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File a Report:

Please click the appropriate link:   

 To search our database: Please use key-words such as the breed, name, city, zip code, phone number, etc. Search results will include both lost and found dogs: 

Please note: Posts are not automatic. A volunteer will post your dog’s information as soon as a volunteer is available. Once your report is submitted, you will be directed to our website for resources and tools. Lost Dogs Illinois is a 501 (c) 3 organization and provides this service for free. Thank you!


Partnership with Helping Lost Pets (HeLP)

Helping Lost Pets LogoWe are very pleased to announce that Lost Dogs Illinois is now partnering with Helping Lost Pets (HeLP). HeLP is a totally free, map-based national lost/found registry.

How will this help more lost and found dogs get reunited with their owners?

  1. The map-based system makes it easy for people to search for lost and found pets in their area.
  2. Listings can be searched by date, name, breed, age, gender, or size.
  3. HeLP technology makes it easy for finders to produce flyers and to share their post via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Linked In and more.
  4. Email and text alerts are sent to HeLP members to notify them when a pet is listed.
  5. Allows anyone to search and match lost and found pets 24/7.

How will this differ from what we are currently doing?

  • Our posts will look slightly different, but our volunteers will still post them to our LDI Facebook page when a volunteer is available.. You can still share our post with your Facebook friends like you have always done. But you will now have the ability to search by area by using the HeLP map.

We would like to encourage our fans, Illinois shelters, animal control facilities and stray holding facilities to check out the HeLP website and become familiar with it.  It truly has the capability of being the ONE national lost and found database that is so badly needed in this country.

Here are the links:

The HeLP map: www.Helpinglostpets.com/MAP

If you have lost or found a dog fill out this report: http://www.helpinglostpets.com/LDIL


Contact your local radio stations!

Radio ad


Joint Microchip Clinic with Lost Dogs Illinois and Joliet Township Animal Control – October 4th

Clinic located at Joliet Township Animal Care,  Joliet, IL  Contact 815-725-0333 for more information




How are we doing?

State Stats 2014-08


Lexi’s Story – “Tail” of an ID Tag

10624589_10204650276522569_8427022776615641646_nYesterday my husband and I were driving to Crystal Lake, Illinois for an appointment. On busy Route 14 we saw a black dog eating trash from a McDonald’s bag on the side of the road. A man had gotten out of his car and was walking towards the dog. We pulled off the road to see if we could help. He asked us if this was our dog, but actually we thought it was his dog.

The dog was so intent on eating the contents of the bag that the man was able to hold onto her collar and pick her up. He said he didn’t have time to find her owners so we took her.  Once the dog was in our car, I checked her collar for ID tags. YES! Her name was Lexi and she had an ID tag and a county license tag. I called the number on the ID tag but there was no answer.

My husband informed me we were low on gas and needed to stop to fuel up. At the gas station, I called my friend, Becky, who lives on the same street as Lexi’s family which was on her ID tag. Luckily she was just around the corner doing some shopping so we arranged to meet up and Becky delivered Lexi home.

I got to thinking…. How much would it have cost Lexi’s family to reclaim her from the local animal control if she hadn’t been wearing visible identification?

I pulled up their website:

Redemption Fee: Animals with identification (Id tag, microchips, tattoos), which identifies the owner at their current address  – $45.00

Redemption Fee: Animals without identification or identification which does not identify the owner at their current address – $55.00

Boarding fees – $10.00 daily.

Other county fees are different but the point is the same.

Current ID tags and/or a rabies tag will save an owner time and money.

Does your dog have current identification on his/her collar?  Your dog is depending on you to make sure he or she gets safely home.


Ten Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a Tracking Dog Service

1375911626rvuyxWe often get asked about tracking dog services for missing dogs.  Some of these services are good, some are not so good and some are out and out scams. They will cost many hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars depending on where they are located and the distance they have to travel. Most will also charge an initial phone consultation fee.  Some services will require that you purchase extra products like flyers and signs. Before you hire a tracking dog service to help find your missing dog, please do your homework.  Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Tracking dogs will not capture your dog. They may or may not be able to indicate whether your dog was in an area and the direction of travel. But you will still have to do the work of flyering the areamonitoring sightings,  establishing a feeding routine and trapping your dog.  Tracking dogs are not a magic pill.  If a service guarantees success, they are a scam.
  2. A tracking dog is kept on a long line and can only travel as fast as the handler travels. (consider the fitness level of the human on the other end of the leash). Rough terrain and extreme temperatures will be factors.  Most lost dogs will be able to easily outpace a tracking dog and handler.  Ask the tracking service if you can accompany them on the search with the handler and the dog. Be suspicious if they say no.
  3. Tracking dogs may be a poor choice for scared, lost dogs that are in survival mode. These dogs need to settle into an area and establish a feeding routine.  Tracking dogs may  pressure them out of the area that they may have settled in. You will then have to start all over in a new area with flyering and signs to generate sightings.
  4.  Be very skeptical of services that tell you they will have to keep coming back to “confirm” a scent. Each of these visits may cost you more money and you risk your dog being pressured again out of an area that he may have settled in. You will then have to start over using flyers and signs to generate new sightings.
  5.  There is no accredited school for training scent dogs for finding lost dogs.  Trackers often claim success when it was actually flyers or another method of generating sightings that brought the dog home. Check references and successes thoroughly. Personally check with at least five or six references via telephone. Do not rely on online “reviews”  or recommendations.
  6. Reputable tracking dog services will have a contract for you to review and sign and will take credit cards. Make sure you have a clear idea up front of what the total cost will be.  Never send cash or wire transfer money. 
  7. Tracking dogs have much greater success at finding lost cats (who hide when scared) than lost dogs (who run when being pressured).  Ask the tracking dog service what their success rate is.  If they guarantee they will find your dog, or quote an overly optimistic success rate, they are probably a scam.
  8.  Tracking success depends on many things: the weather, the length of time the dog was in the area, the terrain and environment.  The service should give you an honest assessment of what you are dealing with. The longer your dog has been missing the less likely the tracking dog will be able to pick up a scent
  9. Search and rescue dogs are certified for human recovery only and will not normally be  used for tracking missing pets. If someone tells you they will bring their search and rescue dog to look for your missing dog, be extremely skeptical. Ask to see their training records and their certification.
  10. Some tracking dog services, lost pet services and pet detectives prey on the distraught owner by making unsolicited contact with them from their missing dog flyers.  Be VERY careful. Many of these are scams, or at the very least – very expensive services that do what you can do yourself for a fraction of the cost.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stay calm, do your research and spend your money wisely.   Generating sightings is the key to a successful recovery. Consider how many flyers, signs, newspaper ads or even billboards  could be purchased with the money you would spend on a tracking dog service.  Your lost dog is depending on you to bring him safely home.

Our tips, ideas and articles are based on information gathered from thousands of successful lost dog recoveries. Any advice or suggestions made by Lost Dogs of Wisconsin/Lost Dogs Illinois is not paid-for professional advice and should be taken at owner’s discretion.


July 2013/July 2014 Reunion Comparison

We are pleased to share an increase in the number of dogs reunited with their families from this time last year!

2013-2014 July Comparison


July Reunion Figures

July Reunions 2014


June Reunion Figures

June 2014 Reunions


A Volunteer Chain Reaction; Jaxx’s Journey Home


On July 4th, 2014 a Chicago family’s dog, Jaxx, went missing from his yard. His family really missed him and wanted him home. Trying to think of ways to help find him, the family finally posted a picture of Jaxx on the Lost Dogs Illinois Facebook page asking if anyone had seen him.

Irene, one of the Lost Dogs Illinois volunteers, saw the family’s plea for help and remembered seeing a listing for a dog that resembled, Jaxx, on the Petharbor website. The listing she remembered on Petharbor was for a dog being held at Chicago Animal Care & Control and had been brought in the same day Jaxx, went missing. Irene checked back on the website, but the dog she remembered was no longer listed. Hoping it wasn’t too late to find the dog and confirm him to be Jaxx, she quickly opened the CACC Transfer Team Facebook page. Thankfully, CACC has a special group of volunteers that work with the dogs that are brought in. They allow them to run a Facebook page representing the dogs at CACC. They use social media as a tool to network the dogs to help find rescues groups, potential foster homes, potential adopters and another avenue that could allow a family to find their missing pet.

As luck would have it, the LDI volunteer did find a video of the dog she saw on Petharbor on the Transfer Teams’ page. Irene contacted her fellow LDI volunteers with a link to the video for a second opinion to see if they also thought the dog was a match for Jaxx.   The consensus was an overwhelming, “Yes!”.  Irene then was able to send the video to Jaxx’s family and they agreed that, indeed, that was their boy! Obviously, they wanted to know where they could come get him. The problem now was, it seemed that Jaxx was no longer listed on Petharbor because he had already been pulled by a rescue group and was no longer at CACC.

The volunteer chain reaction was already well underway. Through the work that LDI does, some of the volunteers have become friends with some of the CACC volunteers. LDI volunteer, Irene, asked another LDI volunteer, Jackie, if she could help locate Jaxx through her connections with the CACC volunteers.   Quickly, Angie, from the Transfer Team page was contacted. Immediately, the CACC volunteer jumped into action to try and find out where and to what rescue group pulled Jaxx. Lo and behold, Jaxx, was now with  Retrieve A Golden of Minnesota.   Yes, you read that right, Minnesota. Now what? The CACC volunteer asked if more pictures showing different views of Jaxx could be forwarded to her from the family while she gathered the contact information for the rescue. Angie was able to forward those pictures to the rescue and to Jaxx’s foster family. All parties agreed it was a match. Jaxx was now part of Retrieve a Golden and could be adopted out, but the rescue knew that getting Jaxx back to his original family was in his best interest. Now, how to go about doing that is something else that needed to be figured out.

To add another layer to this story was the fact that Jaxx’s foster family was not in Minnesota, they were in Iowa. Yep, Iowa! After dozens of emails, many texts and several phone calls, arrangements were made to meet Jaxx’s family at the Iowa border the following Saturday. The rescue also has volunteers that help drive different transportation legs when they need dogs transported for their rescue. One of those volunteers offered to pick up and drive Jaxx to the Iowa border for the impending reunion.

Jaxx’s family and all of the volunteers involved waited on pins and needles for the day Jaxx would finally be home sweet home. Finally, on the afternoon of July 26th, it happened. It was obvious that, Jaxx, had been well cared for while on his little adventure.   One final volunteer chain reaction happened while they passed around a picture of Jaxx riding happily home in his family’s car, smiling from ear to ear, looking fluffier than ever.

We, at LDI, would like to thank everyone involved in this volunteer chain reaction to get Jaxx back to his rightful family. Remember Jaxx didn’t need a new home; he needed to go home!