Happy Howl – O- Ween

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Helping Lost Pets (HeLP) Can Help Your Shelter Reunite Pets and Families

969673_529650997093809_387608333_nWhy would a shelter want to improve their RTO (Return To Owner) rate? 

Goodwill, positive press and donations are generated when an animal control agency or shelter takes a proactive approach to reuniting lost pets with their families. Heartwarming stories and photos (easily posted on Facebook) elevate the reputation of the facility from “dog catcher” to compassionate life-savers.  Plus, of course, getting lost pets out of the shelter and back home frees up resources for shelter staff and volunteers to help those animals that are truly homeless.

Whether your shelter is already proactively helping owners to find their missing pet or expect the owner to come to your shelter to check every few days Helping Lost Pets (HeLP) can assist you and your community.

HelpingLostPets.com (HeLP) has built the much needed solution to connect shelters, veterinary clinics, volunteer groups, pet rescues and every pet business together so that everyone can access the same lost and found listings. It’s FREE for all and its map based.

Here are the TOP 6 Reasons Your Shelter should join:

1) HeLP provides a means for people anywhere, anytime to search for their missing pet. Shelter Found Listings, Public Found, Adoptable, Deceased and Sightings are all available.

2) Well organized and experienced volunteers and volunteer groups, such as Lost Dogs of Wisconsin,  are already using HeLP in conjunction with their Facebook Page and other means to get pets home.

3) No double entry needed. The purpose of HeLP is not to replace your current systems, but to connect to them automatically. For smaller shelters with no system, it means they can now have technology they could never afford.

4) FAST and EASY Setup. Your shelter can be set up in just a few minutes to begin to take advantage of Public Lost Listings, reducing the number of Lost Reports you need to take over the phone. Automating your Found Listings can be done at a later date and will depend upon your current system. Our software and services to your shelter are always FREE.

5) Eliminating County and Municipal Borders means Pet Owners and Volunteers save time. This increases the pets that will get home and also decreases the time they will be in your shelter.

6) Pet Owners can provide additional Private Contact Information Available only to Shelters and Veterinarian Clinics. You can access this information as soon as your shelter joins using this link: www.HelpingLostPets.com/ORG . For pets that have invalid microchip registration information or no microchip or tags, this allows your shelter to quickly connect.

Together, we can help more lost pets get home!

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How Are We Doing? Year to Date September 2014

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Use AmazonSmile to Help Lost Dogs Every Time You Shop

ldowAmazonAmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Lost Dogs of Wisconsin every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Lost Dogs of Wisconsin. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You can also click on the AmazonSmile image found in the side bar of our website. You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you can also select Lost Dogs of Wisconsin to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. AmazonSmile will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation.

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to Lost Dogs of Wisconsin. Special terms and restrictions may apply.

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The Wait Command – It Might Save Your Dog’s Life

sparkle.sit.01.2013Does your dog run out an open door the second he gets the opportunity? Or does your dog pull you out the door when it’s time for his daily walk or outside potty break? If so, it’s time to teach a simple cue that might even save your dog’s life. By teaching your dog to pause at the doorway with a “wait” cue, you will be teaching your dog manners. A simple pause at the doorway helps to teach your dog impulse control so that he learns that to get what he wants, he must be polite and exercise a bit of self-control and manners. You can use it when you are opening the door to retrieve mail or when your dog potties on a walk and you must pick it up. Wait is quite simply just a pause in forward motion. (Stay means to actually hold a position like sit.)

Another benefit of teaching wait can be a more enjoyable walk with your dog. One of the most common behavioral problems in dogs is called leash reactivity, which is when a dog becomes overly aroused when seeing another dog or a person. Getting some control before you ever leave the house by having your dog pause at the doorway and go out for a walk in a calm state can set the tone for entire walk.

Wait is a very simple and useful cue to teach your dog. Here’s what to do:

1. Put your dog on a LOOSE leash and walk towards the door. Cue the dog to wait, and open the door about three inches. If the dog moves forward, immediately close the door.
2. When the dog backs up, open the door.
3. Repeat until the dog pauses and checks in with you with a pause and/or eye contact.
4. Once the dog has paused, release the dog with an “OK” and proceed through the doorway. No treats are needed. This is what we call a life reward, because the dog gets to go outside.
NOTE: Use the door and your body to show the dog what you want, NOT by pulling on his leash. Let your dog think. Allowing your dog to problem solve is an extremely effective way for your dog to learn. Once your dog is successfully waiting, you can raise the criteria by adding distractions such as asking your dog to wait when there is a person at the door or when you throw his favorite toy out the door.

If your dog does run out the door every time he has the opportunity, you may need to address an underlying reason for this behavior. Dogs that live in a sensory-deprived environment often will run out for some excitement every chance they get. Adding some mental stimulation daily through food toys, frozen Kongs, and food hunting games will make home more exciting for your canine companion. Ensuring your dog gets regular walks is also a way to prevent a dog that escapes to the outside world every chance he gets. Last but not least, if your dog’s behavior causes the family or even the entire neighborhood to engage in a fun game of chase, then he’s being rewarded for darting out the door.

If your dog does get out an open door and get lost, file a report with Lost Dogs of Wisconsin immediately. We are a free service that can help you find your missing dog.

Also, Elmbrook Humane Society offers various resources from private consultations to training classes to help with training techniques; to learn more call 262-782-9261.

Carol Sumbry – CPDT – KA
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

www.poochped.com – Dog Training and Pet Sitting
www.apdt.com – Member Association of Pet Dog Trainers

www.ebhs.org - Elmbrook Humane Society

Posted in Prevention

How Are We Doing? Year to Date August 2014

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Eddie’s Story

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Eddie, a Jack Russell Terrier is a lucky dog. He gets to accompany his owner to work every day to the Mukwonago Industrial Park and hang out with the guys.  But on August 27th, Eddie went missing, and the search was on. Despite flyering and calling all of the authorities, Eddie seemed to have vanished into thin air.

Fast forward eleven days to Brookfield Wisconsin. Lost Dogs of Wisconsin was attending a fundraising event for Elmbrook Humane Society called Wagfest.  Thousands of dog lovers attend this outdoor event each year accompanied by their canine friends.  We were doing free microchip scans and at times the line was long. People and dogs waited patiently for their turn. We had placed flyers of our “still missing” dogs on the legs of our pop-up tent in the hopes that people would take a minute to look at the pictures and see if they recognized any.

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One woman, Donna (pictured below), was waiting for her dog’s turn and suddenly announced that she knew where Eddie was. She pointed to his flyer and remembered that one of her coworkers had picked up Eddie while they were doing a paving job in Mukwonago. Eddie had actually jumped into the worker’s car and eaten his breakfast burrito! Eddie’s finder took good care of Eddie during the time he had him.

Donna quickly made a few calls and confirmed that yes indeed it was Eddie and arrangements were made to get him back to his owner. The whole process took less than an hour.

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Eddie’s story had a wonderful ending.  It is a good reminder that it doesn’t matter whether your dog is simply lost or has been picked up by a Good Samaritan;  generating sightings through flyers and signs is the key to a successful recovery. All it takes is ONE call, ONE lead, ONE tip – to set the wheels in motion to get your lost dog back home. Keep flyering, and using signs and posters, until you get the ONE tip that you need.

Never Give Up! Your missing dog is depending on you to bring him safely home.

Posted in Reunion Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Our Wish List

our-wish-listIn addition to a need for monetary funds, Lost Dogs of Wisconsin always has a need for the following items. If you would like more information on donating items from our wish list, please email us at lostdogswi@gmail.com.  Thank you in advance for your support!

Trail Cameras:  We loan trail cameras to our lost dog owners to set up in areas where sightings occur.  Then we can establish a pattern of behavior for the missing dog and implement a plan to catch them.

Microchip Scanner:  Lost Dogs of Wisconsin provides free microchip scans at pet-related events. Having multiple scanners reduces wait time at these very popular events and/or allows our volunteers to be at more than one event per weekend.

Office Supply Store Gift Cards:  Although most of the help we provide is via computer we do still print educational materials to pass out at our events.  Also, some owners need help to be able to afford printing and supplies for road signs and flyers.  Our volunteers also incur out of pocket expenses by printing out flyers to help owners in need.

Postage Stamps

We are also on GoodSearch and AmazonSmiles so you can support us while you shop.

If you would like to make a monetary donation please go to our Paypal link.  LDOW is a 501c.3 non-profit all-volunteer organization.  There is never any charge to anyone needing our help. We greatly appreciate your kindness and support.

Posted in Donations

Ten Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a Tracking Dog Service

1375911626rvuyxWe often get asked about tracking dog services for missing dogs.  Some of these services are good, some are not so good and some are out and out scams. They will cost many hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars depending on where they are located and the distance they have to travel. Most will also charge an initial phone consultation fee.  Some services will require that you purchase extra products like flyers and signs. Before you hire a tracking dog service to help find your missing dog, please do your homework.  Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Tracking dogs will not capture your dog. They may or may not be able to indicate whether your dog was in an area and the direction of travel. But you will still have to do the work of flyering the area, monitoring sightings,  establishing a feeding routine and trapping your dog.  Tracking dogs are not a magic pill.  If a service guarantees success, they are a scam.
  2. A tracking dog is kept on a long line and can only travel as fast as the handler travels. (consider the fitness level of the human on the other end of the leash). Rough terrain and extreme temperatures will be factors.  Most lost dogs will be able to easily outpace a tracking dog and handler.  Ask the tracking service if you can accompany them on the search with the handler and the dog. Be suspicious if they say no.
  3. Tracking dogs may be a poor choice for scared, lost dogs that are in survival mode. These dogs need to settle into an area and establish a feeding routine.  Tracking dogs may  pressure them out of the area that they may have settled in. You will then have to start all over in a new area with flyering and signs to generate sightings.
  4.  Be very skeptical of services that tell you they will have to keep coming back to “confirm” a scent. Each of these visits may cost you more money and you risk your dog being pressured again out of an area that he may have settled in. You will then have to start over using flyers and signs to generate new sightings.
  5.  There is no accredited school for training scent dogs for finding lost dogs.  Trackers often claim success when it was actually flyers or another method of generating sightings that brought the dog home. Check references and successes thoroughly. Personally check with at least five or six references via telephone. Do not rely on online “reviews”  or recommendations.
  6. Reputable tracking dog services will have a contract for you to review and sign and will take credit cards. Make sure you have a clear idea up front of what the total cost will be.  Never send cash or wire transfer money. 
  7. Tracking dogs have much greater success at finding lost cats (who hide when scared) than lost dogs (who run when being pressured).  Ask the tracking dog service what their success rate is.  If they guarantee they will find your dog, or quote an overly optimistic success rate, they are probably a scam.
  8.  Tracking success depends on many things: the weather, the length of time the dog was in the area, the terrain and environment.  The service should give you an honest assessment of what you are dealing with. The longer your dog has been missing the less likely the tracking dog will be able to pick up a scent
  9. Search and rescue dogs are certified for human recovery only and will not normally be  used for tracking missing pets. If someone tells you they will bring their search and rescue dog to look for your missing dog, be extremely skeptical. Ask to see their training records and their certification.
  10. Some tracking dog services, lost pet services and pet detectives prey on the distraught owner by making unsolicited contact with them from their missing dog flyers.  Be VERY careful. Many of these are scams, or at the very least – very expensive services that do what you can do yourself for a fraction of the cost.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stay calm, do your research and spend your money wisely.   Generating sightings is the key to a successful recovery. Consider how many flyers, signs, newspaper ads or even billboards  could be purchased with the money you would spend on a tracking dog service.  Your lost dog is depending on you to bring him safely home.

Our tips, ideas and articles are based on information gathered from thousands of successful lost dog recoveries. Any advice or suggestions made by Lost Dogs of Wisconsin/Lost Dogs Illinois is not paid-for professional advice and should be taken at owner’s discretion.

Posted in Tracking Dog Services | Tagged , , , , ,

How Are We Doing? Year to Date July 2014

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