Long Term Action Plan

What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Been Missing For 30 – 60 – or 90 Days

First and foremost never give up hope!

30 days missing

Continue to flyer around your neighborhood and surrounding areas. Go door to door with a flyer with a good clear photo on it that preferably shows your dog from all sides. Each week, go 5 more miles out in your radius. Please be aware that it is not legal to place flyers or anything else in a mailbox-use the paper boxes instead.

If posters have been put up, check to assure they are still up and in good condition. It is always a good idea to move them around so they aren’t in the same place anymore, this will increase visibility.

Always check local and surrounding shelters, rescues, animal control, pounds, vet clinics and adopt a pet websites (petfinder.com). Your dog may have been found by someone who was not able to find you and may have (well intended) put your pup up for adoption etc.

Place an ad in the classified section of your newspaper if you haven’t already done so. You may want to place ads in the surrounding towns newspapers as well. Continue to refresh your Craigslist post

Look for where your dog has been (sightings) or might be (a place that offers food, shelter and the ability to avoid predators).

Search in old barns, long grasses or weeds, watch near garbage dumpsters or restaurants where the dog may be getting food. Please do not enter someone else’s property without first gaining their permission.

Consider using a live trap if the dog has been sighted a few times in the same area. It is imperative that the trap be checked daily or even hourly if the weather is harsh-too hot or too cold.

Set up a trail cam at sighting places or near where you think he/she might be.

If you do get notified that someone has sighted your dog:
1- Write the caller’s name and phone number down so that you can contact them if you have any questions
2- ‘Interview’ them and get as much information about the sighting as is possible (where seen, how your dog was acting, time of sighting etc) Write all of this down so you do not forget it.

Arriving at the sighting location_(be sure to bring smelly treats, leash and collar with you)

1- If you spot your dog…Remain Calm-do not call out to them and do not slam the car door! Your dog is in survival mode and views you, and all other humans, as predators. Quietly get out of your car with your smelly treats. Put the treats around you and sit very quietly, it may take minutes or even hours for you dog to come near you. Do Not ‘grab’ at your dog in hopes to get him/her-he/she will likely bolt and you will have to start all over getting him/her to trust you again.

2- If you do not see your dog do not waste time driving around. Immediately go door to door in the area giving people a flyer with the updated sighting information written on it (Sighted at 4pm Wednesday at the edge of your property etc ). If no one is home leave a flyer for them. Leave an article of your clothing and food at the place of the sighting as well.
might just want to add here, something about what to do if you get a sighting.

60 days missing

Once you have exhausted all outlets in your town and or county-branch out to surrounding towns and or counties with flyers or posters.

Place another ad in your town’s (and surrounding town’s ) classifieds. Check the classifieds of your newspapers and Craig’s List daily to see if your dog may have been posted as a found dog.

Always check local and surrounding shelters rescues and adopt a pet websites (petfinder.com). Your dog may have been found by someone who was not able to find you and may have (well intended) put your pup up for adoption etc.

Always follow up on sightings. Remember, a dog in survival mode is avoiding predators, if searching please do so with as few people in one area as possible. If you see your dog do not call out to him/her, you will need to convince him/her that you are not a predator. To do this sit or stand quietly and do not make eye contact. Always have smelly food with you and lay it out near you.

Wait for the dog to come to you, do not attempt to go to it or call to it.

90 days missing

Continue to work the previous steps;
1-Flyer-be sure to put flyers in the paper boxes as it is not legal to put anything in the regular mailbox. Each week, go 5 more miles out in your radius when flyering.
2-Check your posters to be sure that they are still up and not damaged. Replace any damaged posters.
3-Refresh your Craig’s List ads and check your paper’s classifieds.
4-Check live traps as well as trail cams. It is imperative that live traps be checked daily or even numerous times a day if the weather is harsh-too hot or cold.

Additionally-

Always check local and surrounding shelters rescues and adopt a pet websites (petfinder.com). Your dog may have been found by someone who was not able to find you and may have (well intended) put your pup up for adoption etc.

If you have not already done so expand your social media search area to state wide as well as surrounding states. A missing dog can travel a long way on foot or could be transported by a vehicle out of the area. Use every form of search tool that you can get your hands on and do not allow yourself to have tunnel vision-use the social media tools in all areas.

Always carry a photo of your dog as well as a poster and or flyer so that you can post in areas that you come across, put up new posters that have been damaged, flyer new areas etc.

Put a poster of your dog on a window of your vehicle. Another option is to use tagging. Tag your car windows with removable chalk and post your dog’s info so it’s visible by all.

Continue to follow up on sightings, always get permission prior to entering private property.

Lost dogs can (and are) found days, months, even years later so never give up hope!