By Janet McAfee
Holly, a lovely Greyhound/Whippet/Chihuahua mix dog, bolted from her La Quinta home during the torrential rain storm that hit our Valley on September 8. Holly was wearing an ID tag and is microchipped, the two most important things you can do to ensure a safe return. She weighs approximately 30 pounds, and is cream colored with large pointed ears. There is a reward offered for her safe return. Holly is a bit skittish, so please notify owners Deana at (760) 574-5985 or Daniel at (619) 743-2314.
Holly went missing near John Adams Elementary School, near the streets of Springtime Way and Summer View. Animals can easily become disorientated and bolt during a severe storm. It is possible Holly traveled to another city, or was taken in a car to another location.
Just as we were going to press, Holly’s owner learned from a city worker that a deceased dog resembling Holly was picked up in La Quinta street shortly after the September flooding. We are not certain this dog is Holly, and the deceased dog was not wearing a collar. Holly’s owners are devastated, but asked me to go ahead and tell her story on the chance Holly could still be out there, and with the hope of helping other missing animals.
Have you ever had a beloved cat or dog go missing? Many years ago, my family’s Australian Shepherd dog, Caesar, went missing from our back yard. His disappearance remains a heartbreaking mystery. You wonder if your pet still alive, and if they are being well cared for.
Here are some things you can do to find Fluffy or Fido should they go missing.
CREATE A FLYER
Boiler plates to make flyers with your dog’s photo can be found on www.bestfriends.org or www.petbond.com . It will help if there is a reward. Put up flyers on local bulletin boards including PetCo, Starbucks, supermarkets, vet clinics, and shelters. Pass out flyers to postal workers, gardeners, utility workers, security guards, and others who spend time outside in your community.
Signs can be posted on telephone posts, at dog parks, and at intersections controlled by traffic lights. Make big, colorful, eye catching signs. Exercise caution when someone calls seeking the reward money as unscrupulous people may try to scam money for animals they do not have.
Post your dog’s photo on Facebook and ask your friends to SHARE and TAG, and continue to re-post. Twitter has a system for locating lost pets; use a photo and hashtag with your pet’s name.
GO DOOR TO DOOR IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Often a neighbor spots a stray animal and takes it into their home. Search a 20-block radius within your home by car and on foot. Call his name loudly as your pet could be in someone’s back yard. Search in the morning or at night when there is less noise. Check vacant homes, backyards, schools, and under cars. Cats can sometimes hide under cars or under the hood of a car.
CHECK LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTERS
Go in person to your local public shelter since you are the best one to recognize your pet. All shelters check for microchips and ID tags. Return to the shelter every few days. A stray animal can turn up in a shelter weeks later. Check shelters within a 50 mile radius in case he was picked up by someone traveling. Look in the kennels, search the “Found” book, the “Dead” book, and fill out a lost report at the front desk.
CHECK PETHARBOR.COM, CRAIGSLIST, AND FIDOFINDER.COM
Check Craigslist for “FOUND” animals. Be sure to check the section for “animals for sale”, in case someone picked up your animal and is trying to sell it for profit.
CONTACT THE MEDIA
Channel 6, KMIR, helps find missing and found dogs and cats. Email a photo, description, location, and contact information to news@KMIR6.com. Post a notice under the “Lost Pets” section in the Desert Sun newspaper and Penny Saver.
MAKE A TRAIL TO YOUR HOME WITH CLOTHING
Cut up a piece of clothing that has your scent and scatter over the blocks leading up to your home. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and this may lead them back home.
ORGANIZE A SEARCH PARTY
Get your friends and family to help. Furnish them with coffee and flyers. Map out the area each person needs to cover.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL MISSING PET SEARCH COMPANY
Go online to locate a business that will assist your search. There are many to chose from including www.Sherlockbones.com .
DON’T GIVE UP!
Most missing pets are returned to their owners within a short time. Others come back home weeks or months later. Some that are microchipped have turned up years later in shelters thousands of miles away. I hope this information speeds your beloved pet’s return home.