Tips for Returning a Found Dog to the Rightful Owner

found dogYou found a loose dog, posted him with our software partner,  Helping Lost Pets and now you’ve received a phone call from a potential owner. Great job! What next? How do you make sure you are returning the dog to the right person?

When someone calls in response to an ad and/or flyer you have posted for the dog you found, ask the caller’s name and telephone number and tell him/her that you will call back right away. This will give you their information in case you need it later.

Call back and then let the person inquiring describe the dog including unique identifying characteristics. (i.e. scars, tattoo, behaviors, color patterns, etc.) If the dog was found with a collar, ask them to describe the collar colour and pattern.

Ask the owner to provide Proof of Ownership via email or text which should include some of the following documents:

  • Vet records (call their vet to confirm)
  • Rabies certificate or license
  • Adoption papers, registration papers, transfer of ownership or bill of sale
  • Photos (dated and w/family members)

Make arrangements to meet the owner at your local police parking lot, vet office, or a safe public place in the daylight. Be sure to let a friend or family member know where you are meeting or ask one of them to go along. If you meet at a police station, go into the police station first to inform them of what is happening so they can keep an eye out.

Observe the meeting of the dog and person. Does the dog show familiarity with the person?  Be aware that a dog who has been missing a long time or who were in survival mode may not immediately show familiarity or affection so do not be alarmed if this happens. It may take time for a long-lost dog to recognize their owners or feel comfortable with them.

Thank you for helping reunite a dog with their family. Together we can help more lost dogs get home!

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized

Two Little Known Facts About Microchips

1. Animals should never be scanned for a microchip on a metal examination table or near other objects that may cause scanning interference like computers, metal objects and metal doorframes or while wearing a metal collar. This may cause a microchip to be missed. Yet many vet clinics and shelters routinely scan pets on an exam table. Please let them know that this isn’t a good practice!

2. Pets who are going to be microchipped should be kept quiet for several hours afterwards to allow the microchip to “set” in the muscle. This may prevent it from migrating to another location (another cause of a missed microchip). When doing microchip events, owners should be informed that they should make the microchip station their last stop before heading home. They shouldn’t allow their dog to partake in other activities like obstacle courses, lure coursing or anything that involves running or jumping after the microchip is implanted.

For more information on best scanning procedures here is an excellent article from Animal Sheltering Magazinehttps://www.animalsheltering.org/…/articl…/do-good-scan-stan

 

Posted in Microchips, Veterinary Care | Tagged

Bennie’s Story

(as told by Bennie’s owners)

We live in the Shawnee Nat’l Forest in southern Illinois, about 15 miles from a college town where animals are sometimes abandoned at the end of semester. Bennie appeared at the end of spring semester, extremely skittish, although eager to eat the many small meals/day we put out. We could not get within 50 yards of him, but of course we were calling & whistling!! Google provided info that one should kneel down, smack lips, pretend to eat food, no eye contact. He came to me IMMEDIATELY  and I put him in our pen using a trail of braunschweiger. He had no collar, wasn’t microchipped and the first vet visit revealed ear mites, several intestinal worms & heartworm. We were all in. It was on his first vacation a couple weeks later (pre-heartworm treatment, on antibiotics) that he showed us he was the perfect family dog in many ways!

But then we went to visit friends in Mercer, Iron County, Wisconsin  for an overnight stay (before taking our grandkids to the Milwaukee airport two days later) and Bennie got a scent while we were all still talking in the driveway. He was gone without a trace. We did all the wrong things, driving around in cars for hours, calling and calling.

After a call from Lost Dogs of Wisconsin caseworker, David Woods we learned to stop calling, put out some used clothes on the porch, hang his blanket on the mailbox and leave out food.

We made a flyer from your website the next day and posted everywhere, driving around in the area. Many folks had already heard about Bennie! The network is phenomenal! Your personal phone call that morning was so kind & supportive. Just so hard to believe he could make it back to us in an unfamiliar region, with a mother bear in the neighborhood, coyotes and wolves.

With heavy hearts after two nights, we packed up to drive to Milwaukee, getting a phone call four hours later that Bennie had run through the yard! We got the kids on their flight and drove back to Mercer, where Bennie was waiting under the porch. He was eating food but would not approach our friends, who were wearing our stinky teeshirts! He heard us pull in the drive and was all over us immediately! We believe he was truly lost and found his way back to a strange house because of your suggestions.

Thank you all, so very very much! You are doing incredible work!

All of our best, Mary & Harry

Posted in Reunion Stories | Tagged , ,

Did Your Dog Get Scared By Fireworks? Don’t Panic!

If your dog went missing from the fireworks last night – don’t panic. Immediately put out your dog’s favorite blanket, some food and water, and something that smells like you (a dirty sock or pillowcase). Then file a report with us from this link: https://lostdogsofwisconsin.org/report/lost-dog-report/ .

Our volunteer flyer processors will make a flyer for you to print and share. (Check your email!) We will also post it on our Facebook page (70,000 fans) and send it out on our Twitter feed. Distribute your flyers door to door in your neighborhood.

Tell EVERYONE – to not call or chase or whistle to your dog. Let him relax and he may very likely come home on his own when it is quiet. Do NOT let people congregate in your yard or driveway. Your dog is frightened and will stay in hiding until everything calms down.

10376050_1492914890942253_5543285330118668179_n

Posted in Fireworks, Lost Dog Behavior Tips, Photo Tips, Recovery Tips, Shy Lost Dog Strategies | Tagged , , , ,

How Are We Doing? Year to Date May 2017

Image | Posted on by | Tagged ,

How Are We Doing? Year to Date April 2017

Statistics April 2017

Image | Posted on by | Tagged ,

Raleigh’s Story

 

raleigh 1

Raleigh, waiting in my car for his “Dad” to pick him up. 

 

As told by Esther Maina, Raleigh’s caseworker and Lost Dogs of Wisconsin volunteer 

No doubt it was an exhilarating feeling to be able to slip my hand inside his collar. I knew in that moment, he was going home.

For ten days this awesome community kept an eye out for Raleigh the Golden Retriever. Social media, door to door flyers and a community with a big heart are what helped get this dog home. People would message me with sightings, others would call Dave, (Raleigh’s owner) and within a short period of time Dave would arrive on the scene but as we all know, Raleigh would slip into the woods and out of sight. With every sighting, we would flyer to get the word out that he was in the area. We had sighting calls from people in neighborhoods, people passing by, postal carriers, everyone was sending alerts.

Raleigh was in survival mode which is a typical lost dog frame of mind. While in this mode he will view everyone as a predator, even his owner. Catching a dog in this mindset is very tricky. Calling his name or approaching him will cause him to run, this would be similar to trying to catch a deer or a chipmunk. People let us set up food stations in their yards where we would grill hot dogs, bacon and sausage. We would leave the food and set up a trail camera in hopes of getting a glimpse of him. He wasn’t having any of that, he kept us running.

18237843_10154855154443355_1327569510309522296_o

Setting up a grill – we cook bacon and hot dogs to try to lure a shy dog in.  We also set up the trail cam in hopes to see him at the food station. 

I started to keep a map of his sightings in an effort to try and predict his next move – but he was so unpredictable and boy did this guy put on the miles!

map of sightings

Tracking Raleigh’s sightings, at least 40 miles in ten days, probably more.  The X’s are the sightings. 

Yesterday he was sighted several times from Hwy 77 then on Nelson Lake Road. Dave headed over right away and began searching and handing out flyers. I showed up a few hours later and also fliered. Together we probably handed out 100 posters. I prayed that Raleigh would stay in that area, it was a perfect place for a lost dog. There was shelter, food and water.

18238119_10154855165623355_5858088973911976315_o

Owner Dave setting up another food station. 

18278231_10154855157113355_1974276509475184082_o

Raleigh’s house mate on a 50 foot rope.  Our hope was to use her as a magnet dog.  We would send her out to Raleigh and like a magnet, whe would bring him close to his owner. 

OKAY so on to the ‘capture’ that everyone is wanting to hear about.

This morning I messaged Dave to see if any news. He texted me back saying “I just saw him on Tanning’s Point Road”. Praise GOD he stayed in the area! I told my husband I was skipping church and heading over to help. I told him I thought God was ‘okay’ with my decision. On the drive over to Tanning’s Point Road I had a really REALLY good conversation with God. I can say with all honesty it was probably one of the best I’ve ever had with him. When it was over I had a real sense he was going to answer this prayer.

I met Dave on the road and by then he had seen Raleigh twice but he would run from him as soon as Dave got near. He was close enough to throw a dog treat his way but Raleigh retreated into the woods. Dave had to run into town so I told him I would take his post and stand guard. Right away I set up a grill with bacon, smoked sausage and hot dogs. I parked off in the distance and waited. My phone rang and it was Dave – a lady on Tannings Point Road had him in her sight and gave us the address. “Wish me luck” I said and hung up.

I found the lady in her car, she was staying far enough away to not scare him (good move) but close enough to see him. I saw him from where I was standing and could see he was limping. He would walk a few feet, stop, lay down and walk again.

I drove my car up a little closer to him, grabbed my package of hot dogs and walked to the grassy edge where he was standing. I didn’t walk toward him, I walked away but stayed on the same side. As soon as I got to the grass I laid down flat on my stomach, I held the food out and covered my face. (I kept my fingers spread so I could peak though! lol) He was ‘kind of interested’ as his nose began to sniff the air but he quickly retreated into the woods and thankfully, he stopped after just a few feet.

I got down low and did a backwards duck walk toward him – no go, he didn’t like that. He retreated further into the woods. I ran to my car and drove down a driveway that ran alongside the wooded area he was in. I could see him, he was moving, but slowly.

I got out of the car and with my best “army girl” moves I meandered toward him and then hit the ground on my belly again. I threw him the bacon soaked hot dog. It landed right at his feet – score! He gobbled it up in two seconds flat. But then like an ungracious guest, he ran away from me! Thankfully he stopped about 20 feet away.

I dug my elbows into the ground and dragged myself toward him stopping with every drag to hold out a hot dog. I ripped off pieces and tossed them his way. He ate them gladly. Then with some caution he walked toward me and ate a piece from my hand. My brain was screaming ‘YES!’, but then as soon as he took the hot dog from my fingers he ran from me again! Ack!

I then noticed that a man and woman had gotten out of their car and kind of circled the wooded area. Raleigh was also aware that there were people on all sides (three of us). I got up and started to walk (staying low) toward him, he continued to trot away and it was then I decided to call his name (something you would not normally do). He responded as if it was something he recognized and stopped. I started to speak in low tones saying his name softly and approached slowly getting closer and closer. He gave in, and that is when I was able to slip my hand under his collar and attach my leash.

After telling Raleigh he was finally going home, I looked up toward the sky and said – “thank you God, you did answer my prayer today”.

I slipped both arms under Raleigh and carried him back to my car. The man and woman who circled the woods had already called Dave who was on his way. We put him into my backseat filled with fluffy dog beds and waited.

18198570_10154855170143355_3023952716425103041_n

Laying in my car after being “captured”, snuggling on the soft doggie beds. 

Raleigh immediately got comfy on the beds and the woman and I worked to pull the ticks off of him. He was calm and relieved! Dave finally arrived and I while I had my arms around Raleigh, Dave peeked into my car and got nose to nose with his dog. Raleigh perked up and his tail wagged. He was exhausted so there wasn’t a lot of butt wiggly stuff we see with reunions but it was obvious Raleigh was happy to see him.

Dave carried him to his Jeep where his other dog eagerly awaited the return of her “brother”. Raleigh began eating the dog food that was on the front seat. Everyone hugged, tears were shed and off we went in our separate directions.

I can’t explain the feeling I had as I drove home but to copy Sponge Bob Square Pants, it was the greatest day ever!

18275064_10155237411876241_1436081643388078284_n

 

Posted in Uncategorized

How Are We Doing? Year to Date March 2017

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , ,

What To Expect When You Get Your Lost Dog Home

17904138_10154555831638364_6770414659024836028_n

Amy’s Owner Finally Has Her!

FullSizeRender

Amy at the Vet Clinic

Great news! You’ve successfully been reunited with your missing dog!  If your dog has been gone for more than a day or two you will want to get them in to see a vet as quickly as possible to make sure they haven’t suffered any ill effects while out on their own.

Pictured above is Amy, a black lab/German Shepherd cross who was missing for almost three weeks in Waukesha County.  She was finally successfully caught by her owner on a wooded hillside that adjoined a marshy field behind some apartment buildings. She had been seen in that area for several days but eluded capture.   Amy’s owners immediately made her a vet appointment to have her checked over.   Thankfully, other than sore, raw paw pads, six ticks, some dehydration and weight loss of about nine pounds, she was in good shape!

 

Amy’s Tender Feet

Sore feet and raw paw pads are very common from the amount of travelling the lost dog may be doing. Asphalt roadways and twigs and sticks on paths are especially hard on a dog’s feet. Often the sightings of these dogs will report the dog as limping and the owner might panic thinking their dog has been hit by a car. But raw paws heal pretty quickly and have no lasting damage.

Sore feet may make the dog avoid roadways and stick to softer paths of travel like dirt trails and grassy paths and ditches.

It is very common for dogs to have embedded ticks when they are found. Your vet may feel it is prudent to draw blood and do a “tick panel” to check for any tick-borne diseases.  He may recommend a course of antibiotics if any disease is present or as a precautionary measure.

It is also common for a dog to have picked up some worms while out on their own. Remember, their diet may have consisted of roadkill, manure, waterfowl eggs and/or other sorts of nasty things! Your vet may recommend a dewormer if he diagnoses or suspects worms.

Dehydration and some weight loss are also common and are easily treated.  Remember to follow your vet’s feeding instructions which will probably be small amounts of food and water at frequent intervals.  You don’t want your dog to gorge on his food and risk the possibility of bloat or other stomach problems.

Allow your dog lots of quiet time when he gets home.  He has been on an extremely stressful adventure and you will want to let him decompress and rest.  It may take several days or more for him to seem like his old self.  Schedule another vet visit if you don’t see improvement after the first week.

Most long-lost dogs recover totally and go on to live full happy lives.  Enjoy it with them to the fullest!

(Thank you to Amy’s family for providing the photos for this article)

Posted in Veterinary Care | Tagged ,

Lost Dog, Libby, is Home Because of a Newspaper Ad

Libby ad_LI

One of the most overlooked ways to get the word out about your missing dog is placing an ad in your local newspaper or shopper. Libby, the Australian Cattle Dog from Kenosha, Wisconsin was found because her owners placed a $54 ad in their local shopper.   Someone saw the ad and called to say they had seen Libby.  Libby’s owners headed to the location with their other dog. She came out of hiding when she recognized them. Libby had been missing for two weeks when the owners got that important phone call.

Social media has taken the world by storm, providing a cheap, easy way to spread the word; but you must always remember that there are still many people that don’t use computers or social media. It doesn’t do any good to have your dog posted only on Facebook if the person who sees your dog isn’t a Facebook user.  So it is really important to use as many different communication methods as possible including flyers, signs, social media, Craigslist, newspaper and radio ads. Generating sightings is the key to getting your dog home safely.

Remember that lost dogs can travel far and wide. Don’t limit yourself to just one area. Cover surrounding counties as well.  Your dog is depending on you to bring him safely home.

Posted in Generating Sightings, Useful Tools | Tagged , , ,