Lost Dog
December 15, 2010 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Any hope for finding this lost pup?

I've searched through previous questions and only found questions on lost cats. After googling and doing some research, I've done all of those things that I can think of:

1) Post flyers - We've probably posted close to 200 flyers in a mile radius. Walked miles and miles, driven around, calling his name.
2 ) Spread the word - Given flyers to mailmen, water delivery guy, city workers, store owners, nearby university security patrol,
3) Social networks - Posted on Facebook and several missing dog sites, also on Craigslist, petfinder, etc
4) Searching humane society, notifying local veterinary clinics
5) Left some water and his bed on the front door step in case he returns.

Are we missing anything? Does anyone else have experience with this to offer some shred of hope?

A few more details:
Went missing this morning. I live in Los Angeles. He is a poodle-mix about one year old who hates being away from us. He escaped while being left alone for 20 minutes in our fenced backyard; digging his way under the fence.

Thank you
posted by engling to Pets & Animals (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This could be a little pricey, but you could hire someone with a tracking dog to have the dog search for him.
posted by Ashley801 at 8:08 PM on December 15, 2010

(If you do that, do it ASAP)
posted by Ashley801 at 8:08 PM on December 15, 2010

Did you knock on doors in your area? Is he chipped?

Unfortunately, sometimes these things take time. Someone may have found him before leaving for work and won't have time to do anything until they get home.

Call the humane society and various shelters daily. Some places log lost animals, some don't, but all are staffed by overworked folks who might not recognize that the dog just brought in is on their "missing" list. Wouldn't hurt to go in person every day or every other day.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:12 PM on December 15, 2010

When I found a dog, I drove around and asked the kids in the neighborhood if they had heard anything. The same might work here. Kids know what goes on in the neighborhood.

Best of luck, my heart goes out to you.
posted by Duffington at 8:25 PM on December 15, 2010

Is he microchipped? Make sure your contact information is up to date with the service.

Was he wearing a collar with identification?

Definitely check the shelters every day - if they don't seem to be completely organized, drop into the place as often as possible. If you have a friend who lives close to the shelter, perhaps they wouldn't mind doing this every other day.
posted by barnone at 8:37 PM on December 15, 2010

So if it helps I have a friend who owns a doggy daycare who has twice had dogs escape. Both times they have found the dogs. Both after a few days. They use the same tools you are using.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:47 PM on December 15, 2010

Make sure someone is at home at all times. Dogs tend to find their way back. Otherwise, consider just how far your pup might have strayed in this time and try to set up a search perimeter of sorts. Best of luck. My heart goes out to you.
posted by Gilbert at 9:05 PM on December 15, 2010


Also, I hope you have contacted shelters and animal control with your dog's description and ideally a picture, in addition to checking the shelters for him. Good luck, I hope you find him!
posted by biscotti at 9:08 PM on December 15, 2010

LA County Animal Care and Control. You can search lists of the animals currently impounded in the various shelters.

Also: Ways to Find a Lost Pet.

Good luck!
posted by trip and a half at 9:41 PM on December 15, 2010

Also: Where to Go to Find Your Lost Dog.
posted by trip and a half at 9:44 PM on December 15, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! We did visit one shelter and I definitely see the need to keep checking back in person. The shelters say that they update the websites with the latest info, but as SuperSquirrel mentioned, I can see how things could fall through the cracks.

He is not microchipped, unfortunately. Since he was in the backyard, we did not have any tags/collar on him either.

We are hoping that someone took him in. He LOVES people and is super cute, so perhaps someone has him and they just haven't seen our signs yet. Which we need to redo to make more visible.

I am considering the dog searcher idea. I found one person who will do a consult for under 200 bucks. Her assistance is unlimited, gives you search tactics specific to your area, help with navigating the shelters and she seems to know what she is doing.
posted by engling at 10:25 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Someone in my neighborhood misplaced their kitty and not only did we see flyers on all the telephone poles and car windshields in the neighborhood, but they also printed up postcards and had them direct mailed to every address in the neighborhood. See here. Eventually they found the cat - he'd been locked in a neighbor's house for ten days while the neighbors were on vacation.
posted by bendy at 11:07 PM on December 15, 2010

Like others have said, physically check the shelters every day. And check the Craigslist pets section. People sometimes post there when they find a stray pet.
posted by Sufi at 1:39 AM on December 16, 2010

Oh, man! I'm so sorry! Does your dog have any place in the neighborhood that he might view as especially fun or rewarding? Dog park, cafe where people might be have given him treats, that kind of thing? He will probably gravitate to those places he is happily familiar with if he finds himself in the vicinity, so make sure you have posters there and talk to the shopkeepers, dog owners about it. Of course, you'll want to be sure your immediate neighborhood is especially well covered, even to fliers in mailboxes if feasible.

Make sure to put up signs at as many of the pet stores in your area as you can cover; if someone takes him in they will be picking up things for him, in addition to probably taking him to the vet — plus pet owners will pretty much always go out of their way to look at those signs and keep a special eye out, and they go to pet shops. Likewise, put up signs at/near any reasonably nearby groomers or doggy daycares, and even if you didn't take him to the dog parks(s), put up your posters there for the same reason. Here is a map of all the dog parks in Los Angeles, so you can pinpoint the likeliest ones. On the same page, you can find Vets by zip code.

You can find shelters, rescues, etc. in LA, by zipcode, here; I'd email them all a pic and notice. LA Animal Services Find a Lost Pet page, in case you haven't visited there yet.

For signage, target the places that the most people are likely to visit in your area — groceries, convenience stores, bus stops (do they even have those in LA?), ATMs, drugstores, package stores, restaurants, delis, fast food places.

You said you posted on Facebook, but did you check for LA rescue groups there? These sometimes have a lot of followers who have adopted, not just the people working directly with the groups, so more eyes.

There are a lot of Lost Pets Twitter feeds (Google; Twitter); here's one specifically in LA, but it looks like it's just getting started, unfortunately.

(also, if you feel okay about being more specific with your location, perhaps some people here might have some additional ideas or resources)

Good Luck!!!!!
posted by taz at 1:54 AM on December 16, 2010

Check with local animal hospitals as well. If he was hurt someone might have brought him there and they take their time contacting animal control. Also I know its probably been said but keep going back and checking the shelters, like 2x a day...just in case.
posted by Busmick at 5:50 AM on December 16, 2010

One day is not that long a time in situations like this, especially since the dog had no ID. You're doing all the right things. One other suggestion I have would be to go out after work or whatever seems to be prime dog-walking time in your area and talk to people walking dogs (or just out for a walk or jog) and give them flyers personally. Using a bike works great for this- you can cover a lot of area yet it is easy to stop and talk to people. If you see teenagers on bikes, give them flyers as they tend to cover a lot of ground in the course of just riding around in the afternoon. If you have a skatepark, put flyers up there too.

Call your local police/animal control division or better yet stop by and give them a flyer as well. Try to get a story in your local neighborhood newspaper.

I really hate to bring this one up, but for the sake of completeness you could also call your city's department of public works to see if they have been called out to remove any dogs hit by a car.

Lost dogs seem to seek me out - I've returned a bunch of them to their owners. Plenty of people see flyers and memorize the dog's details and keep an eye out. Dog owners especially do everything they can to get dogs and their people back together.
posted by mikepop at 6:15 AM on December 16, 2010

I once found a lost dog huddling under (really more like *in*) a large bush. I was purposely looking for this specific dog, but I still walked by that same bush a half dozen times in my search, and only noticed he was under there because he happened to twitch and I caught it out of the corner of my eye. He was the same color as the brush and undergrowth, and it was the perfect place to hide if one was a scared little creature.

My point? If you have the manpower available, it doesn't hurt to go over the same area several times. It's surprising how much ground a dog can cover, but it's equally surprising how many lost ones are found hiding out in the immediate vicinity of where they went missing.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:07 AM on December 16, 2010

Call your local vet hospitals. People like to take pets they find to local vets because it is more convenient than the shelter. And some vets will treat an injured stray animal if someone at the hospital likes it enough to keep it.
posted by little miss s at 7:22 AM on December 16, 2010

Another thing I rememeber hearing, it might be anecdotal but its worth a shot. Leave a sweatshirt (or some article of clothing) that smells like you outside, in front of your house with a couple of treats in it. The dog can pick up the smell and find his way home easier.
posted by Busmick at 7:38 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

I lost my dog this past summer, she just beelined it straight up the hill and was just gone! We searched for hours and hours. My ending is not that happy, but what i can tell you is she was returning home. retrace normal walking paths you may have taken in the pst with your dog, ask many neighbors and friends and family to help. If I had the chance to try again I would have called her name, loudly, and waited longer for her to respond. if you drive around calling their name they can't run fast enough to get there in time before you have driven off and called somewhere else. Good luck. My heart goes out to you.
posted by brinkzilla at 10:19 AM on December 16, 2010

engling, did you find your dog?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:27 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

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