Missing or Lost Dog?

How to get your dog back when he goes missing.

Bernese Mountain DogWhen 12-year-old Cindy took her normally quiet and obedient , George, off-leash one afternoon last summer, he did the unthinkable: He ran away, frightened by a loud blast of thunder from a sudden and surprising storm.

Cindy chased after George, but the dog was too fast and quickly vanished. Panicked, Cindy stood on the corner in the rain and scanned the busy street where she lived. Where could her beloved dog have gone?

Fortunately, in this case, a kind neighbor had seen a frantic, wet dog dodging cars in the rainy street. He approached George and looked at his identification tag. Realizing he was Cindys dog, the neighbor escorted George home, put him inside the fence and tightly shut the gate. When Cindy returned home, she was greatly relieved to find George there safe and sound.

What would you do if your dog became lost? How would you find him?


Land of the Lost
The first thing is to stay calm. Chances are good that you’ll find your dog before he misses a meal. However, if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having your dog missing for more than a few hours, follow these steps.

Talk the talk. Make sure that you involve your mom and dad right away. Then, contact your neighbors and other people in the neighborhood, such as your mail carrier and local delivery people.

Walk the walk.
Check your dogs favorite haunts or places that are dog magnets. Does he like a particular neighbors yard, a nearby swimming pool, park, creek or trash dump? Also, check back often to the place where you last saw your dog. He may return to that spot to find you.

Arts and crafts.
Make fliers (like the one above). Keep it simple and clear. Include a picture of your dog, a phone number and the words Lost Dog. Make sure to write in big letters.

Head to your local copy center to make lots of copies. Put fliers on poles, in mailboxes, near stop signs (eye level to cars) and on park benches (find out about your city regulations first, though). With help from your parents, ask businesses particularly those that are pet-related to post your flier. Ask local veterinarians, groomers, trainers and pet stores to do the same. Also, try your local library and community centers.

Offer a reward.
If possible, offer a reward to the person who finds the dog. It is not necessary to specify the amount. Ask your parents about what would be a good reward.

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