What would you do if your dog went missing? The following should be used as a checklist of action points if your dog goes missing...
What to do if your dog goes missing:
- Contact your local dog warden to see if anyone has handed in or reported finding a dog. Leave your name, address and telephone number plus a description of your pet so they can contact you if there are any developments.
- Go to all the places you normally take your dog for a walk; also check out any nearby areas, such as building sites, where your dog could have become trapped. If you have recently moved, ask around where you used to live.
- Check with other dog wardens in your area: dogs can walk long distances.
- Ask friends, neighbours, and relatives to keep an eye out for you.
- If you are certain your dog is missing check your pet insurance policy as it may cover expenses for recovering your dog. This often involves printing flyers and even paying for adverts in local papers.
- Contact nearby rescue centres such as the Dogs Trust, plus any kennels registered with the local authority to take in strays. A member of the public may have found your dog and taken him directly to the kennels.
- Check to see if your insurer will pay but if not, put up posters in shops, at local veterinary surgeries, on supermarket notice boards, at the post office and the library. You could even try contacting the local press.
- Try and keep an up-to-date photograph of your dog. People are far more likely to recognise a pet from a photograph than from a written description.
Petsearch (UK), Longhouse, 35 Church Lane, Melksham, Wiltshire. SN12 7EF. www.ukpetsearch.freeuk.com
Petsearch is a voluntary service with a register of lost and found pets which aims to re-unite owners with their animals. There is a national network of helplines and a website which list missing pet information from all areas of the country.
National Pet www.nationalpetregister.org
Participants receive a registration certificate and tag for their dog. Details of the dog are kept on a database and matched with information coming in from police stations, rescue centres and dog wardens around the country.
National Dog Tattoo www.dog-register.co.uk
Dog tattoo identification offers a permanent and visible means of identifying your pet from others. The tattoo is applied within seconds and requires no anesthetic or sedation. Due to the registration process any tattoo can be easily traced to its owner.
Pet Log www.thekennelclub.org.uk
PetLog holds details of animals so lost, stolen or stray dogs can be reunited with their owners. There is a small charge for this service and may involve micro chipping, see website for details.
DogLost is a national network of thousands of dog owners and volunteers that can help to reunite lost dogs with their owners.