Lost my dog

Our question this week was:

I lost my dog – what do you recommend that I do to find him?

The following are recommendations to help find a lost pet:

If your pet has a microchip implanted, the first thing you should do is to contact your microchip provider to report the lost pet.

Search the area, and talk to the neighbors and passersbys. Walk or drive through the area several times daily. Early morning and evening are the best times to look for a lost pet. Hand out a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached.

Post signs in the neighborhood with your pet's description, a photo, your phone number and information about ID tags. Put signs in grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices and other high traffic locations.

Place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet's sex, age, weight, breed, color and special markings. But to be sure your caller is legitimate and is not just playing a cruel trick, leave out one identifying characteristic so you can ask callers to describe it.

Widen your search: You don't know how long your pet has been gone and he may have had time to stray a long way from home. File a lost-pet report with every shelter and emergency clinic within a 60-mile radius of your home. Visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible and even if they say your pet is not there, go and see for yourself. Check repeatedly. New animals come in every day. If there is no shelter in your community, give the local police an accurate description and recent photograph of your pet.

Contact the police if you believe your pet was stolen.
The Internet can be of some use in helping track down a lost pet, although its search is wide and random. The Humane Society recommends trying a United States Department of Agriculture Web site called USDA Missing Pet Network (www.missingpet.net) that connects you to a notice board for missing and found pets in your state.

Don't give up your search. Animals who have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners.

Our question this week came from Maria L. from Orlando, Florida

Dr. Debra

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