1) Colors and Breed
Because you want your flier to attract passersby who are most likely in a hurry, it is best to keep text simple and succinct. Only include essential information; there will be a section to include more detail later. For this reason, a good rule is to keep descriptions of Color and Breed under five words. For example, use Light Yellow Labrador Retriever or White & Tan Jack Russell Terrier.
2) Pet’s Name
Enter the name your dog is MOST likely to answer to. This way, if someone has seen your poster and spots your missing pup, they’ll (ideally) call out the name he’s used to hearing. If your dog’s full name is Reginald Duke III, but everyone at home calls him “Dukie,” it’s best to put the name that he is used to being called by.
3) Date and Location
Since missing dogs tend to travel, it’s best to enter a major intersection or a well-known business or street for the last seen location. Putting “at his loving family’s home” will not help. Make sure it’s a location that people can recognize and will remember.
Enter any information that you think would be useful in identifying your dog. Include a brief description of size (small, medium, large), coat type, any color patches or scars, etc. If your dog usually wears a collar, include what color or pattern.
**Remember to leave one bit of useful information off of the flier to identify your dog later. For example, if your dog has brown spots on her belly, say your dog has a little brown in her coat, but don’t specify where. If someone contacts you and claims they have found your dog, use the information you withheld to verify. In this case, ask what part of her coat is brown. This strategy will help protect you against people looking to scam you.**
5) Contact Information
For your safety, only include your first name and a telephone number where you can most easily be reached, such as your cell phone. If you check your e-mail frequently, you may also want to include an e-mail address.
If you decide to offer a reward, indicate so on your flier. Never post any amount of reward, as you may just attract scammers looking for money.
Upload a recent photo of your dog. Make sure that the photo shows your entire pet so that people may identify him or her easily. If you don’t have a digital photo to upload, you can also print out the final flier and paste a photo on before photocopying.
8) Final Touches
Once you’ve completed and printed your Lost Dog Flier, there is one more thing you can do to ensure that your sign gets noticed. Attach your new 8½-by-11-inch flier to a larger piece of colored poster board. Fluorescent colors work best, and will ensure that as many people as possible know to keep an eye out for your dog!
9) Posting Fliers
Fliers should be posted on poles about chest height to be visible to everyone. Post fliers near your home, busy intersections, parks, schools or local business areas that your dog could have wandered to. Hand them out to neighbors, mailmen or delivery men who travel through your area. Also share them with local shelters or veterinarians in case your dog is brought in. Enlist friends and family to help you post and handout fliers.
Now that you have your DogChannel flier, remember, the most important part of any search for a missing dog is being persistent and never giving up hope. Good luck!