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Lost Dog Action Plan

Losing your dog is traumatic and overwhelming for everyone involved. But remember, time is of the essence so there’s no sense wasting time assigning blame.

Accidents happen, the most important task now is concentrating on finding your lost dog and getting the word out.

We’ve put together the following action plan that we hope will help organize your search.


  • Place food, water and familiar items outside, in the area where your dog went missing from, or was last seen. (e.g.  dog kennel, dog bed, blanket, your coat, or anything that has your scent on it) Continue to keep food & familiar items out in that area, until dog is found.
  • Call your local  police department, vet clinics & humane societies (please include the Humane Societies that are located in the surrounding counties as well)
  • Print out flyers and distribute in newspaper boxes or door to door all around the area where your dog went missing, or was last seen. Make sure to give a copy to your mailman. Start out posting flyers within a 3-5 mile radius and expand the flyer area if no sightings are reported after a few days. Please alert people not to pursue or chase your dog, if he/she does not come to them, but to call you with a time and exact location of where the dog was seen. (This step has proven to be very successful in bringing many lost dogs home)
  • Make poster size signs and post at nearby intersections and in front of home where dog went missing from. Be sure to use bright colored poster board and make the letters large enough for drivers to see.
  • Post a Lost Dog Ad on internet sites: Make sure to fill out a lost dog form for our Facebook page.  A very popular site is craigslist. Post in the lost and found section as well as pet section. Use a descriptive Ad title (Lost Dog, Brown Mini Dachshund) also in your ads description post as much information as possible including where he was last seen and the best picture you can find. Aside from Craigslist other sites you can post on are: and your local humane society and rescues.
  • Place a Lost Dog Ad in your community newspaper. Be sure to post under lost and found in the classified section. You may also want to contact local radio stations, some will make a free public announcement of missing dog!

Once you get a reported sighting of your dog

Please go to the area with food & leash. Remain calm. As soon as you see your dog, lower your body down to the ground and use familiar – positive words like “treat” or “go for walk” etc…If your dog is normally a little shy around strangers, he or she may not even come to you right away!  If this is the case, we recommend that you place strong smelling food, like canned tuna, and familiar items with your scent on it…near the area right away!!…and alert everyone not to pursue the dog, if seen.

The goal is to keep your dog in that area. If food, water, & shelter are easily accessible for him/her and is not forced to run, out of fear, most likely your dog will stay near-by…then you have the opportunity to try different techniques used to lure and safely catch your dog.

Make sure to check out our five things to do if you have lost a dog and our lost dog checklist too.

Most of all….NEVER GIVE UP!