My dog is missing

What to do if your dog goes missing

A dog owner’s worst nightmare; one second your dog is there with you, the next they’re not. This starts a very upsetting and stressful time for you but by following these simple steps you can help find your dog quickly.

Missing from home

If your dog has disappeared from your home, the chances are that they won’t have gone far.

They may have been distracted by a passing cat, or have been tempted to wander off in search of food and simply got disorientated.

Alternatively they may have been spooked by a loud noise or a rumble of thunder, and sought safety in the garden or garage of a neighbour.

Closer than you think...

  • Confirm your dog is missing. Check your home throughly paying attention to cupboards, under stairs, under beds, gardens, sheds, outbuildings, vehicles, under bushes/shrubs/hedges.

  • Knock on your neighbours doors and ask them if they or you could check gardens, again looking at the same areas as in your own garden.

  • Ensure someone stays at home with a garden gate/door open as most dogs will try and get back home again and place your dogs bed or some unwashed laundry outside so your dog can smell a home should they walk past the gate or come towards the door.

  • Speak to people while you walk familiar walking routes and ask them if they have seen your dog. have a photo on your phone that you can show people and give them your phone number so they can call you if they see the dog.

  • While you are out looking, do not call your dog. This can be misread by your dog as a threat and cause them to want to run, or they may see this as a game and run from you. If you see your dog, do not chase them or walk towards them fo the same reasons.

  • Call local vets, dog warden and any local rescue centres to let them know your dog is missing. They may have already had your dog handed in, but this will make them aware and help to spread awareness. You can search using our website for all local services .

  • Use social media to your advantage. Post on local pages, groups and ‘Spotted’ pages with details of your dog. Do not include sensitive information such as age, whether your dog is spayed/neutered, microchip details etc. But do include a contact number that people can call in any sightings. If someone is to call you, they may ask for proof that the dog belongs to you, so have something that proves this such as photos, vets card, microchip registration.

  • If your dog is still missing after all the above has been done, or you would like help in any of this, you can contact ourselves and we can assist with any of the steps and also give further advice and assist with searches where possible.

  • You can also report your dog as missing with us by using our llost dog report form and one of the team will contact you.

Speak to our team for immediate help

Need to speak directly to us for advise about a lost or found dog.

Contact our Search Team on 01803 365505 if your dog is missing or you have found a dog. We are also available on Facebook Messenger

Missing whilst walking

So you are on a walk and your dog has decided to disappear.

This could be for any number of reasons from picking up the smell of something nice, becoming disorientated while in the bushes, to being chased away by another dog, spooked by loud noises.

However they have become lost it is important that you remain calm and stay as close to the point you last saw your dog.

Stay calm and in one place...

  • Try and stay in the area that you last saw your dog for as long as possible. Once calm, dogs tend to track back to this point. If you aren’t there then they are more likely to wander off in search of you.

  • If you have parked a vehicle close by, try and get someone that the dog knows to stay at this point. Again, the dog may make their own way back here as they will know the smell of your vehicle.

  • Contact family members or friends and ask them to come to your location if possible to help look while someone else stays at the all important point of loss

  • Speak with other walkers and ask them if they have seen your dog. Have a photo on your phone that you can show people and give them your phone number so they can call you if they see the dog.

  • While you are out looking, do not call your dog. This can be misread by your dog as a threat and cause them to want to run, or they may see this as a game and run from you. If you see your dog, do not chase them or walk towards them fo the same reasons.

  • Call local vets, dog warden and any local rescue centres to let them know your dog is missing. They may have already had your dog handed in, but this will make them aware and help to spread awareness. You can search using our website for all local services .

  • Use social media to your advantage. Post on local pages, groups and ‘Spotted’ pages with details of your dog. Do not include sensitive information such as age, whether your dog is spayed/neutered, microchip details etc. But do include a contact number that people can call in any sightings. If someone is to call you, they may ask for proof that the dog belongs to you, so have something that proves this such as photos, vets card, microchip registration.

  • If your dog is still missing after all the above has been done, or you would like help in any of this, you can contact ourselves and we can assist with any of the steps and also give further advice and assist with searches where possible.

  • You can also report your dog as missing with us by using our lost dog report form and one of the team will contact you.
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Stolen Dogs

Having a pet stolen is every pet owner’s worst nightmare, and according to police statistics, pet theft is on the rise. According to a freedom of information request sent to UK forces, 1,823 dogs were reported stolen in 2018.

Pets are stolen for a number of reasons. Convictions of pet thieves have revealed motivations include financial gain and breeding (including puppy farming).

The most commonly stolen dog breeds in 2018 were the Staffordshire bull terrier, French bulldog, Chihuahua, and jack russell terrier.

But there are steps you can take to prevent your pet from being stolen and we have advice on this below.

What to do if your dog is stolen..

  • Theft is a criminal offence and should be reported to your local police force as soon as possible. Make sure you give the police as much information about your pet’s physical appearance as possible, including photos, and details about what happened when your pet was stolen. If your pet is microchipped, ask the police officer to take a note of the microchip number. If you or anyone witnessed your pet being stolen, give the police a clear description of the thief and any details about vehicles that were used.

  • Ask the police for a crime reference number when you report your pet as stolen.This makes sure the theft is logged on the system as a crime, rather than just an incident, and acts as a reference number that you can follow up on.

  • Tell your pet’s microchip company. If your pet is microchipped, call the database that their chip is registered to and ask them to mark their record as a stolen pet. Give them the crime reference number you’ve got from the police. This means that if your pet is found and scanned, the person scanning will be alerted straight away that your pet is stolen and they can inform the police. If you don’t know which database your pet’s microchip is registered to, you can find out by putting the chip number into the Check a Chip website.

  • If your dog is stolen, tell your dog warden. Dog warden services are run by your local authority and could be provided by a county, district or borough council. To check which authority you should report your missing dog to, you can put your postcode into the government’s website here.  Dog wardens are responsible for missing dogs while the police are responsible for stolen dogs, but it’s still worth alerting the dog warden as your dog may end up in their care.

  • Alert local vet practices and rescue centres. Give them a description of your stolen pet and your contact details and ask them to call you if your pet is brought to them.

  • Put up posters. Use clear photos of your pet and stick up posters in the area your pet was stolen.

  • If your dog is still missing after all the above has been done, or you would like help in any of this, you can contact ourselves and we can assist with any of the steps and also give further advice and assist with searches where possible.

  • You can also report your dog as missing with us by using our lost dog report form and one of the team will contact you.

Join our online community

Devon Lost Dog Search & Rescue was set up to help owners of lost dogs have as much help as possible to be reunited quickly and safely with their beloved pets.

After nearly 3 years of helping lost dogs, our search team is now giving owners easier access to all the help they require and this is where you come in. We are looking for anyone that assists with lost dogs in Devon to register so owners can find contact details for Vets, Kennels, Dog Wardens  etc all in one easy to use place.