Tag Archives: Craigslist

Jump Starting Your Search For the Long-Lost Dog

Jump start

Your lost dog has been missing now for several weeks (or months) and your sightings and leads have fizzled out. Don’t despair.  It is never too late to jump-start the search for a long-lost dog.

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? Did anybody see a similar looking dog being walked in their neighborhood?

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.

Now is 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  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!  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.

Brinkles, and the Power of Facebook Fans

Stephanie was at work when her husband called. “I lost our daughter,” he said in a panic. Mark was referring to their lab mix, Brinkles, who’d been in their family seven years- since she was a puppy. “I had to calm him down and reassure him that Brinkles was okay and that we would find her,” said Stephanie.

The beautiful Brinkles

Mark was calling from Montrose Dog Beach on Chicago’s North Side. Brinkles and their other dog, Charlie loved playing at the beach. Chicago Park District’s first legal off-leash beach, it is very popular and quite busy- especially in the mornings. Stephanie and Mark took them there weekly in the summer and at least monthly in the colder months.

That particular day, Charlie had escaped to the neighboring beach, restricted to people only (The dog beach is gated and fenced on two sides- the lake being the third. But there are ways for sneaky dogs to get out.) Mark chased after Charlie, assuming Brinkles was at his side.

Meanwhile, a woman named Eileen saw Brinkles hanging out near the gate, looking for a way out. She asked around to see if she belonged to anybody. The dog beach has a rule about dog owners remaining with and watching their dogs at all times, so she thought Brinkles may have been abandoned. Out of concern for her well-being, Eileen took her home to keep safe while she made efforts online to find an owner.

After wrangling Charlie, Mark came back to the beach area, getting ready to take the dogs home, when he noticed Brinkles was missing. He too talked to people nearby and they told him about a woman who left with the dog but they didn’t know her name or how to reach her. That’s when Mark called Stephanie and set a plan in motion to get her back as quickly as possible.

Mark raced to Stephanie’s work and they immediately went to the city pound- Chicago Animal Care and Control. On the way there, Stephanie used her phone to post an ad on Craigslist– a common place for lost and found dog ads. When they had no luck at the pound, they turned back home to brainstorm more methods of finding Brinkles. Stephanie got on the computer and had a message waiting from someone who saw her Craigslist ad. They didn’t have any information about their dog, but told her about Lost Dogs Illinois.

It had been three hours since Brinkles went missing when Stephanie filled out the Lost Dog Report on LDI and we posted it on our wall. Our fan network responded with a quickness; one of them referred her to the Montrose Dog Beach’s Facebook page. Sure enough, there was a picture of Brinkles that had been posted by Eileen. Stephanie and Mark were ecstatic.

The day after she went missing, Brinkles was home safe and sound with her parents and brother Charlie. Stephanie remembers, “She was thrilled to be home and went straight to her food bowl to chow down.” After that, the family cuddled on the couch all day.

If it weren’t for the network of kind strangers who went out of their way- Eileen, an unknown Good Samaritan on Craigslist, and a very clever LDI fan- who knows where Brinkles would be now. “Thank God for nice people,” says Stephanie. And to the LDI Facebook community, she has a special message: “Thank you all for your help in getting our girl home…you all are amazing!”