Our motto is “Never Give Up”. It seems obvious, but there is an underlying reason that we say it. We know that dogs can be recovered weeks, months and even years after they go missing. The key factor in a successful recovery is the emotional commitment of the owner or responsible party to have the perseverance to keep going.
We often hear the comment “If my dog were missing, I would never give up.” But, the average bystander doesn’t realize the enormous pressures that are placed on the lost dog owner.
Today we are going to discuss some of the factors that make an owner give up the search before their dog is recovered.
1. Financial commitment – looking for a lost dog is costly. Printing flyers, signs, advertising, gas money, and lost wages can add up quickly.
2. Time commitment – Door to door flyering, making signs, visiting shelters, checking out leads and manning feeding stations and traps can be a full time job.
3. Pressure from family and friends – This is often related to the two factors above. Family and friends who aren’t as emotionally committed to the dog as the owner may start to resent the amount of time or money expended in the search. The family may want their lives to go back to normal; instead of spending every free moment or spare dollar looking for the lost dog.
4. Emotional burnout – The highs and lows of sightings and possible leads take an emotional toll on an owner already stressed and frantic about their dog’s disappearance.
5. Myths and misconceptions -Well meaning but uneducated people, often co-workers and neighbors; may diminish an owner’s hope by spreading rumors and misconceptions. These include saying things like:
- a coyote (eagle, hawk, wolf) probably got your dog.
- your dog was probably stolen for research
- your dog was probably stolen for dog fighting bait
- your senior dog probably went away somewhere to die
Although we never say never; we have found the four things listed above to be exceedingly rare. But these rumors spread like wildfire and discourage owners, causing them to give up hope. Unless physical evidence is found that a dog is deceased; the dog is probably very much alive and relying on their owner to bring them home. Never doubt a lost dog’s resourcefulness or ability to survive.
Are you perpetuating these rumors? Please carefully consider your words and actions. Are you unintentionally causing people to give up hope? Let’s all work together to get more lost dogs home.