Finding Lost Dogs: How To Find And Catch Your Lost Dog

by Mary Haight on February 16, 2015

finding lost dogsIf you’ve ever had a dog bolt out the front door and down the street, back out of a collar in fear and run, or wondered what you would do if you lost your dog, this is the podcast for you. Finding lost dogs takes a small army of community members who know many of the finer points of what works and what doesn’t in catching a dog that has reverted to her primal mind — a dog that does not recognize her own family when they call out for her. It’s a harsh lesson so many learn the hard way, even as their dog left the house moments ago, calling her name and chasing her does nothing but drive her further away.

What to Do When Instincts Fail…

Mel Freer, owner and writer of No Dog About It, relates her experience of finding lost dogs, losing at first all three of her dogs due to a freak accident, regaining control of two, and spending the next 12 days searching for her Sheltie, Cupcake, fielding sighting calls, and learning how true it is that it takes a village to find — and catch — a loose dog. The experience was a real eye-opener for her and made her look at stray dogs in a completely different light — most are not “strays”, she said, they are lost dogs. In this conversation, you’ll get answers to questions like:

  1. If calling and running after your dog is not going to work, what does?
  2. How many different places do you need to notify of your lost dog to cover all bases?
  3. What organizations specialize in this work and are they in your area?
  4. What tools can be used to lure your dog back home or into a confined area?
  5. How can you organize reported sightings to set traps in areas likely to bring success?
  6. What else do you need to know to be better prepared should this happen to you and your dog?

Finding lost dogs involves using the right tools, getting help from skilled people, and luck. Being prepared in advance should this happen to you or someone you know can raise your chances of a successful capture and might even speed up the process of bringing your dog back home.  Mel Freer was helped in her search by Minnesota Sheltie Rescue and Lost Dogs of Minnesota. Who’s working in your area? Enjoy the podcast!

29 comments
tenaciouslittleterrier
tenaciouslittleterrier

Thankfully, Mr. N doesn't go far away from me but I've rounded up my fair share of lost dogs! 

DogMedicineInfo
DogMedicineInfo

I came back! just let everyone know that I love this site and leave my footprints! :)


AmazonCares
AmazonCares

Mary, thank you for writing about this super important topic.  After working with the Animal Abuse unit in a major DA's office I learned of many well meaning rescuers that, according to the law, stole somebody's beloved pet.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

WoodRUFFPetResort
WoodRUFFPetResort

Excellent information! We are always on the look out for helpful tips and info to pass along to our dog boarding clients. Thanks for your faithful tips!

Sam Ivy
Sam Ivy

What an interesting line: most are not strays, they are lost dogs. How heartbreaking! So glad she was reunited with all three of her dogs, though it took  a lot of effort I am sure it was worth it. 

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@Sam Ivy Yes, I agree Sam, you hear that phrase and see with new eyes -- I had that same reaction! Thanks for listening =)

Latest blog post: july-dr02

barkocity
barkocity

Thank you for sharing Mary! I can imagine most dog owners are in a state of panic when they first loose their dog. 


I had a close call with my dog, Mila. We live in NYC and I took her to the store with me. She slipped out of her collar and ran directly toward the automatic doors. Of coarse, they opened and outside she went onto the busy sidewalks of NYC!! I didn't know what else to do but chase after her; all that did was push her away more. As she was nearing the street I had no other option and yelled, "Get my dog!" A kind young woman knelt down and called Mila to her. She scooped her up and I made my way to retrieve her. It was a great ending to a very scary situation. However, if she would've ran away, I wouldn't have really known where to start to find her. 


You've really provided some great tips and important steps to take in this article. All pet owners should listen/read this in order to be prepared for if and when this horrific event may take place, because you never know!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@barkocity Thank you for sharing that frightening NYC story -- wow, how great that someone grabbed your Mila! I love it when we can pass along truly helpful information, so thanks for saying that =)

Latest blog post: Lost not stray v2

TheChesnutMutts
TheChesnutMutts

Great resource! We lost two of our dogs a few years ago and we put out flyers in many places including a popular 4-way stop. One of the flyers at the stop caught the eye of some guy who had seen the dogs on his property. Thankfully he called us because the pups had eaten some of his chickens and he was going to take matters into his own hands!

ruthcox
ruthcox

As with most dog owners, this is a great fear for me, especially since I now have a coonhound shelter dog who can back right out of collar and harness. And I know he will follow his nose wherever it leads! I do all I can to prevent the event of a lost dog situation here, too, as we are in a rural beach community filled with wildlife. (Black bears!) 

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@ruthcox Wow -- that's a different situation!,While that nose can lead him astray, it could work for you in the event he got loose. Thanks for stopping by!

Latest blog post: Lost not stray v2

spencerthegoldendoodle
spencerthegoldendoodle

Thank you for sharing this podcast! I'm from Southern MInnesota, so this was very interesting! I'm so going to look more into Mel! Thank you again!!! :)


MichelleWolff11
MichelleWolff11

My biggest fear is to have a lost pet. This is a great post!


ThePlayfulKitty
ThePlayfulKitty

That is a great reminder! Many "stray" cats are just lost too. It is really important to have some compassion for these animals. Thank you for sharing.

DogVills
DogVills

This is my worst fear: losing my dogs. Those are awesome tips and love this tool

WithDogsAndCats
WithDogsAndCats

On of the things I fear is losing my dogs. I work on recall all the time, and they like to stay close by, so I feel pretty good, but I also know there are circumstances when that is not enough, and it truly does take a village to find a dog.


--Wags (and purrs) from <a href="http://www.lifewithdogsandcats.com" rel="nofollow">Life with Dogs and Cats</a>

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

Thanks Val -- I agree the more you know about lost dogs before it happens to you, the better! Thanks for stopping by =)

Latest blog post: Lost not stray v2

ValSilver
ValSilver

This is a very interesting, important podcast for all dog lovers and dog parents to listen to- before they lose a dog.

Christina3
Christina3

I did not have time to listen to the podcast now, but I'm definitely going to. Losing my dogs is one of my greatest fears, and I do know that being prepared before a tragedy like this ever happens will make a difference. Thanks for this post - it's important.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@Christina3 So glad you're tuning into this podcast-- I learned a lot through Mel's experience and think you'll be glad you  took the time.  Thanks for stopping by =)

Latest blog post: Lost not stray v2

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