Search and Recovery Questions
Where should we start searching and when?
Please start searching immediately; do not wait to see if your dog will return on its own! The Sooner you start, the greater the chance that your dog will be returned uninjured.
You should start your search at your home. WALK, & DRIVE around the area. Take a leash, a bag of food tidbits as bait. Favorite toys are good especially if the dog goes absolutely bonkers when he/she sees it. Talk briefly with anyone you see; ask if they saw your dog.
Make sure you search your own property first, and surrounding neighbors’ property, checking areas where your dog could be trapped, injured, or deceased. Dogs have become trapped inside sheds, closed inside trailers, entangled in wires under homes, dropped into wells, and even fallen into neighboring swimming pools. If you live near the water, please check under boat docks, accidents happen and he or she could be trapped underneath.
Remember that searching is a team effort. However only assign one person as the point person for coordination. COMMUNICATION IS KEY. Keep everyone that is helping in the search updated.
Why should I look under the shed?
A Frightened or injured dog will hide in dark space and will not come to you, Use a flashlight for checking under houses and other dark spots.
The point is, Please Look in EVERY NOOK and cranny. Don't assure that your pet would never crawl into some tiny space.
How Far will my dog go?
The distance that a lost dog will travel depends upon its individual temperament, the environment (terrain and weather), and the circumstances surrounding the disappearance.
Big strong dogs, especially young ones, can run 5 miles or more. Small dogs may be able to go half a mile at most.
Most dogs are recovered well within a 2 mile circle of their home, especially because they normally will never run for an extended length in a straight line no matter how strong or fast they are.
Let's draw a circle around the spot you lost your pet. Half a mile? A mile? Five miles? You decide.
Let's think about the places in that circle where you pet would likely go to find company, comfort and food. A school yard? A house where your pet sometimes gets treats or has a buddy it looks at during walks? A stranger's open car door?
Every Dog that Granite State Dog Recovery has searched for has Traveled in a Circle. Mapping Sighting and Keeping a Log of Sightings will help create the circle your dog is traveling in.
Should I go out searching alone?
NO, not unless you have to. It's always safer to travel in pairs for many reasons. If you have to go ALONE you must be able to communicate with others in case you have an accident or get lost. WE URGE You to bring GPS and a CHARGE CELL PHONE.
Dogs Cross town/city lines using forest trails,power lines, golf courses, parks and fields. Dogs can travel places like these can go great distances in a short amount of time.
My Dog is Elderly how far would he or she go?
General Speaking elderly dogs, disabled dogs, and small dogs tend to be recovered quickly, often ending up within a few blocks from their escape point. Your target search area will be within a three-quarter-mile radius of your home.
Highly populated areas could mean a smaller radius and sparsely populated areas could mean you dog will travel farther. Place highly visible lost-dog posters in the area of disappearance and utilize a flier distribution service that will mail notices to homes within a one-mile radius of where the dog escaped. Even if they have lived in a house for some time, elderly dogs can forget how to get home.
Should I leave my dogs crate outside if he or she goes missing?
Please Leaving out something that smells like home as soon as your pet goes Missing. Such as a t-shirt that smells like who ever he or she is closest to. Sweaty gym socks are great for this!
Place dogs bedding, and favorite toys outside, along with warms freshly cooked chicken, liver, or other savory meat.
(This one works for both cats and dogs) Check the location you left the t-shirt right around sunrise and sunset. Check the surrounding area very well. Very often the dog or cat will linger around the area once they found your scent. If you are not available to check the area, a trail camera is a good idea.
Left Food out and now it gone, was it my dog?
If the food was left after dark and gone by morning it could have been taken by wild or domestic animals, including you dog. Monitor food very closely either with a trail camera, or from a vehicle. Dogs quickly learn that there is a catch to food and will usually wait for the food truck. Lost dogs are smart and often don't come out until you've given up and gone home. They are usually watching from a distance us humans just can't see them.
Should we bring other dogs to help search?
During the first few hrs this will sometimes work. A Very social dog might be enticed to come play with him or her. We have found that lost dogs usually will not respond to unfamiliar dogs. Lost dogs are attracted to other dogs in yards, but socializing is now done at their own discretion, or not at all.
We think Someone picked up our Lost dog, what should we do?
Although it is possible that someone has transported your dog a long distance from your home, you must act on the assumption that the dog is nearby and that you will recover it.
Why do I need to visit the shelters?
Calling the animal control department or shelter on the phone is not very effective. Your pet may not yet be listed in the records at the front desk, and the way you describe your pet may not be the way a shelter describes your dog. Any animal may become dirty, matted and neglected looking very quickly, and You must visit the shelter, even if your pet was wearing tags when it was lost.
You will need to go to the shelters at least every other day. Sometimes it takes more than a few days for a pet to be picked up and brought to a shelter.
It's important to visit all the shelters within 20 miles of where your pet was lost. If someone took your pet in for a few days hoping you would knock on their door and ask about it, they might later drop your pet off at the shelter that's most convenient for them, rather the one that's closest.
Your description of your pet and their description rarely match. YOU MUST GO LOOK!
Why should I can the Highway Department?
This is a very sad but necessary task. Otherwise you may never know what happened to your pet and it could haunt you for years. The Road crews for your local and state department of transportation(DOT) usually Pick up dead animals from the roadside and city streets. Sadly dogs are usually picked up within 24 hrs but cats are often not. Call the City, county and state road crews frequently to see if they have found your pet's body. If you pet is wearing an ID tag, the DOT should contact you if they find your pet dead along the road. But don't count on it. You must put forth the effort to find out for yourself!
I posted it on Craig s list why do I need to hang posters?
Overall, fliers produce more"FINDS" than anything else. but don't neglect the rest of the tips when searching for your lost dog. Not everyone uses craigs list and when they are out driving is when they will see your lost dog roaming the streets, not while they are home on the computer.
Is there anything that we should be cautious about when responding to a call about a Found Pet?
The Answer is YES!! There are dangerous people in our society who prey upon victims by using "found" pets as a ploy.
*We urge you to never respond to a "found"pet contact alone. Take a Friend or two along with you.
*Arrange to meet in a public place
*Never invite the person to your home unless you happen to know them well.
Don't wander around looking for your pet alone, either during the day or at night. Always bring a friend or relative. This is Especially important in unfamiliar Neighborhoods.
Use the identifying information you have withheld about your pet. Please Remember that you should never give out all of the identifying features of your lost pet. If the Person who claims to have found your pet cannot describe these features to you, they do not have your pet.
What type of Signs should we make and where should they be hung up?
You need to make up big signs, colorful, eye catching signs. . You have to include a photo of your pet. If you don't have an appealing photo, then you can create one by copying an image off the Internet. Use one of the major search engines, select images as the filter, put in a description of your dog and suddenly you will have dozens of images to choose from. Don't worry if you are borrowing someone's holiday photo of their dog - they will probably be only too happy to learn they are helping yours come home.
If you are in a bilingual community, put your sign in both languages. The major search engines on the Internet translate your text immediately and for free.
You want to put the signs where the most people who either live, work, or regularly travel through the circle will have a chance to slow down and see them. Major intersections controlled by traffic lights. Entry and exit to parks. Where all the school children get off the bus or are dropped off in the morning, so both parents and children can see them. Entry and exit to grocery store. Please Put signs in Plastic sheets to Protect them from the Elements, in case you don't find your dog right away.
Intersection signs are a great way to get the message out in the city and in a rural area.
If you have people that want to help have them stake out a busy intersection at rush hour with bright colored posters, this helps get the message out. It is hard not to pay attention to people holding large signs about your missing dog.
Your lost dog post should be basis and to the point. We recommend that you do not put your dogs name on the poster as you do not what hundreds of people out in the woods calling for him or her.
What should my voice mail message say?
You should Change your voice mail accouncements asking callers to leave a detailed message if they have sighted your dog. (If you are calling about
yours dogs name, please leave your name and number, along with the time and location of your sighting-including street number or intersection, as we;; as the direction he was going. Thanks for Calling.
What if there is more than one sighting at a time?
Be sure someone is available at all times to answer incoming calls for potential sightings. Loose dogs are mobile and they can move quickly. Ask the caller if they are calling from a cell phone, and ask them to remain on the phone with you to keep you updated on the dog’s location. This tactic alone has proven to be a highly effective method of recovering lost dogs. If you have an answering machine, make sure you change your message to include instructions on how someone can reach you on your cell phone.
I had a sighting of my Lost dog and he would not come to me why?
Please realize that a lost dog can become very confused. It may not respond to its name and may become very afraid of people and will run.
What is the best approach to helping a Scared Lost Dog?
The Best way to get a scared dog to come to you is to crouch down to their level, the lower you are to the ground, the less threatening you are. make no eye contact with them, this is seen as a challenge from you and this will scare them. place your hand out as low to the ground as you can with a treat or food and wait, make no noise or sudden movements. You need to just keep trying to build their trust up...even try sitting on the ground very quietly with them for a long period of time to let them get used to you. Sometimes this takes awhile but it does work.
Should I chase my Lost dog when I see him?
THE ANSWER IS NO, NO, NO! Yes it is your natural instinct, is to chase a dog on the run, but you will never be able to outrun a dog, no matter the size of the dog!
Each chase the dog is involved in reinforces a growing Perception that ALL HUMANS must be avoided.
Running out of fear can put them in harm's way by pushing them into the path of traffic or further away.
What is the Best food item to have while searching for a Lost dog?
We have found Hot dogs & Vienna Sausages are one of the best. They are very easy to toss in small bites to a lost dog.
Should we Organize a Search Group?
We don't advise this, especially if you know where the dog is. A Smart dog will know that it's the object of the "hunt" and will outrun, outsmart, and outmaneuver the group. Even if the group sees the dog he or she will be able to out run you.
My family is telling me to give up, what should I do?
FIRST NEVER GIVE UP! If you lose hope or become discouraged by others who are trying to tell you to "give up" your search efforts, you will reduce your chances of recovering your dog.
Where Can I Get a have-a heart trap?
Granite State Dog Recovery has Equipment that is available on Loan. Please call us at our toll free number to discuss this option. This Equipment is available to families or animal shelters that might need it to use it in the efforts of recovering their lost dog.
We suggest you check with your animal control officer or Local Humane Society, that might have a trap that they can loan out to you that might be closer than our location.
Will Granite State Dog Recovery Solicit us with a paid service, such as a dog tracker, pet detective, trapper or any other paid service?
The answer is no! Granite State Dog Recovery is an all volunteer 501C3 Non-Profit Organization no would should call you and solicit a service to you. If you are solicited by a Granite State Dog Recovery Facebook Member or any dog tracker or other paid service, we ask that you email or call us right away. You can email your concerns to Lost@granitestatedogrecovery.com
Should We take down the posters when the dog is found?
The only answer I have for this is YES, YES YES! It is common courtesy to the people who live in the neighborhood.
NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR MISSING DOG!!
Physically, your dog is somewhere and it did not vanish from the earth!
Sometimes it takes, weeks, even months to find a missing dog. There have even been cases where dogs have been located years after they disappeared.
Sadie Returned by Granite State Dog Recovery after being on the Run for 5 long Years in Allenstown NH.