Granite State Dog Recovery - Search & Recovery Tool Box
GRANITE STATE DOG RECOVERY - Helping to Reunite Lost Dogs with their Families in NH
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.  Quietly walk and drive around the area.  Take a leash, a bag of food tidbits (hotdogs, Vienna sausages) 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 and in the winter check for evidence of a disturbed pool cover. If you live near the water, please check under boat docks, accidents happen and he or she could be trapped underneath.  (Never go on private property without permission)
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.  Keeping a master map for tracking dog sighting at main locations, and remember to mark down any sighting no matter how old they are when they are called in.  

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.  It is very important to check the woods around your house and your neighborhood to make sure your elderly dog has not fallen and doesn't have the strength to get back on his or her feet.
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. 

What is a Food station?
Food stations are one of the most important steps in recovering a lost dog. A food station is when you put smelly food on the ground to attract a lost dog back to a sighting location. Smelly food such as canned tripe, alpo canned dog food, or any inexpensive canned dog food( the cheaper the food cost, the smellier it is), or rotisserie chicken ($5 buck cluck) works wonders in attracting a lost dog. DO NOT ABANDON SHIP IN A DAY OR TWO IT WILL BE ONE OF THE BIGGEST MISTAKES in YOUR LOST DOG SEARCH!  If a dog has been in an area once, it is very likely that he or she may return to that area as long as he or she was not chased out of the area.

 Left Food out at the food station and now it gone, was it my dog?
A trail camera is a huge help in a lost dog search. It is a device that records images, either as a still photograph or a video. It is a rugged and weatherproof camera designed for extended and unmanned use outdoors and runs on batteries.  When the lost dog goes to the food station it takes a photo and puts a time stamp on the photo, which will help you determine your missing dogs feeding pattern.  It is very useful in determining if the Raccoons,cats,skunks, rats and possums are eating the food or if it your beloved lost dog.

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. Most times the dog is still wandering the streets in the neighborhood. A shy/ quiet dog is most likely hiding and avoiding people and would not give anyone the opportunity of picking him or her up.
Why do I need to visit the shelters?
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?
*Take a Friend or two along with you.
*Never invite the person to your home unless you happen to know them well.

2. If a caller claims to have your pet in their possession, ask them to describe something about your pet that wouldn't be visible in pictures which might be posted.
4. Never pay anyone money that guarantees that they can find 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 for Busy Intersection. On telephone poles it is best to keep your posters basic.  

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.
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. 

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 
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 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?
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?
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

The only answer I have for this is YES, YES YES! It is common courtesy to the people who live in the neighborhood.
 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.

It Takes a Village to Bring a Lost Dog Home. Together Granite State Dog Recovery will help you create the Village that will help to reunite you with your lost dog. Scooby Missing in Methuen Ma 8/12/2011  Reunited with his Owner 1/2/2012