll only pick it up if they see it.
- Call the local animal shelter and humane society to alert them.
- Call all nearby park workers to alert them in case your pet ran into a park
- If you have internet access, register your pet in WWW.Petfinder.com
Make flyers which include:
-LOST PET announcement -your pet's picture -your pet's name, size, sex
-date it became missing -where and when last seen
-your phone number, beeper number -a note saying to call ANYTIME A.S.A.P
-(optional) a note saying to please try to get the pet if seen
-a note saying REWARD (but one that does not specify what or how much)
-a note saying "may be cold and hungry". People's hearts go out to that.
-(optional) note saying "to check your backyards"
*** flyer should not look crowded. Type it out, bold important parts, italicize others. Make sure the picture comes out clear and is large enough to get an idea of what pet looks like *****
Make 500 copies TO START (The office super-stores are inexpensive $.02 -.05/copy). Don't be surprised if you end up making 2000 copies.
- Put flyers in the mailboxes of the houses in the area where your pet was last seen. If you receive calls of sightings, extend this to those areas.
- Make sure you have an answering machine ON AT ALL TIMES. If possible, have someone who can always check it and can get in touch with you if there is a sighting. If possible, have someone who can always respond to these calls. You may have to take a couple days off or rotate days off with someone who can help you.
- Put flyers on poles, near mailboxes, stop signs (eye level to cars), bus stops, park benches ...anywhere where groups of people frequent.
- Put flyers in business windows in the town the dog was seen and in at least one nearby town. It is likely your pet will travel to the next town.
- Give flyers to children playing on the streets, to those riding bikes (some will post it on the front of their bikes!!). Children and teenagers love to make adventures out of looking for something. Teenagers will either sympathize or have the extra incentive from the prospect of a reward. Most of all, they are always outside, where your dog is.
- Give flyers to postal workers in the area. Remember, every town is divided into different sections. Every section has a postal worker. Try to reach all of them as they are working to give them the flyers and ask them to help. They will have a good chance of spotting lost pets since they are always out driving the areas.
- Do the same for UPS workers.
- Do the same for construction workers.
- Put an announcement and picture in your local newspaper and a county newspaper with the same info. in the flyers. (They can cost anywhere from $7 - $30)
- Walk day and night looking for your dog in the area you think he is. Call him, bring his toy to squeak it. Bring your relatives or friends to help you look. Have a flashlight. Be safe. Don't go to dark corners by yourself. Most likely your dog will be out early morning to afternoon and sleeping at night.
- Drive your car around looking for your pet. Have others do the same (but make sure someone is always home for the telephone calls).
- Respond immediately to any phone calls regarding sightings. Some people may call and say they saw the dog "2 hours ago". Though the dog may have moved on, check that area anyway. It's a clue to where he/she might be.
- Bring pictures of your dog with you (the real one, not newspaper one). People who call you might actually see other people's lost dogs!!!! If you talk to someone face to face and show them the actual picture, he/she can positively identify your pet. A black and white photocopy is not as accurate.
- The best thing to do when your pet is missing is to get the community involved. Tell people, report it to as many relevant organizations as possible and constantly call them to check updates. Get it in the paper, put flyers EVERYWHERE. The more people who know who your dog is and what he looks like, the more chances you will have of someone spotting him and calling you or picking him up. You will be amazed at how much support you will get from the community. People will come out of the woodwork to help you and to look for the dog on their own, whether you are aware of it or not. There will be times when you feel like you are getting somewhere...and there will be times when you'll feel like you are looking for a needle in a haystack Anything you do is a step in the right direction. Your dog is a family member. Don't give up.