We went through a scare at Our Companions last week! A little dog named Frankie ran off from his home just two weeks after being adopted from the Sanctuary. His new home was in Ashford, so once we received word that he was missing we were easily able to help with the search, but what direction did he head? The hilly woods around their home were vast, they bordered a river and lots of wetlands. It made trekking through the woods an impossible thought.
The owners had already contacted most of their immediate neighbors, local animal control, and searched the woods near their home. So the only other thing we could hope for was to continue spreading the word that this little dog was on the run. To help with this we printed up lots of posters with his picture, and two contact numbers should he be spotted. We also put it out on Facebook and got a terrific response from our followers.
At our Sanctuary, we outfit each dog with two separate tags—one on their martingale collars, and one on their harness. On this tag are three cell phone numbers and the address of the Sanctuary. Thankfully the new owners kept Frankie’s collar tag on him, so that he was wearing his brand new Ashford License and our tag. He was also microchipped, so should the tags have fallen off during his adventure, that would have been a permanent identification if he was brought to any veterinarian or animal control facility.
The story has a happy ending, 24 hours after he ran off, I received the call I was praying for—Frankie had been found!!! He was at an apartment complex not far away, pretty much a straight line from his home, but in the opposite direction that we originally saw him head. Thanks to those phone numbers on his tag, he was immediately returned to us and then back home where he belonged.
Lessons that we took home from this event:
· Always keep identification tags with phone numbers on your dog. Cell phones are best as you may be out looking for the dog while a helpful call comes in on your home phone.
· Have back up identification on your dog in the form of a microchip should the dog collar fall off during their excursion.
· Get posters out to everyone in the immediate area. Start close and then widen your search as time goes on. I wish we had put posters at this apartment complex. In the future, I will look at a Google map if I ever find myself in this situation, and plan out a concentrated poster distribution in the local area in multiple directions.
Frankie is a very friendly and social dog, but they still needed to work to catch him. If a poster had been posted, familiar people would have been able to help capture him. I worry that loose dogs are scared and can get spooked if not handled correctly. Thankfully that was not the case, and Frankie was one happy puppy once he was back at his home and realized that his misadventure was over!!!
His owners learned a valuable lesson the hard way, and while he was gone they installed multiple tie outs throughout their yard. Frankie will never have a chance at running loose ever again, and instead will enjoy sunning himself on their deck, and long walks on their property while safely on a leash!