Be very careful about posting your lost pet flyers. You may incur hefty fines or at the very least waste valuable time and resources while you are looking for your missing pet. Here are at least 3 places where you cannot post your flyers. When in doubt ask permission before you post!
1. It is illegal to put a flyer into a U.S. post box. You may be fined for every flyer placed inside a mail box. It is also illegal to affix the flyer in any way to a mail box. Use the newspaper box if available or better yet, take the flyer directly to the door and ring the doorbell. This personal approach will ensure that the flyer gets into the house and will give you an opportunity to ask the homeowner directly for their help. They will remember you and will be more likely to call you with a sighting if they have heard your story and see your distress.
2. It is illegal to affix a flyer to any utility pole. Poles are the private property of the utility company, telecommunication company or municipality that owns them. Staples, nails and tape on poles are a danger to the workers who have to climb the poles.
3. Bus shelters are the private property of the bus company. Affixing flyers to the windows of a bus shelter can be a safety hazard and is not permitted.
Be courteous and obey the law when delivering your flyers. Ask businesses and home owners if you can put flyers on bulletin boards and/or use large intersection signs on their property. Bear in mind though, many municipalities and home owners associations have rules regarding signs and they may not be allowed. They may be taken down and disposed of. Check first BEFORE you go to the expense of making them. Unfortunately, most of these rules have come about because untended lost pet flyers and signs create unsightly litter when they are not removed in a timely fashion. Remove your signs and flyers as soon as your pet is found. Don’t be part of the problem!
On 3/14/30 Roxy, a Cheweenie mix, went on a car ride with her mom to her work. Unfortunately, she got away from her mom in a busy industrial park area, where there was a main road and a lot of construction going on. She was wearing a collar with tags, sweater and dragging her leash.
Her family put her on Lost Dogs Illinois, printed and distributed flyers and even brought out her favorite cousin dog to see if they could lure her out. They had no luck, no calls.
Fast forward to 4/2/20. A very observant man saw a small dog running along the ramp while he was exiting an expressway. He tried to follow it and saw it go into a gas station parking lot. He went into the gas station and inquired about the dog and they told him they had been seeing the pup for 10 days and feeding it.
Turns out this man had his own experience with a lost pup and knew who to reach out to in order to get this pup safe.
A group text was started in order to get further information on where the dog had been seen, when, and what the feeding routine was.
That night a trap and trail camera were set up. The pup seemed to be on a daytime schedule but would start to normally be seen about 3:00 or 4:00 am. Trap was zip tied at 11:00 PM but when leaving I happened to see her near the same ramp she was seen on earlier. I turned around, reset the trap and waited. No show up to 12:00 am so the trap was zip tied open and baited with goodies.
Once home I checked Helping Lost Pets to see what was missing from that area. There she was. Roxy. Missing from about 1/3 mile north of where this pup was being seen. But because it is a busy construction zone while they completely reconstruct a highway interchange, her owners didn’t do too much flyering to the south of that road, just mostly north. Most people would not believe this little pup would be able to make it to the area she ended up at.
4:27 am she showed up and ate everything in sight. Only problem with that is I was planning on resetting and baiting at 5:15. I did, and she didn’t disappoint. 6:25 she showed up and was in the trap 2 minutes later. As soon as I saw her, I knew it was Roxy. I called her owner, no answer. I text pictures and video, called a second time and then they called back. They could not believe I had her. She had been missing for 20 days!
I offered to drive her to her owners home so that we could let her out of the trap in a closed garage. Roxy was chipped, but I was going to see what her reaction was once I got her home.
There was no doubt she was home.
Roxy’s story came together because of the Village we always mention. From Mike who saw her on the ramp and stopped to inquire about her at Speedway, to Kathy and her crew who were feeding her, and to Mike’s wife Flo, who although they have lost their own dog, Fae, and have not yet found her, continues to reach out to, and has faith in, those of us who have the tools to complete the process.
Never underestimate a dog’s instinct to survive. Roxy lost her sweater, collar and leash at some point in those 20 days. But she kept herself safe and found her resources, ‘til help arrived. Welcome home Roxy!!