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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 26, 2006

When Rover roams, help bring him home

By Dr. Marty Becker
Knight Ridder News Service

Rover bolts out an open front door to explore. Rover-Romeo detects a distant dog in heat and digs under the fence. Rover-Ranger pulls free from the leash and gives chase to destination unknown.

One out of three pets will be lost sometime in their lifetime.

Lost-pet sleuth, Kat Albrecht, author of "The Lost Pet Chronicles" and creator of pet detective seminars (www.pethunters.com) recommends these five tips to finding a lost pooch:

1. Conduct a hasty search: Immediately roam the neighborhood calling your dog and looking for witnesses who may have seen him.

2. Attempt to establish the direction of travel: If you can establish which direction your dog is headed (talking with a neighbor who may have seen the dog), you can drastically shrink the search area and increase your chances of a joyful reunion.

3. Get help: Call on friends, family and neighbors to help look for your dog.

4. Delegate: Have someone start calling shelters and local veterinary clinics. Designate a person to talk with the mail carrier and the UPS delivery person. Ask someone else to start going door to door.

5. Create lost-dog reward posters and flyers: Check out www.lostapet.org for details on how to create effective lost pet posters. Albrecht recommends 5-inch letters on the poster that say "REWARD LOST DOG." The flyer should use two words to describe the dog and should follow the "Five Words Five Seconds" rule so that anyone driving by can easily read something like "Reward Lost Dog Black Poodle." Post these posters on major commuting routes. (Ask yourself, "If I lived in this neighborhood, what are the major roads I would use?")

Finally, if someone does call, don't be scammed. Ask lots of questions. Meet in a neutral location such as your veterinarian's office. And, don't surrender the reward money until your friend is close in hand.