Tag Archives: Helping Lost Pets

Pet Extravaganza – August 20, 2016 – Giving Back To The Community

Neither rain, snow, sleet, 50 mph wind gusts, nor 100-degree heat can keep our volunteers from attending free/low cost vaccine/microchip clinics this year. Last Saturday the LDI volunteers attended the Pet Extravaganza at Pottawattamie Dog Park. Over 75 dogs and even some cats received Free engraved ID tags donated by LDI.

Pet Ex 8.20.16

During the year,  LDI has donated engraved ID tags along with collars and microchips at different vaccine clinics.

Our community of supporters enables us to provide these services for FREE. Help Us to Help Others to insure they have the tools to find their lost dog!   You can donate by clicking here.

 

LDI Volunteers

LDI Volunteers

What To Do If You Find A “Stray” Dog

If you find a lost dog, please follow these steps to find his/her family:

– Check for a license or ID tag. – No tags? Ask around your neighborhood in case the dog lives nearby.
– Take the dog to the nearest veterinarian or shelter to have the dog scanned for a microchip & look for a tattoo. – Call your local police (non-emergency line) to report the dog found.
– Call your local animal control agency (ACO), complete a found dog report or bring the dog to them if you are unable to keep the dog while searching for the dog’s owner.
– Post found dog flyers around the neighborhood and animal service businesses even if you take the dog to the animal control or stray hold facility with the facility’s phone number. Create a sign like a yard sale sign and post in your yard or the nearest intersection.
– Post on your local Craig’s List (under both the Lost and Found and Pet sections), place a newspaper ad, other lost and found internet sites.

Please check Helping Lost Pets or Lost Dogs Illinois to see if this dog matches with any of the missing dogs listed.

How To Search HeLp websie.

How To Search HeLp websie.

Tips for Returning a Found Dog to the Lawful Owner:

When someone calls in response to an ad and/or flyer, ask the caller’s name and telephone number and tell him/her, you’ll call back right away.

Do not offer a description of the dog, let the person inquiring describe the dog including unique identifying characteristics. (i.e. scars, tattoo, behaviors, color patterns, etc.)

Ask for Proof of Ownership ( one of the following):

· Vet records (call their vet to confirm)
· Rabies certificate or license
· Adoption papers, registration papers, transfer of ownership or bill of sale
· Photos (dated and w/family members)

Observe the meeting of the dog and person; does the dog show familiarity with person.

Meeting to return the dog; be sure to let a friend or family know where you are meeting or ask one of them to go along. Meet at your local police parking lot, your vet office or any public place in the daylight.

PLEASE NOTE: It is illegal to put a flyer in a US mailbox or attach or hang a flyer on a US mailbox. You could be charged First Class postage for every flyer, postage due. Please go door to door with your flyer.

 

If The Sock Fits…..

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The Klima family of Downers Grove were out of their minds with worry when their 7 lb, 14 year old Toy Poodle went missing on July 8th, 2015.  Sock’s collar had been loose, and he had slipped out of it and escaped with no visible signs of ownership, and with all the scary things out there in this world – strangers, traffic, wildlife; plus cold and rainy weather, how would he ever make his way home to his family?

Information on Sock was posted in the Reporter newspaper,  and on CraigsList, and local veterinarians and shelters were notified; someone then notified the Klimas about Lost Dogs Illinois, so they registered him and printed the flyers generated, which they posted at local businesses.

As the weeks wore on, they assumed the worst, but never gave up hope that their little friend would someday come home to them.  Unbeknownst to them, a Good Samaritan named Tricia was driving home on July 9th and saw a fuzzy thing in the middle of St Charles Road in Glen Ellyn.  Another car had stopped  as well, but the dog came to her, so she scooped him up and started knocking on doors.  No one was home to ID the dog, so she filed a report with the local Police Dept. then brought the little guy to a Lombard veterinarian that she knew held found dogs.  Where had this sweet little old man come from?

After 10 days at the vet’s office; having been scanned for a chip (and then receiving one, as well as vaccinations, when none was found), and no one claiming him, Tricia brought him home, as she did not want this senior boy going to a shelter.  She named him ‘Waffles’, had him groomed and  bought him dishes, a collar & leash, and a bed and began making him part of her family, which  already included 2 dogs,  a cat and a couple of kids.

‘Waffles’ did well with Tricia’s family for several weeks – got along with the dogs, learned to use the doggy doors; snuggled with her during the day when he could, and slept next to her at night. She even went on vacation for a week and left ‘Waffles’ with a friend who bonded easily with him as well.  However, ‘Waffles’ did chase the cat, and did not respond well to the children, which worried her, and she kept trying to find his real home. Then a friend suggested she post him on Lost Dogs Illinois.

After completing the registration for the Helping Lost Pets/Lost Dogs Illinois site, Tricia began to look through the Missing Albums to see if she could find a dog that looked like ‘Waffles’.  Lo and behold!  there was a very similar dog – but he was lost in Downers Grove and she had found the dog in Glen Ellyn, about 7 miles away.  Was it possible this dog could have gotten so far in one day?  She immediately contacted the Klimas and then FaceTimed with them so they could make sure ‘Waffles’ was really their Sock!   They arranged a meeting and oh, the joy when Waffles/Sock saw his family – Tricia told us he went crazy and ran to his owners as fast as his little legs could carry him!  Everyone involved smiled the widest smiles they could; both owners and finder told us it was one of the happiest, most fulfilling moments in their lives.  After 6 weeks, Sock was finally home!

We will never know the full story of how Sock traveled such a distance from his home, but we tell this story not only to commend all the Good Samaritans out there who think not all homeless dogs are strays when they see a dog on the street, but to stress the importance of micro-chipping your pets, and keeping those chips updated with current contact information.  We also urge you to ask your vets to link up with Helping Lost Pets so that when lost dogs are brought in to their clinics, microchipped or not, this nationwide database of lost pets can be searched so Happy Endings like this can occur so much sooner.

 

 

 

 

Pictures Matter!

The one thing Lost dogs Illinois has proven time after time on our page is pictures work in getting lost dogs home! Pictures are the universal language.

Point in case…… A match was made this week on the unofficial Animal Welfare League (AWL) – Found/Stray Dogs Facebook Page, which is run by a group of volunteers who absolutely understand the importance of posting found dog pictures. When a volunteer is able to get to AWL, she tries to post pictures of “found” animals to the page.

The match was Pepe, a 19 year old Chihuahua, who was posted as lost on Lost Dogs Illinois Facebook page on July 28th. Pepe

Pepe’s found dog picture was posted on AWL’s unofficial page on August 3rd even though Pepe was brought to Animal Welfare League on July 30th.

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Luckily one of LDI’s fans recognized Pepe and emailed his owner right away. A very Happy Reunited was made!

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So what do we learn from this?   If there was an official Facebook page or if AWL would use the Pet Harbor software to post found dog photos (like they use for their adoption photos), Pepe would have probably been home by August 1st.  This would have meant less stress for Pepe, Pepe’s family, other dogs in the shelter, volunteers and staff.   It would have also been less of financial strain for Pepe’s family and the shelter.

We hope successful reunions like Pepe will convince Animal Welfare League to post pictures on Pet Harbor or their own official Facebook page. Technology has made it so simple – a cell phone can be used to upload photos directly to Facebook. Don’t our Illinois dogs deserve the very best chance to get back home to their families?

 

Did Your Dog Get Scared By Fireworks? Don’t Panic!

If your dog went missing from the fireworks last night – don’t panic. Immediately put out your dog’s favorite blanket, some food and water, and something that smells like you (a dirty sock or pillowcase). Then file a report with us from this link: www.HelpingLostPets.com/LDIL. Our volunteer flyermakers will post your dog’s phone and information on our Facebook page. Tell EVERYONE – to not call or chase or whistle to your dog. Let him relax and he may very likely come home on his own when it is quiet. Do NOT let people congregate in your yard or driveway. Your dog is frightened and will stay in hiding until everything calms down.

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Best Friends National Conference… The Way Back Home – Reuniting Pets with Their People

Best Friends Conference

Lost Dogs of America and HelpingLostPets.com are pleased to be presenting at the upcoming 2015 Best Friends National Conference in Atlanta July 16-19.

Our joint presentation “The Way Back Home: Reuniting Pets with Their People” will provide proven strategies to assist shelters and volunteer groups to increase their Return to Owner rates (RTO).
For more information about the conference and register, please visit:http://conference.bestfriends.org

ANNAPOLIS – A HEARTWARMING STORY OF AN AMAZING REUNION AND A REMINDER TO NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!

Annapolis

Annapolis and Gizmo were playing in their yard in Bureau, Illinois in June of 2013 when they both got out through a hole in their fence. Immediately upon discovering they were missing, their owners, Stefanie and David, ran around to the front of the house only to discover Gizmo standing right there in front of them and Annapolis nowhere to be found! It was if he had vanished into thin air!

Stefanie and David registered their lost dog immediately with Lost Dogs Illinois, and then they set out searching for him. They scoured the neighborhood going door to door and hung flyers everywhere they could think of. They contacted every vet clinic, humane society, and shelter in the area, only to be told he had never been found. Any potential sightings only led to dead ends and disappointment. They even went to local adoption events thinking they would somehow locate him. Yet all their hard work never paid off.

However, his owners never gave up hope! They each had a set of websites that they checked daily that included every humane society, shelter, and animal control facility in the area. They checked craigslist, liked every dog-related Facebook page they could imagine, and they followed up on every lead and every sighting, even going places in person to check if it was their beloved Annapolis.

Then on December 23, 2014 Stefanie was perusing the local shelter pages when she came across a post for a male chiweenie who was up for adoption. He was listed under another name, but she was almost 100% positive this was Annapolis. Once they got a hold of the shelter, Stefanie and David made the hour-long drive to the Henry County Humane Society to see if this was their dog. When they got out of their car, a volunteer was just taking the dog out for a walk. As soon as they saw the dog, they immediately knew this was Annapolis! He came running up to them with his tail wagging as if he knew he had finally been reunited with his owners.

Now that they had finally found him, they wanted to know how he had ended up at the humane society. They were told that the local police had found Annapolis running loose in an industrial area and that no one ever claimed him. He was surrendered to the local no-kill shelter in Henry County and was being prepped for adoption when Stefanie happened upon him on that Tuesday just before Christmas.

Annapolis finally arrived home on January 7th, 2015. He settled in right back into his old routine. It was if he never left!!!!

Stefanie wanted to share a few words of wisdom with those still looking for their lost pets:

“I would of never thought to microchip my pets, I have a fenced in yard and live in a small town, everyone knows everyone and their pets. But now I know you can never be to safe! My dogs now are chipped, collared, and never left unattended in my yard.

When losing a pet you never want to give up hope. Yes it might get hard to believe your pet will be reunited after a month even more after 6 months and after a year your hope might slim but always keep looking never give up, We would of never  found Annapolis if we would of just gave up.”

WELCOME HOME ANNAPOLIS!

Written by Amanda T., LDI volunteer

Lost Dogs Illinois: More than a posting service…..

stray dog free

You know Lost Dogs Illinois provides free posting of lost and found dogs in Illinois, reuniting over 22,000 dogs in our nearly 6 years of existence, but did you know we do more than that?  Take a look below and read about the other services we proudly provide to the Illinois dog community:

www.lostdogsillinois.org is the LDI website packed with educational and resource materials to help prevent losing a dog and guide lost dog owners on how to find their dog.  Articles providing resources and action plans are just two of the great resources.

Lost Dogs Illinois has partnered with Helping Lost Pets (HeLP). HeLP is a totally FREE, map-based national lost/found registry which provides 4 different flyer templates.

Tips, articles and other useful resources to assist in finding a lost dog or a lost dog’s owner are posted daily on our Facebook page.

Community Outreach Events are an important way for LDI to spread the word about our services, provide educational handouts and provide free microchip scans for dogs.  Also, thanks to an ASPCA grant, LDI is now able to make engraved id tags on the spot at events and provide them at low cost to pet owners.

We believe microchips are an essential part of identifying lost pets and LDI donates microchips to be used by shelters, rescues and animal control agencies at low cost clinics.

Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter are three important social media platforms that LDI also uses.

Education for Animal Welfare Professionals; LDI believes in working not only with the public but animal welfare professionals by presenting best practices for starting a lost dog recovery team and increasing return to owner rates for shelter/rescue/animal control staff.

Also, for owners of lost dogs and finders of lost dogs we don’t just post the dog; they receive an informational email and are directed to our website for tools and resources in lost dog recovery.

So, there is a lot more going on at Lost Dogs Illinois than just the lost and found postings on our Facebook page!  We thank you for your support of all our work.

 

 

Jump Starting Your Search For the Long-Lost Dog

Jump start

Your lost dog has been missing now for several weeks (or months) and your sightings and leads have fizzled out. Don’t despair.  It is never too late to jump-start the search for a long-lost dog.

This article is designed to give you some ideas for reigniting your search to give you a place to pick up again. Hopefully, you have read our other articles on shy lost dog search strategies and friendly lost dog search strategies. If not, please check the categories at the right that link to many more articles.  We also hope you have mapped all the sightings on a map, either a web-based map like Google Maps or a large-scale paper map.

Now, imagine you are a detective working on a cold case.  You may talk to 99 people who have not seen or heard anything.  You are looking for the ONE person who has.  Someone, somewhere has seen or knows something.   Be persistent and don’t give up. Even if they haven’t seen your dog, they may see your dog tomorrow. Putting a flyer in their hands ensures they will know who to call when they see him.

Look at your map and draw a circle in a one mile radius around the last confirmed sighting. Go back to the last confirmed place that your dog was seen and flyer heavily in a one mile radius. Don’t let false assumptions or geographic barriers deter you.  Don’t assume that your dog would NEVER have crossed the highway or the river or the lake. False assumptions will make you miss possible sightings and leads.

Talk to everybody! Put a flyer in their hands and ask them if they have seen your dog or if they think a dog may have been hanging around their house or farm. Did they see dog tracks under their bird feeder? Was their dog poop in their yard when it shouldn’t be there? Was their outdoor cat food disappearing faster than normal?

Visit EVERY place that serves food in the one mile radius. Don’t forget convenience stores and gas stations! Talk with the kitchen staff and management. Did anybody see a dog hanging out near the dumpsters? Did anybody notice dog tracks near the dumpsters in the winter? Did any restaurant patrons mention a dog hanging out in the parking lot? Did anybody see a similar looking dog being walked in their neighborhood?

Think about the demographics of the neighborhoods in the one mile radius.  Maybe you need to print some flyers in Spanish or another language? Or, maybe there are some older residents who don’t get out much to see signs and flyers but may have taken pity on your dog and fed him over the winter?  Think about the people that may not have seen or understood your first round of flyering.

Now is a great time to refresh your posters and intersection signs.  You may want to change the heading to STILL MISSING – so that people know that the search is still on. Think outside the box. Ask every business in the one mile radius if you can hang a flyer in their window and employee break room. Maybe your dog approached workers on their lunch break. Or maybe they saw him when they were driving to or from work.

If you don’t get any new leads in the one mile radius; you will need to expand your area. You may want to consider using  USPS Every Door Direct Mail.    Beware of some of the other lost pet mailing services that you will see advertised. Some of them are scams and do not reach the number of homes that they promise.

Refresh the memories of the animal control facilities, shelters, police departments, vet clinics and municipal offices in your county and surrounding counties. Send them fresh flyers.

Give a new flyer to postal workers, delivery drivers, school bus drivers and garbage truck drivers. Don’t forget pizza and sandwich delivery drivers also! They are out and about  in the evening, when your dog may be moving around, looking for food.

Check with your local Department of Transportation. Have they found any deceased dogs alongside the road? Or has a dog been spotted eating on a deer or other wildlife carcass?

Repost your dog on Craigslist and your local online classifieds. Consider taking out a print newspaper ad also. There are still many people without computers or the internet!

Remember, Never Give Up!  Re-energize and jump start the search for your missing dog.  Your dog is depending on you to bring him home.

Our tips, ideas and articles are based on information gathered from thousands of successful lost dog recoveries. Any advice or suggestions made by Lost Dogs of Wisconsin/Lost Dogs Illinois is not paid-for professional advice and should be taken at owner’s discretion.

Map-Based Website Helps Lost Pets Get Home

The number one way to recover your lost dog is the old-fashioned tried and true method of using flyers and signs to generate sightings. Going door to door with flyers in the area where your dog was last seen has brought the majority of our lost dogs home.

But new technology is constantly giving us more tools in our tool box of lost dog recovery. There are currently dozens, if not hundreds, of lost pet websites and listing services currently available. One stands out because of several unique features.

HeLP (Helpinglostpets.com) is a map-based website that has been in existence for two years. Rob Goddard, President of HeLP says that a national lost/found pet database must have two main features:

“First it has to be free. HeLP is completely free for the public, shelters, rescues and any pet-related businesses or organizations. HeLP brings together the community by giving everyone access to the same lost/found data.

Second, it must be map based.  Location is a key element in locating the family of a missing pet. Starting the virtual search in the area where the pet went missing is exactly how a ground search would be conducted. Having the pet’s details and photo on the map is the most efficient way to conduct a virtual search.”

The HeLP website:

  • allows lost/found pets to be viewed on a worldwide map including a photo and full description that can be zoomed to street level.
  • is free for the public and shelters to use.
  • allows shelters to list all lost/found animals in their shelter
  • allows anyone to search and match lost and found pets 24/7.
  • allows anyone to search by location, species, breed, size or color
  • enables pet owners to easily get the word out to shelters, veterinarians, rescues, volunteer search networks and others near them via the automated email, text and twitter alerts that are generated.

We would like to encourage the owners of lost dogs, our fans, and Illinois Animal Control Facilities, shelters and rescues to check out the HeLP website and become familiar with it. It truly has the capability of being the one national lost and found database that is so badly needed in this country.