By Janet McAfee
If you are a pet owner, you may eventually experience having one go missing. It can happen to anyone. This week a phone call came into Loving All Animals from a distraught woman in town for the Coachella concert when her dog went missing. Chihuahua pup Peanut jumped out of her vehicle at the car charging station in Indio by Walmart on Jackson Street just off the 10 freeway. The family with young girls undertook a mass search to find their cherished Peanut. I gave them some additional things to do. Peanut is skittish which makes the search more challenging as she might not easily be retrieved by strangers.
PLEASE KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR PRECIOUS PEANUT IN NORTH INDIO. She was last seen twice near the Circle K on Monroe in Indio just off the 10 freeway. It appears she may be traveling between Monroe and Jackson in North Indio, coming out in the early morning and evenings when the weather is cooler. It would be a miracle, but someone reading this may have picked her up. She is a tiny 5 pounds. The little dog is microchipped but was not wearing her collar with the engraved tag and phone number. Peanut’s family eventually had to return to their home in Los Angeles, but they respond to phone calls and will return if there is another sighting of their beloved pet. Don’t chase her if she starts to run. Call (818)674-0632 or (310)503-9537.
Countless dogs go missing every day. It happens more often when someone else is taking care of them or when they are in an unfamiliar area. It’s heartbreaking not to know how they are, whether they are hungry, injured, or even if they are still alive. Include as many people as possible in your efforts, and DON’T GIVE UP. Organize a search party. Here are some tips should your dog ever go missing.
CREATE A FLYER – Not computer savvy? Find a young person to help. Boiler plates to make flyers with your dog’s photo are available on www.bestfriends.org or www.petbond.com. Put up flyers on bulletin boards including Starbucks, vet clinics, animal shelters, groomers, and on telephone poles. Pass out flyers to postal workers, gardeners, utility workers, tree trimmers, patrolling security guards and police officers, and others who work outside.
MAKE SIGNS – Large, colorful, eye-catching size signs can be made at the printers and posted on telephone poles, at dog parks, and at intersections controlled by traffic lights.
SOCIAL MEDIA – The quickest way to get a missing pet returned safely is to put his photo and location on www.NextDoor.com a free site that sends the information out to thousands of people near where you live. Post your dog’s photo on Facebook and ask your friends to SHARE and TAG. Post on the Facebook page “Lost and Found Pets in the Coachella Valley” and “Dogs in the 760”. Include your cell phone number and the city and cross streets where the animal went missing. Check Petharbor.com and Craig’s List in case someone is trying to sell your dog they found.
GO DOOR TO DOOR IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD – Lost dogs that are friendly often end up in a within a 10-block radius from your home. Go door-to-door in the immediate neighborhood. Neighbors will pick up a wandering dog to keep it safe. Check backyards, vacant homes, fields, schools, businesses, and underneath cars. Children are often a good source of information about stray pets in their neighborhood.
PLACE CLOTHING WITH YOUR SCENT OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE – Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and this might lure them back home.
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, but sometimes these get lost. Return to the shelter every few days. Look in the kennels, search the “Found” book, the “Dead” book, and fill out a lost report at the front desk. Check with private shelters and rescues.
CONTACT THE MEDIA – Check to see if local television and radio stations have programs to help with missing dogs. Post a notice in local newspapers such as the Desert Sun and Penny Saver.
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 turn up years later in shelters thousands of miles away. Unneutered male dogs are much more likely to run away, and this is yet another reason to sterilize your pet.
Email me with other ideas that can included in future articles. Paws are crossed for Peanut’s safe return!