If you have a lost dog there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your best possible chances of getting finding them. Below are some steps we would recommend:
Dogs found straying will be lifted by the dog warden and taken to the pound. They will generally be kept there for only five days. Please ensure that all your local pounds know that your dog is missing & better still leave a photo with them. Stay in touch with them every day. POUNDS please click here to find local pound.
Leave your name, phone number and a description/photo of your dog with the Garda Stations nearest to you (in the surrounding region as well). When anyone, including rescue centres finds a dog, they should inform the Garda. Do keep in touch with them every few days as things may get lost from shift to shift.
Veterinary Surgeries, Kennels & Rescue Centres
Stray dogs are often taken to vets, boarding kennels or rescue centres. Check with the golden pages for a list of the ones in your locality and ask each one you ring for the name of another (they may not all be listed in the book).
Other things that will help
Put up posters offering a reward (Don’t say how much) for the return of your pet, include a photo if at all possible. If your dog is a mixture, do not attempt to describe them by breed – everyone has a different idea of what a ‘collie/pointer/setter’ looks like! – keep it simple. Place them in markets, take aways, vets & doctors surgeries, bus stops and anywhere that people gather.
Go to places that you regularly walked your dog. He/she may have just decided to take himself for a walk (you should have a secure garden – rectify this if you don’t!!) Visit building sites & schools. Always ask children, as they will notice a dog long before an adult does.
Please remember that it is the law to have a collar and an I.D. disc on your dog. You can actually be fined EUR100 on the spot for not having one. 60% of the dogs which are taken in by shelters are strays and because they have no I.D. they have little or no chance of being reunited with their owners. The ISPCA recommends micro-chipping.
Tips from our readers
Search everywhere especially open spaces where the dog is walked.
If anyone in the locality has taken her (in) they still have to walk them.
Report your missing dog to local Gardai.
Phone the Dog Pound (every day).
Advertise in the Buy&Sell with a ‘reward’, don’t say how much, but several people have reported this worked for them (with purebreds, etc that were stolen).
Place photo ads in local shops, petrol stations, DART stations, schools, and more.
Place ads in library and churches.
Visit all neighbouring houses in the locality.
Stop everyone with a dog to ask them to watch out.
Place ad in local papers (eg Northside News, Citywide) or local radio stations.
If you are lucky and find your dog remember to take the notices down, inform and thank those who helped in the search.
“Contact the guards – “in retrospect we should have alerted stations that were relatively far away, so we would have found out sooner what happened to our dog”
Contact the county council in your area, they all have a service which collects dead animals hit by cars, etc. (sad to think, but better to know).
Contact vets in the area and leave details with them.
Always post a picture of your dog in all Garda stations. We just gave them a report and when we eventually found our dog, the people who found him had him a week and reported to the gaurds on a regular basis but we still didnt hear anything from them. Communication between shifts and other stations isn’t always reliable.
If you have other dogs, bring them out with you when you are looking for the lost one – they will smell their housemate much sooner than you will see him/her, and they will leave a scent that may help the lost animal to find their way back.
Make as many posters (with a picture if possible) as you can and stick them up at bus stops, pedestrian lights, petrol stations, supermarkets, corner shops… anywhere that people spend a bit of time. We live in a soggy country, so laminate the posters if possible.
Don’t give out a landline number on any poster or flyer that will be seen by the general public. Always use a mobile number (two if possible, one could be off), and/or specify a Garda station or vet surgery that people can contact with details (be sure that the vet/Guards know that you are doing this!).
Expect hoax calls – “there are some nasty people out there – but follow everything up nonetheless. You could try leaving out one particular piece of information about your animal from the poster/flyer, just to check if the person calling has actually seen him/her.” If someone asks you to collect the animal from an address, don’t go alone…just in case.
Show a picture of the dog to lollipop ladies and kids – kids are much more observant than adults!