While recovering a lost dog is not a science – there are proven steps that you can take to help ensure a timely recovery. Be SURE to follow these simple steps to help bring your dog home
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 our tool to generate one using our "Flyer Generator", which can be found at the bottom of this page.
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.
Be sure to provide all requested information as well as a clear/current photo in .jpg format so that a flyer may be created and posted to our Facebook page. Failure to provide all requested information will result in a delay in getting your post on the page.
Keep a list of all entities that you have informed about your missing dog so that you may update them when your dog is found.
Please note that current lost and found dogs are posted on our FB page, not our website. They may be viewed here:
Be sure to keep us updated on your dog’s status via the comment section below your dog’s post on our page. It is very important to notify us when your dog is found so that we may keep the page as current as possible.
Use this tool to create simple flyers to hang in the area where
your dog has gone missing.
Be sure to hang flyers in locations with lots of traffic (grocery stores, public library bulletin board, local coffee shop etc.). Print in B & W on neon paper for maximum visibility. Place in plastic page protectors with the opening at the bottom to protect from inclement weather.
If your flyers fail to generate sightings, expand your flyering area in an outward radius and consider these creative signage ideas from Missing Pet Partnership (including turning your vehicle into a mobile billboard).
Be kind to local residents and be sure to remove flyers once your dog has been found.