Your beloved dog is missing, and all you can feel is panic about their safety. It is difficult to think about what to do, but you know you need to take action fast. There are several essential steps to take, and the faster you act, the better the chance that your dog will return safely.
Shadow is an app that will help you every step of the way. Shadow lets you create an emergency alert that will go out to all users and volunteers in your area, create a customized action plan and give you the tools to create a lost pet finder. Go to https://shadowapp.com to download the app and get started.
Creating a flyer may seem like an old-fashioned way to look for a lost pet, but research shows that it is still one of the most successful tools for reuniting lost pets with their families. To create a flyer, you will need the following:
· A recent close-up picture of your pet.
· Plastic folder covers to protect the flyer.
· A colored ink printer, or go to a store to have the flyers printed.
· Procure a staple gun and duct tape to secure the flyers to poles, signs, storefronts, bulletin boards, and anywhere else that will let you post the flyer.
· Use brightly colored paper or plain paper taped to a brightly colored poster board.
Once you have assembled the tools for the flyer, you need to know what to put on the flyer.
· The best picture you have of your pet
· Your name and contact information
· The location where your pet went missing
· Any vital medical information about your pet, including if they must have medication for a condition
· If your pet is skittish or aggressive, mention it in the flyer. Ask whoever sees your pet to call you immediately without approaching the dog
· Consider offering a reward and posting the amount.
Use bold and large typeface for the words “Missing,” and “Reward Offered.” You want to catch people’s attention so that they will stop to read the flyer. Call friends and family and have them help you distribute the flyers.
Use the digital copy of the flyer to post on social media. Check for lost and found pets pages on Facebook and post your dog on every group that you can find. Follow the group rules and bump and repost as frequently as the group allows.
Take the flyers with you when looking for your lost dog. Hand one to other people you encounter, especially if they are walking their dog. Ask them to keep a look-out, or give them extras and ask if they would consider putting a few up. Once you have covered the immediate area where your pet went missing, it is time to branch out.
Visit all shelters within a 20-mile radius. Visually check for your pet, and ask them to post a copy of your flyer. Go to every dog park and popular dog walking area in your area and post the flyers there. Other pet owners will be a valuable resource in helping you get your beloved pet back home.
Go to every veterinarian’s office and dog groomer in your area and ask that they post a flyer of your missing pet. Many veterinarians offer bulletin boards for lost and missing pets. Pet stores are another excellent place to post flyers.
Keep the faith. There are plenty of stories of pets being returned to their owners weeks, months, and even years after they go missing. Replace flyers that get taken down or damaged by the elements. Keep working your lost pet app and social media. Once your pet is home, make sure you address how they managed to escape and take them for a well-pet visit to your veterinarian.