Dogs run away for many reasons. Some have wanderlust and take advantage of every open door. Others meander away following a scent. But the most common reason rescued dogs go missing is fear. Skittish dogs bolt when faced with unfamiliar situations. Loud noises—such as fireworks or gunshots—can panic even well socialized dogs when they've been uprooted from their family and relocated to a foster or adoptive home.
If you have lost sight of your dog, call 612-547-9004 immediately to connect with the Retrievers Volunteer Lost Dog team, RAGOM's partner for lost dog searches. A team member will collect information about your dog and the current situation and recommend an immediate course of action. The Retrievers will also notify RAGOM's Lost Dog Coordinator, who will support you during the search.
You will likely be advised to:
- Drive around and talk to neighbors to see if anyone has spotted your dog.
- Place food and a scent article (the dog's bedding, toys, or owner's clothing if the dog is bonded to you) in the area where the dog bolted.
- Email a high-resolution photo to infotheretrievers [dot] org so the team can create a flyer. Typically, an unresized camera phone image is sufficient.
- Open the gate to your yard—or even better, the back door to your house—and leave it open in case your dog returns.
- Complete a Request Assistance form, to provide the Retrievers with information about your situation. You must complete this form ASAP after completing the above steps.
The Retrievers will assign a case manager who will consult with you at every stage of the search. He or she will help you know what to do next, including preparing and distributing flyers; reporting the lost dog to local law enforcement, shelters, and animal control agencies; posting an ad on Craigslist; and spreading the word through social media, etc. For prolonged cases, the Retrievers use the Lost RAGOM Dog Facebook page to coordinate search efforts, enlist the help of volunteers, and inform the public.
When your case manager is assigned, please communicate with them using their personal phone number, rather than the Retrievers main line.
Lastly, remember that even though there will be many people helping to find your dog, your commitment and efforts—and the passion you bring to the search—will inspire and energize everyone involved.