As some may have read on another thread our dog, Georgia, went missing while on a walk near home. She is a working cocker spaniel (breed not occupation
) and so loves to "flush" the fields. She was gaily doing that one morning when all of a sudden she was gone! It is not unusual so I called and used the dog whistle that travels further but nothing. Most dogs, if they get a bit lost, will return to the last place they saw their owner or go home. Neither of those things happened within an hour so I became seriously worried.
The point of this post is to tell people about the wonderful help there is out there if it ever, God forbid, happens to them.
DogLost is the first point of call. They run an amazing Facebook group with National coverage. All volunteers, they have groups that cover areas. It is best to register with them before the dog goes missing to save time. Once alerted they will circulate a photo of your dog to all their members (and there are hundreds if not thousands of them). They will also put your dog's photo into a poster that can be printed out by you and any of the other members. I have known of stolen dogs being dumped because of a huge poster campaign.
The Dog Warden needs to be notified but if the dog is microchipped and with a collar tag on they rarely reach the Dog Warden. Be aware if they do reach the dog warden, and fail to be traced to you, that the dog could be kennelled out your area so we are advised to try to visit the kennels to check if your dog is there. Be aware also that a "grey" coloured dog might just be the "blue roan" dog that you are looking for but has not popped up as "found" because of a mis description. Dog wardens will not release details of the kennels that they use and I, personally, have known of an elderly terrier being put to sleep because of a mis description and him being kennelled out of area.
There is another amazing group of people called Drone SAR (Search and Rescue) who will fly their drones over areas to see if they can spot the dog. Again all are volunteers. They have a ground team too to help where needed.
ALL vets in your area need to be informed as people will often take a dog to their own vet if they find it. Put posters up in the waiting room.
The microchip company needs to be notified. They are quite useless, in my opinion, but they are supposed to prevent people changing the registration of your dog to their name and keeping it. Thieves know exactly how to get around that hurdle.
Theft of a dog is a whole other issue but, with any dog is a possibility. Cute or valuable ones can be sold. Not so cute ones can go as bait in dog fighting rings. I am sorry if this upsets people but it is a fact. The law is so weak on stolen dogs that it is no deterrent! We need to lobby our MP's to get the law changed from dogs just being a mere "possession" to a valued member of the family. There are petitions out there to sign folks!
Local Facebook pages were hugely helpful in our case with people we have never met going out searching for Georgia. Even a non dog owning villager decided to go walking the lanes!
In our case we had spread the word far and wide and it reached the ears of a local farmer. He had heard a "kind of squeal/screech" at about the time Georgia went missing. This was relayed to us "just in case" and we searched, by torchlight the area it came from which was a private wood. We had to gain permission but did not find her in the dark. It turned out that she had chased a hare under an electric fence surrounding a, nearby, free range chicken farm! She had spent the night in there (she is a bit wary of chickens, has some training in ignoring them and there were a lot of them!). After being missing for nearly 24, long, hours we got her home!