Many strays are picked up and will end up in a local dog pound where they will stay for a period of time before being re-homed or PTS.
Owners have a limited amount of time to re-claim their dog from a pound before they loose their right of ownership.
It is important to act quickly if your dog disappears and inform the appropriate authorities.
If your dog is found and you have already registered its loss, you may save it from being placed in a pound and also save yourself a fee getting the dog returned to you.
By law every dog has to wear a collar with the owners name, address and telephone number on a tag attached to it at all times. These days it must also be microchipped so make sure your dogs is.
There is also now a legal requirement that all dogs over 8 weeks of age must be microchipped
Compliance with these laws may speed up the dogs safe return to you.
Tattooing your dog is another form or safeguarding it against loss and is particularly effective if a dog is stolen or strays outside of your local Dog Warden's area. There are National registers of all microchipped. and tattooed dogs to which finders can refer to help get your dog back to you.
Many people who lose their dog are, naturally, very upset and interviews indicate that these feelings are made worse by a burden of guilt if they feel that they could have done more in retrospect.
Don't wait until it happens to you - get your dog microchipped. As soon as possible.
First - Contact your local authority Dog Warden, give them a description and inform them of the full details of the loss so that they can let you know if the dog is found.
If you suspect the dog may have been stolen, make a full report to the Police and get an incident reference number to identify your case.
Second - Contact the Dog Wardens services in neighbouring areas and advise them of the incident, providing a full description of the dog.
Sometimes there is poor communication between adjoining areas with different Dog Wardens services operating in different areas, so it is wise to inform as many as possible in your vicinity, in case your dog has strayed or been handed into a neighbouring Dog Wardens area.
Third - Let local Vets, Pet shops and Animal rescue organisations know. One of their clients may find your dog and contact them for assistance or advice.
Fourth - Compile a poster and put copies up in the surrounding area in shops, on notice boards, but bear in mind that fly posters - even in a good cause - are still illegal, so get permission before putting them up.
Fifth - Contact organisation that are dedicated to advertising and finding lost dogs or those who run Internet website pages for the same purpose. There are some links below to get you started.
If it is a BC, you can contact BCR and we may be able to put the dog on the lost and found section of our website.
As a precaution - keep some recent photo's of your dog handy. Face view and side view at least. Update them as necessary. Make sure you have a note of any distinguishing or unique features or markings on our dog. Make notes of time, place and other details as soon as you notice the dog has gone.
Be aware - dogs that go missing are often stolen. Sometimes to order by organised gangs - sometimes just because there is an opportunity - even by people that find them straying.
Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with an ID disc - as the law requires.
Don't put your dogs name on the tag - it may help people who find the dog to be able to claim that it is their dog or fool your dog into thinking that a thief is a friend and should be obeyed.
For extra insurance, comply with the las and have your dog micro-chipped. This is the method BCR recommends.