On April 23, the U.S. will celebrate its first annual National Lost Dog Awareness Day (NLDAD)! Created by Susan Taney and Kathy Pobloskie – directors of Lost Dogs Illinois and Lost Dogs of Wisconsin, respectively – the canine-centric holiday aims to bring attention to all dogs that are lost each year. On a happier note, NLDAD also celebrates the thousands of lost dogs successfully reunited with their families.
Lost Dogs Illinois (LDI) is an all-volunteer organization created for the exclusive purpose of providing a free service to help reunite families with their lost dogs. With the help of popular social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, and their extensive connections throughout Illinois, LDI is able to facilitate a statewide alert as soon as a lost dog posting is released. By working to recover lost dogs, this 501 (c) 3 non-profit helps to decrease the number of homeless animals brought into shelters and animal control facilities, thereby preventing unnecessary euthanasia. Lost Dogs Illinois offers an invaluable service when many feel helpless otherwise. The Lost Dogs mission has been
so successful that the concept has been accepted and put into practice in Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Colorado, New Jersey and Iowa under the umbrella organization Lost Dogs of America.
The tenacious efforts of these combined states’ volunteers along with over 150,000 fans have helped reunite over 21,000 dogs with their families since 2010. Getting lost dogs back home reduces stress on owners’, staff at shelters/animal control facilities, other dogs in the facilities, and ultimately saves taxpayers’ money. It also opens up cage and kennel space for truly homeless dogs.
“When a dog goes missing, many families give up looking for their lost pet. National Lost Dog Awareness Day was created to give hope to the families still looking for their dogs and remind the public that not all stray dogs are homeless” explains Taney. “One of our most recent success stories was finding a beagle named Charlie. He was missing for almost two months in the most brutal winter ever. We never gave up, and neither did Charlie’s foster family. Together, and with the help of our social media following, Charlie was trapped and he was successfully reunited with his foster family. Never doubt a dog’s ability to survive.”