Updated: May 6
Ten million pets go missing in the U.S. every year, and most pets that end up in animal shelters have improper identification. To combat the crisis, create awareness, and give hope, individuals from the non-profit Lost Dogs of America created National Lost Dog Awareness Day (NLDAD). Here are a few ways that you can support this cause!
Pay attention to missing notices.
A missing pet is often a traumatic experience for the fur family. NLDAD was created to inform pet owners, build community support and educate the public on how they can help. One common misconception is that stray dogs are all homeless. Keeping an eye out for pets that have lost their way and paying attention to lost alerts can help reunite lost pets with their loving homes.
Make sure that your pet has a tag.
Pets without the proper identification and microchips attached to outdated owner information are the primary reasons why lost pets can't be connected to their owners. Canine owners should use both a dog tag and a microchip. Even if you are not a dog owner, you can still sign up to help trace owner information for dogs in shelters with outdated microchip information. Lost Dogs of America was able to locate 42% of owners in their 600+ microchip cases, and committing time to volunteer for this cause can make a difference.
Always stick to good doggy habits.
Although it may seem simple, sticking to common best practices will keep pups safe. Securing dogs in a fenced yard and on a leash when out and about will help prevent incidents. Always keep a watchful eye on your dog, actively work with them on training, and have them spayed/neutered. Don't forget to keep current printed pictures of your dog so that you have one on hand if they do go missing.
If your dog goes missing, here's what you need to do.
Dogs can run away for a variety of reasons. Encountering loud noises, separation anxiety or even mating instincts can cause dogs to run and become lost. If your pup does go missing, it's imperative that you stay calm and start by searching your surrounding area. Post lost notices as soon as you can in your neighborhood's high traffic areas and contact local veterinarian offices, shelters, and rescues.
After canvassing, do a thorough online search. If you find that your pet has been stolen or a stranger requests money for your pet's return, contact the police. Most importantly, never give up and be consistent in your search. Spread the word, let your neighbors know about your lost canine, and stay positive. Dogs are reunited with owners every day, and doing all that you can to reunite with your beloved dog pal will go a long way.
Abigail Baker is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with Abby Iron Doors, a wrought iron door manufacturer.