Within one hour of discovery dog is missing:
(1) Check all places the dog visits regularly within a mile radius of where he/she was last seen. If your dog has a special attachment to a person, another pet, a toy, etc., make sure to actively involve that “being” or object in the search.
(2) Ask for help; round up a group of people willing to help you search (neighbours, friends, family).
(3) Make sure someone is at your home (which is also your dog’s home) at all times, as many dogs will find their way back home.
Within 24 hours of discovery dog is missing:
(1) Continue to search your dog’s regular “haunts”, and do so until he/she is found. The dog may not be there on the first search, but he/she may turn up at some point. It may be helpful to place a trail of articles, leading to your home, containing your scent. This could help your dog find his/her way home.
(2) Print flyers containing a recent picture of your dog, containing all relevant contact information, especially your cell phone number. Make the print large and easy to read from a distance. Include a pre-cut “fringe” along the bottom with your name, your dog’s name, and your phone number (your cell phone number, preferably), so people are able to tear off your contact information.
(3) Post flyers around the neighborhood, in store windows, on telephone poles, on bulletin boards (libraries, community centres, grocery stores, churches, schools, etc.), and distribute flyers to local animal shelters, police, fire department, veterinary offices, etc.
(4) Contact all the neighborhood “regulars”, such as the mail carrier, couriers, meter readers, the cable installer, anybody who regularly visits your neighborhood on business, and don’t be shy!
(5) Don’t just call the animal shelters; drop by for a visit and ask to see all the dogs they have.
If your dog isn’t found after 24 hours:
(1) Contact local media outlets, including radio stations, newspapers (especially dailies), and TV stations. Try to think of an “angle” to make your dog’s story special, i.e. he/she was a rescue dog, had a disability, was a companion to a senior citizen, was a therapy dog, was a toddler’s “best friend”. Be creative, as it will increase media interest in your situation.
(2) Use the internet. The following websites may be helpful, but this is, by no means, an exhaustive list. There are endless resources available to you through the internet.
- Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation: Lost Kerry Coordinator
(3) Shelve your ego. Accept that people may not have heard of your dog’s breed. Use whatever descriptive language necessary to help in identifying him/her (for example, if you have to describe a Kerry Blue as a “grey-black Wheaten”, a “floppy-eared Schnauzer”, or a “tall Scotty”, then do it).
(4) Consider contacting someone who has a trained scenting dog (police or search-and-rescue organizations may be able to help). If you can afford to hire someone to take their scenting dog to the area in which the dog was last seen, then do so.
(5) Contact homeless shelters to see if there are any new “strays” among the shelter users.