Dogs get loose. It can happen to anyone (even here at Lowell Humane) but you can be prepared for when it does. The first steps come long before your furry friend is missing. Make sure they are wearing a collar with id tags and that your pet is microchipped! Microchipping may available at your vet’s office but did you know we offer microchipping at Lowell Humane Society too? If you visit our shelter during regular business hours, you can have your pet chipped for just $25! Just give us a call before you head down and we’ll be happy to provide this service at an affordable cost. Dogs can get loose quite quickly, often without warning, and your day is turned upside down while you’re out searching for your best friend. Our friends at Missing Dogs Massachusetts have these tips to get started. Visit their website for more info and be sure to review their lost dog form.
What To Do First
- Immediately contact your local Animal Control Officer and Police Department to report your dog as missing. If your dog went missing from a location near a town or city border, be sure to contact officials in nearby towns as well. As time passes, if your dog has not been found, expand your contacts to towns/cities in a 25 mile radius. Please remember that your local Animal Control Officer is a resource and ally who will be of great assistance in bringing your lost dog home.
- Place a familiar scent article (dog bed, worn t-shirt, etc.) at the location where your dog went missing. Leave a bowl of strong-smelling food at the location as well. We suggest wet dog food as it has a stronger scent then dry. If your dog is crate trained, leaving his/her open crate and bedding is advised.
- Alert neighbors and friends via telephone, social media and in person. Search Facebook for missing pet pages in your area.
- Hang flyers at and around the location where your dog went missing. Flyers should be simple, with few words, using very large font so that they are visible from a passing vehicle. Create your own flyer or use MDM’s tool to generate one!
- Place an ad on your local Craigslist (be sure to include a clear/current photo). Be sure to include your cell phone number to make contact as easy as possible.
- Notify your dog’s microchip company so that they may tag your dog’s chip as “missing”. Also confirm that registration information is accurate and up to date.
- If it is within your budget, utilize a robo-calling service such as FindToto. They will send out robo-call alerts to a selected number of residents in a circumference from where your dog went missing. If you use another alert service other than Find Toto, be sure to check reviews. Unfortunately, not all of them are reliable.
- Bring a flyer in PERSON to all local shelters, humane societies & veterinary practices. Ask to see all “found’ dogs that are there. The shelter’s interpretation of breed/breeds may be very different than your own. IMPORTANT – Continue to check back in person with each location periodically. On occasion, information on found dogs held at the shelters slips through the cracks.
- Fill out the MDM Lost Dog Form so that we can create a post to share for you on our FB page.