Posted by Margaret Mobley on 6/10/2017
to Travel & Outdoors
How to prevent lost dog scenarios that we read about on Facebook…
It seems that Facebook posts are full of runaway dog pleas for help as soon as the
weather turns warmer. Why? Perhaps it is because the nice temperatures mean you and your dogs go outdoors more often. Or when a beloved indoor dog is permitted in the yard alone, they venture further than they would if someone were with them. Vacationing families who take their dogs along find that with a change of routine and scenery, a pooch’s behavior also changes. Whatever the reason, it is always a very sad story to read when someone is looking for their lost dog and when dogs are found running loose while looking for their owners.
Keeping your pet close to you
Among the postings for lost dogs, there are explanations like, “Doogie got out,” Fluffy ran away,” “Rosie dug out,” and “on vacation, slugger got away!” All of the reasons for the dog’s disappearance can be prevented if only the owners had kept a watchful eye on their furry buddy, restrained them on a leash and harness in crowds or were aware of their canine’s curiosity and fears when left in a fenced yard!
- If your yard is properly fenced with a physical barrier, your pet may be accidentally let out when a visitor or contractor does not know to be sure the gate stays closed.
- If you are walking to the mailbox with your dog unleashed and beside you, a passing squirrel or other temptation may cause them to give chase and end up so far away that you cannot find them.
- On nights when neighborhood fireworks are going to be part of the festivities, bring your dog inside so they won’t get frightened away with the loud noises.
- The same is true if you are caught away from home while your dog is left in your yard during a thunderstorm. Loud noises can make any sized breed or mix skittish and their first instinct is to get away and hide.
- On trips, put your pup’s leash on them before you let them out of the car. Similarly, be sure they are securely leashed and trained to “heel” when you walk them in new territory or in crowds.
Where to go for help to locate your pup
If you can, enlist your neighbors or family that is travelling with you to fan out and call for your beloved tail wagger to come to you. This is the perfect time to use their name repeatedly when calling them. If you are in between home and destination in your car, you will either have to change your arrival time or leave word with someone local who is near where you last saw your pet, so they can be
on the lookout. Leave flyers around a large radius of where you lost your dog and notify the local Animal Shelter authorities. Post your pup’s picture and lost location information on Facebook. Notify any local “Lost Pets” media that is nearest to the town where your buddy disappeared.
What to do when you find a lost dog
When a stray four-legged pet shows up in your neighborhood, appears to be wandering around the shopping area or is wandering aimlessly along a street, check for three things:
1. Does the pet have a collar, with or without a tag? If so, then they definitely have an owner somewhere.
2. Does the pet appear to be healthy and cared for? Take the pet immediately to a veterinarian to have them check for a microchip.
3.Does the healthy pet have neither a collar nor a microchip, make a decision about where they should go.
Next steps include taking them into your own home and broadcasting the poor fur baby’s picture and details about where they were found on your town’s “lost Pets” media, on Facebook or other social media that you use frequently. Let people know where to find the animal, whether at your home phone number or at the name and number of the shelter where you may decide to take them.
We have found that in our area (South Georgia) happy reunions are plentiful thanks to social media because there is such a broad reach of people who know people in other areas, plus most of our friends and family have pets and can empathize with other dog lovers.
Please be aware that during summer activities, your doggie is a willing participant with vacations, pool parties, celebrations and social gatherings, as long as you have them comfortably close to you and under supervision. After all, we have more fun when our pets join the festivities, right?