Tag Archives: flyers

First Things First – How Did Your Dog Go Missing?

Determining how your dog went missing will help you strategize to find him safely.  The first question to ask yourself is “How Did My Dog Go Missing?”  Be honest.  In a panic, most people jump to the conclusion that their dog was “stolen” because they’ve never been lost before or because they make a false assumption that the dog couldn’t possibly have gotten out of the yard.  Check the scene carefully.  Are there holes in the fence?  Did the wind blow the gate open? Did a meter reader or contractor leave the gate unlatched? Were there loud noises that could have scared your dog?

Lost dogs generally fall into one of two categories.  They were either “Opportunistic” or “Lost from a Stressful Situation”.  Click on the links above to read more about these definitions.

The key factor to the opportunistic dog is that the dog was in a happy frame of mind when he went missing.  He either saw an opportunity to wander (an unlatched gate, opening in fence) or he was following his nose (chasing a chipmunk, deer, etc.) and got further away than normal.  If your dog fits this profile then the following series of articles will help you determine your course of action. These dogs have a high probability of being picked up by a Good Samaritan who didn’t want to see them get hit by a car.  Read these articles for tips that will help.

Dogs lost from stressful situations include those spooked by loud noises such as fireworks, thunderstorms, gun shots and cars backfiring; dogs lost from places other than home such as pet sitters, boarding kennels, animal shelters, vet clinics, foster homes, newly adopted or purchased dogs; and those lost from car accidents and house fires.  These dogs have a high probablity of becoming shy, elusive dogs who may run and hide from all people (including their owners) and who may live indefinitely on their own.  Read these articles for tips that will help.

Regardless of how your dog went missing, immediately file a report with our partner,  Pet FBI.  You will be able to create a free flyer and social media links so that you can  spread the word about your missing dog. Your flyer will  be posted on our corresponding state’s Facebook page by a volunteer.  Print out and hand deliver your flyers door to door in the area where your dog was last seen. Deliver copies to all local vet clinics, shelters and police departments.  Do not rely on services (free or paid) who say they will alert shelters and vets for you. Those emails may never be received or opened and/or never seen by the staff. Your dog may end up at their facility and be adopted out or put down without you being notified.

Never Give Up! Your dog is relying on YOU to bring him safely home.

Our tips, ideas and articles are based on information gathered from thousands of successful lost dog recoveries. All of our services are free. 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.

1/21/2021

Three Places You CAN’T Put Your Lost Pet Flyers

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!

Create your FREE flyer from our software partners Helping Lost Pets and Pet FBI.

Flyers and Social Media got Mattie home!

One happy rescurer and Mattie

Mattie was just starting to settle a little bit in her new adoptive home when she was startled by the screen door. She got loose from her family and bolted through their neighborhood. (Nylon lead, collar and choke collar still attached)

I reached out to the family who definitely needed assistance and they got Mattie registered with Lost Dogs Illinois and we generated a simple clear flyer to start sharing.

The last known sighting was that same evening going under a business gate in an industrial area. That was it.

The next day flyers were ordered and one call came on that she may have been seen same area. Owner was working so food and a trail camera were put out and we looked at the map to see the surrounding area which had some residential and larger homes and train tracks.

Next morning the owner got a call that a couple had seen mattie along their decline when their dogs were outside. Two mornings in a row. The wife checked Lost Dogs Illinois and found her flyer and called.

I was able to contact this couple and start a conversation and get a plan in place. Matties collar was still attached.

They were gracious enough to let us do whatever we needed with cameras and a feeding station and even came out to help at night. The next morning only coyotes were on camera but I ser up early. No mattie. Left to flyer just a bit then….

At 930 she came trotting around from the berm and houses. Ate some trailed food and left. But, she found food! Game changer.

Waited for a few more hours. Nothing. Flyered just a bit more but knowing where she was didn’t want to draw too much attention to her.

Left feeding station and around 2:30 the couple saw her again and she fully engaged the trap and ate a full bowl of food.

Knowing she may not be hungry for a night time trap attempt, I almost didnt go back. But I wanted to see how she acted around and in the trap.

We used a 5ft Tomahawk trap. And by the photos her leash was still partially out even when she (all 40 lbs of her) was all the way in. It did not tangle.

So close to sun down came and she returned but sat in the field but no interest in food. She left.

After sun down she came back and were safely able to trap her. We covered the trap. Moved the trap and her into a SUV and to the homeowners garage to safely get her out.

Flyers work. Lost Dogs Illinois works. Patience and knowledge help.

Thank you, Rosanne, for sharing Mattie’s story

🤗
Rosanne Marie

A Flyer is a Flyer is a Flyer….

We can’t stress this enough: ANY kind of flyers work AND never assume someone is transferring ownership on the microchip when you adopt!  

“Haha, he drew a stick dog, albeit the dog was the right color but still it was a stick dog.”  

Joanne J. was helping hang flyers for a lost dog, and saw a hand drawn “lost dog” flyer for another dog. She decided to post it to the neighborhood page she is on; Lost & Found Cats & Dogs on the South/Southwest Side of Chicago, thank goodness!!!

I saw the post, and commented that I was going to reach out to the family, and help get their dog registered and posted with Lost Dogs Illinois. Turns out the phone number on the flyer was for the grandmother of the 7 year old boy that drew the lost dog flyer. She told me it is her daughter’s dog, and that her daughter is at work but that she would get “King” registered right after work. She also described King to me, told me he had been missing since Tuesday, 2/26, and that he was adopted from animal welfare a few months ago (turns out he was adopted from Chicago Animal Care and Control).  

I posted this information to Joanne on the neighborhood page. Sue R. had commented there about a dog that was found that matched the drawing of the dog, and Vazquez P. commented with a match to a found dog at AWL! The description and date matched! This dog was named Tiger, so I messaged the grandmother, and she said, “yes, that was his name when he was adopted.” She said the dog sure looked like King!  

The daughter, Christina, called me yesterday. She told me she assumed someone had taken King in because she knew he had a microchip so if he turned up at the police station or animal control, they would have called her. I spoke with AWL early Monday morning, and they told me they had contacted the owner registered on Tiger’s microchip by leaving a voicemail, but had not heard back. Christina gave me King’s microchip number and I was able to confirm that two companies still only had the previous owner information. Christina was planning to go to AWL after work. 

Christina brought all her CACC adoption information with her to AWL. It included the paperwork that had the microchip number on it. “Tiger” was not listed with AWL on petharbor anymore as of Monday morning so she was concerned. She insisted that this was her dog, and after paying $160 to reclaim him, he is now home! I gave Christina the information she needs to update King’s owner information to her, so this doesn’t happen again.  

Great job on making that flyer Joell! We are proud of you!!! You got your dog back home to you!  

Thank you to Joanne J., Sue R, and Vazquez P. from King’s family: “Seriously! I wouldn’t believe it if it hadn’t happened to me. I can’t thank you enough. You guys do amazing work, you found a dog from a stick figure picture! “Thank you so much for your help! I never would have found him!!!

~Jeanette
Lost Dogs Illinois

Distributing Flyers is the Number One Way Lost Dogs are Found

When a dog goes missing, the first reaction of most people is to rush out and search for the dog, calling his/her name and combing the area.  Even though it may seem counterintuitive, you should not send your friends and family members on a wild goose chase, or in this case a wild dog chase, through the streets.  Looking for a lost dog by wandering or driving through the streets and neighborhoods is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  And, a dog who is approached by someone he/she doesn’t know well may get scared and run even farther from home, or worse yet, into traffic.

Instead, ask your family and friends to help you distribute flyers.  Create your free flyer from our software partner, Pet FBI, print out a stack of them and ask your helpers to get busy spreading the word that your dog is missing.  Start nearest to the location to where your dog was last seen and expand the radius outward. The photo on your flyer should be a clear, full body shot of your dog.  You have a good photo of your dog stored on your phone don’t you?  If not, do that TODAY, in case your dog goes missing tomorrow.   Helping Lost Pets allows you to create several different versions of your flyer so that you can reduce printing costs, or incorporate pull-off tabs with your phone number on them.  You can even create flyers in different languages from the Helping Lost Pets website.

In our experience, the number one way that lost dogs are found is by generating sightings through the distribution of flyers.  More often than not, a dog is reunited with their family because someone has reviewed a flyer sees the lost pet, and calls the dog’s owners.

Don’t Chase or Search! Instead use flyers to generate that ONE sighting you need to help bring your dog home.

Ace – Lost on a transport to his new home

Last February, Ace was being transported from Oklahoma to his new home in Wisconsin. Ace’s family met the transporter at the Petro gas station in Rochelle off Illinois-39.  Ace backed out of his collar and escaped.

Below is the map of Ace’s sightings. You will note that Ace stayed in close proximity of where he went missing (Petro station just left of the cloverleaf). Residents were told to let Ace settle in the area, keep a feeding station going and soon a trap was set up (yellow marker). Ace was caught almost immediately after the trap was set up. It was a Safe and Happy Reunion!

Click here to read more about Tips for Dogs that are lost other than home.

No sightings…. Where is Pepper?

Pepper is a very friendly Shih Tzu that got loose from her owner to chase a rabbit as her owner was attaching a tie out line. Pepper’s home is in a small subdivision next to another small subdivision in an industrial area on the outskirts of town. She ran off on Monday, 3/15.

Pepper

A neighbor a few streets down saw Pepper and yelled at her to “Go Home”. Pepper bolted back towards the front of the subdivision. Pepper’s owners searched and searched and not finding Pepper anywhere, they put out food and scent items. In the days following, they got fliers and intersections signs out. Nothing. Fear and doubt set in.

The industrial park has constant traffic, active train tracks and 24 hour semi traffic at a shipping hub. Four days later, on Friday, someone said they had seen her at a building in the front of the industrial park. Great! A feeding station was set up. Days and days went by. Nothing. Fear and doubt set in again.

  • Did she cross the tracks?
  • Did a trucker pick her up as a new companion? 

Monday late afternoon another sighting came in, but it was delayed. She had been seen Friday at the back of the park running towards the tracks. While the owner was at the store making copies, preparing to widen the search, her phone rang. It was a teenager from the neighboring subdivision. The kids were playing outside and Pepper had crossed the busy roadway, wanting to play with the kids! The owner arrived quickly. When Pepper saw her mom, she ran right to the car! She was filthy dirty, but safe!

I am home safe and sound.

Pepper’s owner followed the Lost Dog of Illinois recovery process, even when the strongest doubts tried to take over. Pepper is a tiny dog that survived freezing temps, av industrial park, heavy and fast traffic and an active rail line for a full week! Welcome home Pepper!

Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing Pepper’s story and being supportive of Pepper’s family!

 

Bringing Kubo home

Permission to reprint from Sarah V.

We’re getting a bunch of questions about how we found him and how we managed to lure him in and grab him. For the first part: some fantastic volunteers, a very supportive and friendly community, a bunch of luck and a lot of hard work. And toner. So much toner. And paper cuts.

We shared on Facebook the night he went missing. We got some recommendations to post to Lost Dogs Illinois, so we sent them our info. They made a post for us, which many of you saw shared a few times. We could not have done this without Facebook! We also got some help from SIRA (Shiba Inu Rescue Association). Through these various groups, we were connected with our dream team rescue squad, who have a lot of experience finding lost dogs. They told us where and how to flyer. We put the word out on social media and many of our awesome friends offered to help us out. So to did many strangers who are now friends. We also passed out quarter page flyers to every dog walker we came across since they’re out walking the neighborhood and Kubo does like other dogs.

We basically followed sightings, which were mapped by a squad member. We know he went into the White Eagle Golf Club, so we started there. We were kind of scatter shot at first, til the squad stepped in. 🙂 From here on out, they’re a huge part of the “we” in this operation. We got so much wonderful guidance from them!

We did a lot of flyers in ziplocks (to protect from the elements), some large 11 x 17 flyers taped to neon poster board, and quarter page flyers. We also talked to security at White Eagle and they were very helpful and accommodating.

 

From there, we got some sightings in a neighborhood west of White Eagle. We drove around there looking and ultimately ended up flyering. No Kubo present that we could see. We did staked large signs around there, near White Eagle and in some major intersections. We also had friends that helped us get flyers into the windows or on the bulletin boards of local businesses.

Then as my wonderful mother and I were making more posters and driveway drops (sandwich zip bags with a few rocks to weigh them down and quarter page neon flyers in them), I got a call from a woman whose child goes to Calvary Christian School, which is attached to Calvary Church. We’d actually already dropped a few flyers off at the church office, so we grabbed our jumbo box of flyers. We also set up a feeding station (stinky canned food and one of my unlaundered shirts). We found out that the woman had seen him on the access road behind the church. My mom and I drove down it and did some flyering in that neighborhood behind while waiting for Brian to get off work to join us in putting up flyers. Brian came and we hopped in her warm car to strategize about where to put flyers. I happened to look out the window and… there he was at the edge of the parking lot. We got out of the car, which spooked him, and he retreated back into the field. I tried lying down with a scent item (dirty laundry, of which I have quite a bit this week…) and some food. He retreated into his little hideout, so Brian went to go get some super smelly food–fried chicken, canned chicken and liquid smoke.

Kubo reemerged when he was returning and he got spooked and ran south. We (mostly squad, mind you) put up motion cameras and trailed food. We also set up a trap but zip-tied it open with some fried chicken in it so Kubo could get used to it and get some food. We continued to get sighting reports that placed him around the church. We spent the night doing driveway drops in the subdivision nearby, and putting up more neon flyers.

This morning, Brian and I checked the cameras, put out some torn up cooked hot dogs, and set the trap. We figured out where he’d been (where we’d trailed some food and where we’d placed his bed). Brian and I watched the trap for a while, but we noticed a lot of people were pulling over on the access road. These were Good Samaritans trying to do the right thing, but I think they were scaring him more. Brian went into the church where he got a marker to remake a sign warning people away. Someone else pulled up there, so I started booking it over there to ask them to shoo. At that time, I spotted Kubo sitting in the grassy area around the lake.

Now for the lure and grab… It wasn’t planned, but I decided to try. Brian brought me two hot dogs and I crept over on hands and knees, sometimes army crawling, and then sat near the lake. I alternated between sitting and lying down. I texted everyone to tell them to not disturb. I had the hood up on my coat so I could watch him surreptitiously. He started circling and came a bit closer. I stayed down. He barked and growled, but kept getting closer. Finally he was circling me and sniffing me. I gave him a bit of time and then slowly sat up. I gave him a lot of opportunities to sniff me and made no sudden movements. He was dancing around me a bit, so I went into “play” stance. Hands and knees with my arms stretched out in front like dogs do when they want to play. He did the same and grabbed one of the hot dogs and brought it over to me like a stick (silly boy!).

I broke apart the hot dog and slowly fed it to him. I tried putting a slip leash on a few times but he honestly hates having things go over head and trying to do it spooked him a bit, so I stopped. Kept up with the hot dogs and letting him get close. I eventually managed to grab his tag and get him leashed. I walked him a bit and eventually picked him up. I have barely put him down since.

We kept in pretty consistent contact with the local animal control groups and police departments, shelters and vets.  One of the squad checked NextDoor a lot, too. For some reason, I wasn’t able to.

We took him to the vet this afternoon and he was given a clean bill of health. Poor little dude is just tired and a little rattled now. We are giving him lots of love.

Kubo at home!

Like our precious Kubo, we’re both pretty darn tired. We also have a ton of flyers to take down, so we may be a bit slow to respond. If any of our wonderful squad want to chime in, please do!

Once again, thank you to everyone who had loves, shares, time and advice for us. We’ll never be able to express our gratitude, but if you like cookies… hit me up. 😉

More Ways To Ensure You’re Reunited With Your Lost Dog

In the past, before the advent of today’s technology, the internet and social media, we had few options when it came to looking for a lost pet. Putting up flyers around the neighborhood and checking the local shelters were among the few choices available.

Along with the obvious options of microchipping, purchasing ID tags, even getting your pet tattooed, there are also methods or ensuring you’re reunited with your pet should they become lost. When inserting a microchip, make sure it’s properly registered and keep the information current if you happen to move, change your phone number or other contact data. Especially if you lose your dog, be sure to contact the chip provider and ensure the info is correct.

Keeping this in mind, here are some other ways to help ensure you’ll be reunited with your pet should they become lost or stolen:

Social Media

For animal lovers, many of us post pictures of our pets online and this could be helpful if they go missing. Keeping your online friends informed about the connection between you and your dog could come in handy if you reach out to them to help locate your pet.

 

Flyers First

Again, back in the old days, when a pet went missing one of the first things we did was post flyers around our community notifying our neighbors of their absence. This is still one of the most successful methods of finding a lost animal, but think about using the internet to spread the word online as well.

Many of our email and text contacts are friends and family that live nearby. Send a post to them with a picture of your pet and ask for their assistance. Then request they forward this message to their nearby friends and family. This way your message has the potential of reaching hundreds or even thousands of other recipients.

Other Avenues To Explore

Speaking of the internet, don’t forget other options like checking out the Lost Dogs of America website. Here you can put a online listing about the loss of your pet and check to see if someone has posted they have found your dog. They’ll also provide you with a free flyer and list it on one of their individual Facebook pages according to State.

Thank you Amber Kingsley for your article contribution.