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- Events (6)
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Website dedicated for hard to trap dogs – hardtotrap.wordpress.com
Waukegan ACO built a guillotine door to a dog house to capture a “lost” dog named Tulip.
We want to thank our dedicated and compassionate volunteers who monitor our FB page; post lost/found dogs & reunions, maintain our website; follow up on lost/found dogs; monitor Craigslist, attend special events, provide IT and Twitter support, provide statistics, write articles and photo tips, and the list goes on. Without them this page and the website wouldn’t be possible. Thank You LDI Volunteers!
Your lost dog has been missing now for several weeks (or months) and your sightings and leads have fizzled out. Spring is a great time to jump-start the search for a long-lost dog.
The snow is melting and people are outside more; doing spring clean-up in their yards, walking dogs, riding bikes, etc. They may see your dog at dawn or dusk; or they may find a clue that will help you (a collar, or a place where your dog has been sheltering – maybe under a deck or in an outbuilding or garden shed).
This article is designed to give you some ideas for reigniting your search to give you a place to pick up again. Hopefully, you have read our other articles on shy lost dog search strategies and friendly lost dog search strategies. If not, please check the categories at the right that link to many more articles. We also hope you have mapped all the sightings on a map, either a web-based map like Google Maps or a large-scale paper map.
Now, imagine you are a detective working on a cold case. You may talk to 99 people who have not seen or heard anything. You are looking for the ONE person who has. Someone, somewhere has seen or knows something. Be persistent and don’t give up. Even if they haven’t seen your dog, they may see your dog tomorrow. Putting a flyer in their hands ensures they will know who to call when they see him.
Look at your map and draw a circle in a one mile radius around the last confirmed sighting. Go back to the last confirmed place that your dog was seen and flyer heavily in a one mile radius. Don’t let false assumptions or geographic barriers deter you. Don’t assume that your dog would NEVER have crossed the highway or the river or the lake. False assumptions will make you miss possible sightings and leads.
Talk to everybody! Put a flyer in their hands and ask them if they have seen your dog or if they think a dog may have been hanging around their house or farm. Did they see dog tracks under their bird feeder? Was their dog poop in their yard when it shouldn’t be there? Was their outdoor cat food disappearing faster than normal?
Visit EVERY place that serves food in the one mile radius. Don’t forget convenience stores and gas stations! Talk with the kitchen staff and management. Did anybody see a dog hanging out near the dumpsters? Did anybody notice dog tracks near the dumpsters in the winter? Did any restaurant patrons mention a dog hanging out in the parking lot?
Think about the demographics of the neighborhoods in the one mile radius. Maybe you need to print some flyers in Spanish or another language? Or, maybe there are some older residents who don’t get out much to see signs and flyers but may have taken pity on your dog and fed him over the winter? Think about the people that may not have seen or understood your first round of flyering.
Spring is also a great time to refresh your posters and intersection signs. You may want to change the heading to STILL MISSING – so that people know that the search is still on. Think outside the box. Ask every business in the one mile radius if you can hang a flyer in their window and employee break room. Maybe your dog approached workers on their lunch break. Or maybe they saw him when they were driving to or from work.
If you don’t get any new leads in the one mile radius; you will need to expand your area. You may want to consider using an automated calling service like FindToto.com and/or USPS Every Door Direct Mail. Beware of some of the other lost pet mailing services that you will see advertised. Some of them are scams and do not reach the number of homes that they promise.
Refresh the memories of the animal control facilities, shelters, police departments, vet clinics and municipal offices in your county and surrounding counties. Send them fresh flyers.
Give a new flyer to postal workers, delivery drivers, school bus drivers and garbage truck drivers. Don’t forget pizza and sandwich delivery drivers also! They are out and about in the evening, when your dog may be moving around, looking for food.
Check with your local Department of Transportation. Have they found any deceased dogs alongside the road? Or has a dog been spotted eating on a deer or other wildlife carcass?
Repost your dog on Craigslist and your local online classifieds. Consider taking out a print newspaper ad also. There are still many people without computers or the internet!
Remember, Never Give Up! Use the warm weather of spring to re-energize and jump start the search for your missing dog. Your dog is depending on you to bring him 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.
Facebook is great! It has helped us to connect and share our posts with over 33,000 Facebook fans in Illinois. Many of those fans re-share our posts and many lost dogs have been reunited with their owners. But not everybody is on Facebook. That is why we have branched out to include other social media sites in our toolbox. Pinterest is a hot new social media site that we are on. Or, if you like your messages short, sweet and easily searchable; you can “follow” us on Twitter.
For efficiency, we have linked our Facebook account to our Twitter account so that our Facebook postings automatically are “tweeted”. But Twitter requires that we keep our “tweets” to only 140 characters. So, we try to get all of the important information out about lost or found dogs in the briefest way possible. Then, if somebody sees a tweeted lost or found dog from their area, they can click on the link for more information. Or, if the dog isn’t from their area, they can ignore it. Twitter also gives the account user the ability to “retweet” the posting to their followers. One retweet from an influential user (think celebrity or a media outlet like a newspaper or radio station) can result in our tweet going to thousands of people.
Did you know that you can search Twitter via hashtags? A hashtag is a word or phrase prefixed with the symbol #. For instance if you want to see all of the dogs missing from the Springfield area – you can simply type #Springfield into the search box. You will get our missing or found dogs but will also get all of the other news and information about Springfield. Be aware, that there are other cities in America named Springfield, so you might get search results from those also. If you want to see all of our missing and found dogs, regardless of location, you can follow our Twitterfeed at @LostDogsil.
A note about hashtags: They must be all one word to work. Buffalo Grove must be typed #BuffaloGrove. Capitalization isn’t important. #buffalogrove would get you the same results in the Twitter search. So, when you see our Facebook posts without spaces between the words and the # symbol in front, it isn’t because we can’t spell! It’s because we are trying to maximize our exposure so that more lost dogs get home!
Thank you for “sharing”, “pinning” and “retweeting” our postings. You are saving lives!
When a dog is missing, the first reaction is often panic. Panic leads to unclear thinking about what really happened. Many people are convinced that their dog has been stolen, before they objectively think through all of the scenarios.
Just last week we had a case where the dog was missing from a fenced yard. The owner assumed their dog was stolen but he had fallen into a window well and was recovered safely. Check everywhere first!
Next we need to clearly define the difference between a dog that is picked up and one that is stolen. A picked up dog is one that was lost, or perceived to be lost and a Good Samaritan took the dog in, to keep it out of harm’s way. Stealing involves a person who commits a crime of intent by illegally entering your house, business, yard or vehicle and taking your dog. There is a big difference because the motive is different.
If you have reconsidered and realized that your dog was picked up by a Good Samaritan - please read this article instead.
“Stolen” dogs make headlines which makes it appear that it happens more often than it does. But when the dog is recovered, and it wasn’t stolen; the outcome doesn’t get the same media attention. So the public only remembers that the dog was “stolen” when it may have simply been lost or picked up.
The media loves to over sensationalize the story of a stolen dog and pretty soon people’s minds are playing tricks on them – creating all sorts of bizarre scenarios that probably didn’t happen. At Lost Dogs of Wisconsin/Lost Dogs Illinois we focus on “probability” vs. “possibility”. We never say never, but when we look at the results of our 5000 successful reunions, we see some pretty clear patterns.
In our experience we have found that very few dogs are actually stolen. And, of those that are stolen, many of those have been taken by somebody that is known to the family. If you think your dog has been stolen, consider these possible suspects first:
1. A disgruntled spouse, ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, or other family member
2. A disgruntled employee, contractor or anyone you may owe money to
3. An unhappy neighbor who perhaps disagrees with how you care for your dog.
Immediately file a police report. If your dog has been stolen, you need to create a paper trail to help you. You also will need the police department on your side because you will need them to accompany you when you find out where your dog is. You will also want to make sure that the thief is prosecuted.
Regardless of whether you dog is simply lost, has been picked up by a Good Samaritan or has been stolen – the way to recover them is to generate sightings by getting the word out. The following action plan has been written to help you generate sightings if you have concluded that your dog has been stolen in an urban setting.
Note: Any advice or suggestion made by Lost Dogs of Wisconsin/Lost Dogs Illinois is not paid-for professional advice and should be taken at owner’s discretion.
Lost Dogs Illinois was designed to help individual owners and finders of dogs. We provide postings, a website, tips and suggestions to help happy reunions happen. We are thrilled that the idea has taken off and has become so successful. We are often asked if we can post pictures of “strays” in shelters or other animal control or stray holding facilities. We would love to accommodate them all; but unfortunately this would defeat our purpose. When we “overpost” Facebook has a sneaky way of hiding our posts in our fan’s newsfeeds. This would also overwhelm our volunteers who generously give of their time to help lost dogs.
Instead, we encourage every shelter, vet clinic, police department or other agency that holds “strays” to develop their own Facebook page to help lost pets in their community. We will gladly share the link to the page and feature it on our website. We truly believe that with today’s technology and social media availability that it is the ethical responsibility of every shelter in America to make sure that they are using all of the tools available to get lost pets back to their owners. Reuniting lost pets frees up kennel space for the truly needy animals and saves lives.