When Rover roams, help bring him home
By Dr. Marty Becker
Knight Ridder News Service
By Dr. Marty Becker
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.