Author Todd Foleyhttp://www.tgshowdogs.com
You will find your dog.
Never give up!!!!!
Most importantly, keep
a clear head even though you are probably as panic stricken as
you have ever been. You need a plan and follow it through.
Immediately search area
of where dog went missing for at least 15 minutes to one half
hour. It would be good to get a general idea of which direction
the dog was heading.
If he fled from his own
yard, leave the gate open and put his crate out in the yard with
food and water in it.
Call or get a hold of
as many people (maybe neighbours, friends, family relatives, the
Breeder) as possible, to help in the search party for at least a
few hours or until dark. Search in an area of 2 square miles
(TARGET ZONE) from where the dog was last seen or lost. If in a
rural area, this area may span to about five square miles but
usually does not.
If possible, obtain a
cellular phone. Give all the members of the search party your
number. If you are unable to obtain a cellular phone, make sure
someone is home to receive messages and that they get them to
you. If you have no one at home and have an answering machine,
turn it on. Change your message to, asking for information
on your lost dog.
Instruct search party
to not chase the dog but to only notify you when the dog
If you see the dog, do
not yell out his name or try and chase him or he'll be gone like
the wind. Sit down calmly on the ground, like you are wanting
him to play or like you are feeding him, calling his name gently
or using some key fun words that he is used to when you are
having fun with him. He may come to you but may not. Trust me,
your first instinct is to scream out his name and go tearing
after him. This won't work.
Lost Shelties are in
"flight" mode. If you think they will come to you when you call
them you may be fooling yourself. They don't wait to see who it
Talk to anybody you see
in that area to find out if they have seen your dog and get the
direction of his travel. Most of the time somebody has seen
They usually travel
within a half mile very quickly but do not usually travel more
than two - three miles (TARGET ZONE).
They usually will go
downhill which will be easier on them and also leads them to
Call to get a
Live Animal Trap (see next section) or at least set up a
crate. Set it up where the dog was last seen or where he ran
from. Most Shelties, if not found after a few hours will
eventually be caught in the live trap. Set the trap up before
the first night if possible but it is never too late to set the
Call Police, dog
catchers /officers / SPCA, Vet (give tattoo # and microchip
information), fire station and animal shelters, etc.
Have someone stay at
the site for the first 24 hours if possible. (not yourself). You
must have a clear head in the morning or for the next part of
Before you leave for
the night, place a piece of your clothing where he was last
seen. This may lure him back to this area which is known to
After 2-3 hours or during the first night
Again, YOU WILL FIND YOUR DOG!!!
- Of course you feel
upset, terrified, and completely helpless. Well, you are not
helpless. Again, it is most important to keep your wits about
you. Now is the time you have to put yourself to work no matter
how tired you are. Your lost dog is probably more tired and will
most likely be seeking out a spot to get some rest. He will be
fine and they have been known to have been found after five
months and be still okay.
- That first night after
dark, get to work, hopefully with your friends' help. Start off
by finding a recent photo of your dog and if you can not find
one, find a photo of a dog that looks like him. Even if you can
not find a photo at all, proceed with making up a Lost Dog
Flyer. See the end of this column for a demonstration
Flyer . If you have no access to a computer or typewriter, use a
pen or marker, just as long as you get the message across that
the dog is missing. The key to successful pet finding, is to get
as many others to look as possible. The Flyer should consist of
the following information:
- A good clear
photo of your Sheltie. The best way is to scan it, then print
onto paper in colour if possible, or you can photocopy it. If
you have no photo, use a dog's photo that looks like your dog.
- Use a lot of
colour if possible on your flyer. Use the brightest paper such
as red & white with black lettering. The colour
commands attention, ie: REWARD
usually attracts a lot of people. An amount of $150.00 and up
would be a good figure.
- A telephone
number where you can be reached 24 hours a day.
- Put a date on
it of when you have put this flyer up.
- Make sure you
say to NOT chase the dog, but only to notify you ASAP.
- If rain is
anticipated, cover your flyers with plastic, ie: food storage
bags or freezer bags, etc.
- Make some photocopies
of a local map of the area where the dog was either last seen or
was lost. This map will help you keep track of where the dog was
last seen and also may show patterns.
- Put a notebook beside
the phone so you can keep a record of any calls that may come in
with information about your Sheltie. Write down the person's
name, address, where seen, and time of day, etc. Actually, keep
a log and eventually you will see his path of travel and also
what time of day he comes out to move around.
- Make a list of people
who can help you the next day. Make a game plan to show which
person will do what for you. Everybody must have a job. You can
not search for the dog and do all this paper work at the same
- Cook up some liver or
chicken with garlic, liverwurst, and keep the juices. You want
the smelliest, smelliest stuff you can get that you know your
dog will love. Put it in the fridge for the next morning or if
you have already set up a trap, put it in the trap.
- If you haven't already
looked into getting a trap, do it now. From our experience with
lost Shelties, if they are not found within the first couple of
hours, they will be caught in a live trap, but only if you set
one. Call the local animal shelter, CSSA member with a trap,
Provincial Departments / Ministries of Natural Resources /
Forestry, hardware stores, rent-it stores and dog catcher, etc.
If you still can't get a trap, at least get his crate out there
in place of the trap. With help from people spotting your dog
and you putting the trap where the dog is spotted, eventually
the trap will get the dog.
You have finally
tracked down a trap that is suitable for the size of your
Sheltie and will not harm him. More than one trap would not be a
Make up a sign for the
trap. See the back page for an example. You want people to know
why the trap is set and you want them to call you immediately if
he or something else is in the trap.
Take the trap, the food
that you prepared, the juices from the food, water, and a
personal piece of your clothing, to the last spot where he was
seen. A pair of dirty underwear or a pair of dirty socks may do
the trick or your favourite sweater that you wear all the time.
If the lost dog is an intact male, then a cloth with the smell
of a female "in heat" may lure him into the trap.
Also bring a weather
cover, ie: tarp, so the weather doesn't harm him
Set up the trap in a
covered shaded area, not out in the open, if possible.
Pour the juices in a
nice long trail heading toward the trap, then put the stuff you
brought to lure him in, into the trap. (The food and water must
be changed routinely).
Attach your sign /
poster as described above and also shown as an example at
the back of this booklet.
Get up before daylight.
Lost dogs will usually travel at dusk or at dawn, when there
aren't many people around and a lot less harm could come their
Set trap up if you have
not already done so as described above or check the already set
traps. Checking the trap must be done many times a day,
especially at early morning and before you go home for the
Call the local
authorities, ie: dog catchers and SPCA, and Sheltie Rescue. Go
down to their facilities and see for your own eyes. Do this
Have someone start
attaching the flyers with scotch tape or with a staple gun if
possible to the following locations in at least a two mile
radius of where the dog was last seen: telephone and utility
poles at approximately four feet high in both directions, Super
Mail Boxes if applicable, grocery stores windows, schools
(children love to help find pets), post office, liquor store,
doctor's office, fire station, police station, paper boy or
girl, construction sites, road crews, local veterinarian,
telephone booths, newspaper racks, Tim Hortons, Taxi Stands,
pizza parlours, hair dressers, movie theatre, bowling alley,
library and churches. The more flyers you get up, the better
chances are you'll get your dog back.
Go door to door in the
neighbourhoods to let people know to watch out for him and also
to let them know that there will be strange cars and people in
their neighbourhood at any time of the day or night looking for
Call the local delivery
people, ie: milk man, mail man, oil companies and the local
power utility company.
Call the local radio
You have to think like
a dog. Where would he most likely head?
Take one of your other
dogs with you if applicable. Get the dog barking, playful like.
If you spot the lost dog, go down on your knees playing with the
other one. Don't yell his name. Trust me, he'll run like there
is no tomorrow. Toss some food in his direction.
Try using a whistle.
Look into hiring a
local Trapper, Tracker or Tracking dog.
Walk the parks,
streams, along rivers, lakes, where children play, back roads,
where there are other dogs , cats, etc.
Set up an x-pen with
your other dogs, in the area where he was last seen.
He will probably be
spotted by others many times but do not get discouraged if he is
gone by the time you get there. Most likely, the trap will be
While searching, talk
to as many people as possible. Set the traps where he was last
Eventually you have to
go back to work and the friends usually aren't there as much as
the first couple of days. Do not feel guilty. As long as you
have done as shown above, the trap will eventually get your
Check the trap and
change it as necessary each day.
Follow your leads. Only
move the trap to the latest sighting as long as you are sure it
was a real sighting. Not everybody is completely honest.
Call and go see the
local authorities as above, each day.
Mark the map with all
sightings and keep a log in your notebook.
You may go weeks
without any sightings then all of the sudden he is around
If he has not been
spotted at all after a day or two, spread the flyers and phone
calls to a five mile radius of where he was last seen, to all
the people and stores as stated above.
Try using the Internet,
ie: Sheltie List, to get the word out or make an announcement on
your web page if you have one.
DON'T GIVE UP.
Have a list of friends
that will be available each day to help if a call comes in and
you cannot be there, or in the event you need a number of people
to help round him up.
Carry a big net, but be
careful, because if it doesn't work, you may scare him away.
Always be cheerful,
polite, and thankful on the phone.
Put an AD in the
Classifieds in the newspaper and also check the FOUND ADS.
Hand out flyers to
every child you meet while on the search.
DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED
OR GIVE UP. I could tell you stories that you wouldn't believe.
Dogs, especially Shelties, can live out there by themselves for
a very long time, even if they are scared.
Change all the flyers
that you have put up and out and pass them out again. Change the
wording to STILL LOST
and change the date to the present day.
Revisit all the stores,
schools, etc., as you have done previously. Keep checking the
traps and moving them as necessary.
It may take weeks and
or months to get him back. NEVER GIVE UP!!! I have heard stories
of finding them after five months and in Winter conditions.
At last, your baby is
home safe and sound.
Depending on how long
he was gone, take him to the Vet for an examination.
You must treat him
differently now. Depending on how long he was in the wild, he
has probably become quite independent. Running off might not be
such a big thing to him anymore as he knows he can fend for
Take all the
Notify the schools that
he has been found and take him to the schools for a visit. The
kids would very much appreciate seeing him after they had been
out looking for him.
Have a party for all
Special thanks to the Internet Sheltie-List people and Pat Schaap (Shenanigan Shetlands) for providing so much valuable information.
Emergency Numbers and Information
|| Dog Catcher.............................................
Sample lost dog posters below--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LOST DOG Sheltie (Little Collie) Female, Blackish Brown & WhiteShe has been missing since 7:00 pm, Monday June 9th. If you should see her, please call one of the numbers below as soon as possible any time of the day or night. Please DO NOT CHASE her and try and catch her. She is shy and will run away again.
There is a REWARD for her return.
(902) 555-1111 or (902) 666-2222
|Please help us get our missing dog back.
He is a black & white Sheltie with some brown on
his face and legs and looks like a small Collie. He is
wearing a red collar with a rabies tag.
He has been missing since June 9th. We
want him to come home very badly, but by now he is
probably very scared and will not come near people. This
trap is set to catch him and not hurt him. Please help
us get our dog back and do not touch this trap. If you see an animal in this trap, call one of the telephone numbers below. If the dog is our dog, there will be a REWARD
given to the first person to call. (902) 555-1111 or (902) 666-2222