Did you lose a pet last night?

Image from Facebook (click to enlarge)

If your pet bolted last night during the July 4th fireworks, here are some tips to help you in your search. I will add in my own tip and hopefully other people will contribute more suggestions in the comments.

  • Visit every shelter that accepts “stray” pets in your area. When you get there, ask to see every dog (or cat) in the place. If they have certain animals housed in areas that are off-limits, ask to see photos of every one of the pets in those areas. Keep in mind that your pet may be injured and possibly being kept in the shelter’s vet clinic or at an offsite clinic.  Ask if they have any other pets housed offsite and to view photos of all those animals.  Ask to fill out a Lost Pet report.  Ask to review any Found Pet reports the facility has taken since the time your pet was lost.

13 thoughts on “Did you lose a pet last night?

  1. Also go to the Missing Pet Partnership for some great information on how to recover panicked animals (for those lost yesterday) and for how to recover animals in general. Too many lost animals never find their way home so if you lose an animal any day of the year go here so you can get advice that can be tailored to your animal:


    (I am not affiliated with them, I just contacted them when my own cat was lost. They have some free services, some paid for services, but no matter what you use they are very helpful)

  2. What an excellent idea! I’ve often found dogs (even recently) and walked around the neighborhood looking for their owner/home. I’m going to recommend the yard sign also from now on.

    1. In my area our local newspaper (Orlando Sentinel) allows you to place free lost and found pet ads.
    2. We also have several websites based on the area you are in that you can list lost or found pets. Winterparklostpets.com actually called me to help.
    3. Call any animal businesses and ask to leave information about your lost pet. My clinic has a log of lost and found pets in case people call. I recommend calling every shelter, veterinarian, groomer, and boarding facility.
    4. Make sure you tell YOUR veterinarian your pet has become lost. If the collar only has a rabies tag that is often the first place that is called. Make sure you have your pets rabies tag info and microchip info (if they have one) available when calling.
    5. Put flyers up EVERYWHERE. Neighborhoods, Apartment complexes, and Businesses (if allowed). That’s how we found the owner of the last dog I found. He was very geriatric and had no tags, collar, or microchip. Poor dude. I gave her some information to get him microchipped inexpensively at the local shelter and advised that he wear a collar and tags.

  3. Speaking from experience (my 2 Chihuahuas bolted out of the house during a family visit to VT in a -15* cold snap!), I would also suggest printing out the best, clearest photo you have and making it into a Lost Dog poster, and then walking around and putting them up everywhere you possibly can (and remember to take them down when appropriate). Talk to the Merchants and ask permission to post–making that personal connection can help enlist them in the search. List a REWARD!

    In my case, one of my Boyz was found that night, and turned in to the police station (where he bit a cop–oops!). The other was lost for 7 days in that weather, but when he finally ventured out of wherever he had found shelter he was spotted by an 8 yo kid who told his Mom–“hey, that’s one of the dogs we saw on that poster–STOP THE CAR!” What a miracle!
    PS–they refused the Reward, but I sent it to them anyway.

  4. I’ve seen Facebook work wonders in my neighborhood. Most of our neighbors know each others’ dogs and to whom they belong but sometimes, one comes in from across the highway. One post to Facebook with a picture spreads like wildfire and the animal is usually reunited with his/her owners within hours.

    1. Bless your heart. Can you just put food/water inside your yard and see if she will come in? If not fenced, that would be harder. Don’t give up – my cousin’s dog panicked during fireworks last year, slipped her collar and was hit on the highway. She just went nutso with the noise.

  5. This is a great post. I read last night that more dogs get lost during the 4th of July than any other time. I never really stopped to think about it before, but it makes sense. My dog was an inside dog so I didnt really have this problem, but she did like to try to hide behind the toilet lol :)

  6. Fireworks can be fun to watch. But they are explosives being set off. It’s not dogs’ fault that they are smart enough to be scared of them.

  7. A G. Shepherd I once had, who went with me EVERYWHERE, except to work, was with me getting my taxes done. Upon leaving, I let him relieve himself. He vanished within minutes. I stayed searched the area until 3 AM.

    Later that morning I had already placed a reward ad in the paper & printed 50 lost/reward/photo sheets distributed around the area. I was worried sick over the loss of my kid.

    I talked to the store manager, where I had let ‘Puddy’ out, who told me a girl the night before was trying to give a G. Shepherd away. He gave me her address where I found that she HAD given my dog away to another person 5 miles away.

    Luckily, she knew where the guy lived whom she gave my dog to. I drove there & when he opened the door my dog darted out, ran & jumped into my car window.

    Without my persistance & actively talking to folks, Puddy would of never made it home. Those people didn’t read the paper & said they would of never checked the lost/found ads.

    The dude with my dog was under the impression the dog needed a home. The girl who abducted Puddy, thought she was doing the dog a favor by giving him a home. Puddy was too healthy looking to be mistaken for a “stray” so I would recommend anyone who sees a dog in public to first be sure the owner isn’t close by.

    I know I shouldn’t just let my dogs walk around without a leash, but at 10 pm, when all the businesses around are long closed up & no one is around, and as good of a dog as Puddy was, he never left my sight. I don’t understand how I missed seeing her scurry off with my dog, but I did, and she did.

    After being out of my mind with worry, it turned out well, having Puddy back, but could of easily led to two broken hearts.

  8. I once had another G. Shepherd for 8 years when he was kidnapped. No matter how hard you try, how many want ads, how many posters & flyers printed, how many visits to the “shelter” or how broken hearted, a thief doesn’t give a damn.

    Not knowing leads me to worry about him being sold to research facilities or used as dog bait in fighting facilities. Neutered, he wasn’t stolen for breeding. Big & beautiful he was still too old for someone to want as a pet. What other purpose would he be kidnapped for?

    I don’t know how other folks feel about their dogs, but mine have always been my children, nothing less. Losing my kid to such worrysome circumstances was painful. It still leaves a hole in my heart & I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

  9. When my dog jumped the fence last year, we posted all over Facebook and posted fliers on all the poles. Someone saw the post on Facebook though and called. So that is definitely something I would do.

  10. Tip 1: Another way to help is to make sure your dog knows your area well by taking her or him for regular long walks around the neighborhood. This helps in two ways, first, more people will get to know you and your dog and will be more likely to try to get the dog if they see him or her out by themselves. Second, your dog will know his or her way around and will be less likely to get lost and travel for miles, more likely to head for home and find it when hungry, hot, or finished with exploring alone.

    Tip 2: Always keep a good clear current photo of your pet or pets on your computer ready to make lost pet fliers. Try to photograph them every few months.

  11. A friend of ours had a dog show up in her yard the nite of the 4th. She knew the dog belonged to someone, the collar was a clue. However, the dog had no ID tag and was not microchipped. She posted the dog on various Facebook pages with a picture. But it wasn’t that method that came through for finding this lost dogs people. It was the sign she placed in her front yard saying a lost dog had been found. Turned out, the dog belonged to folks just up the street. They had asked a neighbor to watch the dog while they were out and the dog got spooked during the booms and ran away.

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