What to Do if your dog is Lost
By Maggie Mae…with Ronni Diamondstein
I have to say I am a pretty good dog and always stay close to my owner. But to tell you the truth if I saw a squirrel and was off my leash I would chase it forever. I am always on a leash so I have never been lost, but I have seen dogs wandering around town without a leash or their owner. That made me sad, so I decided to find out what people could do when their dog is missing.
When I contacted Officer James Moore the Animal Control Officer for the Town of New Castle and Town Supervisor Robert Greenstein for advice, they told me that every year either Moore or police officers pick up dozens of lost dogs. “There are even more,” said Moore, “because the good Samaritans in this town pick them up too. Sometimes they keep the dogs over night until we can take them to the SPCA in Briarcliff Manor.” The town has a contract with that SPCA of Westchester to shelter dogs that have been lost in our town. It’s a no-kill shelter and that is good news to me.
As soon as you realize that your dog is gone take immediate action. Call the police and report the dog missing. Both Moore and Greenstein suggested using Social Media as well. “Chappaqua Moms on Facebook is a great place to post a lost dog,” said Greenstein. That sounded like good advice to me. When my owner checked the Internet, she found other Facebook groups, pages and websites like Lost Pets of Hudson Valley that help reunite pets with their families. And there are national lost pet networks like www.petkey.org. Posting a picture of your dog is very helpful. Moore also said to contact local veterinarians and kennels like Gracelane in Ossining.
Ask people to help you look for your dog. It’s a good idea to have them bring along something that your dog likes to hear. The shaking of a treat box or the squeaks of one of your dog’s toys, will attract your dog to come toward them.
Man the phones. Someone needs to be home if your dog’s identification has your address and phone number on it. “Do have your cell-phone number on your dog’s ID tag if you are out searching,” said Greenstein. Moore said that if a dog is picked up and doesn’t have any form of identification there isn’t much the town can do. “Micro-chipping is important so make sure the information that the microchip company has is up to date.” Moore said it also helps to register your dog with the Town. It is one more form of identification. Remember that if you have an Invisible Fence and the dog has a special collar for that, he or she needs an ID-collar too.
If you haven’t found your dog by the second day, post signs with contact information and your dog’s picture all over town. Give these flyers to delivery people like UPS and FEDEX and postal carriers. They drive all over town and may see your dog on their routes. And you can expand your search.
Don’t give up. If your dog has proper identification and a microchip you’ll probably be reunited sooner or later.My owner says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That makes sense to me. Moore agrees and says that the most important thing you can do is to take precautions so that your dog doesn’t get lost. Now there’s another article for me to write.
Contact Maggie Mae Pup ReporterTM at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maggie Mae lives in Chappaqua with her adoring owner Ronni Diamondstein, who, when she isn’t walking Maggie is a freelance writer, PR consultant and award-winning photographer. Visit Maggie Mae’s blog: www.maggiemaepup.com
Maggie Mae’s Must Do:
SPCA of Westchester-Walkathon and Pet Fair, Saturday, May 3rd, from 10am-2pm at FDR State Park in Yorktown Heights, NY. There are over 70 Sponsors and Vendors at this fundraising event with food, fun games and activities for people, their pets and kids. Walkers can sign up at the event that day for an entry fee donation of $20 or $35 for a family or you can go online to www.spca914.org and form a fundraising page asking people to sponsor your Walk for the shelter animals. If you raise $100 you get in free.