It seems to be that time of year again. The weather improves and so many dogs start to stray from home.
We thought it would be a great idea to have a chat to someone who dedicates their career to reuniting dogs with their owners. We are so lucky to have a great friend in Hollie Morrell (a dog warden in the south of England) who has given us her top tips on how to be quickly reunited with your dog if they ever go missing
Have you ever lost your dog?
If you have, then you will know that feeling of dread, and then the panic of “what do I do?” Have you come home and found them gone? Out on a dog walk and they have scarpered off? Or maybe you’ve opened the front door to someone and fluffy has made a break for it?
In most cases, the actions you should take next are the same. But those action shouldn’t start when your dog actually goes missing…. they should have started the moment you got your beloved pooch!
Microchipping your dog is not only important, it is the law. It helps us dog wardens all the more if we find your dog. With access to owner information, it’s the quickest way for your dog to be returned by your local authorities. It also helps us care for your dog a little better when we can be familiar with them by knowing their name.
But I can’t tell you how many times I get that disappointed feeling when I get told by my office that “the chip details are out of date” or “the chip is – unregistered” and the most common one “phone number no longer in use”.
This ultimately means that your dog will have to go back to kennels. No matter how hard we try to make a dogs’ kennel experience a happy and stress free one….no dog wants to be in kennels. They want be at home with their owners, but they can’t tell us where they live! That’s your job.
Collars and tags are a great preventative measure. We vary rarely get called for dogs with a collar and tag on…because these dogs are usually returned by a kind member of the public. Also, collars make it much easier for people to get hold of your dog should it be running around on a road. This is another thing I get a lot of people having issues with. Their dogs lose their tags often. There are collars that have your details embroidered onto the collar instead. With details on collars, the wardens are not often called to get involved and dogs are reunited quickly.
Always keep your local stray dog authorities number in your phone. It’s not only when you find a dog that you can call us, you can report your dog missing to us too. This is the easiest and quickest way to get your dog home. If we get a report of a dog found, it will be matched to the correct lost dog report if one has been made. Once confirmed that it is your dog, we can bring them straight home to you. No wasted time, no kennels and minimal stress for all involved. A lot of people will take found dogs to their nearest vet practice, so it’s always wise to call round and notify the vets too.
Again, collars, tags and microchips are all mandatory by law. They are all things that help get your dog home safe and sound should you ever lose them. No- one ever plans on their dog going missing, but it happens to the best of us so always have these measures in place just in case.
One of the best parts of my job is seeing the absolute joy and relief on an owners face when they see me walking to their door with their dog. Then there’s the oh so coy wag of fluffys tail as he takes the walk of shame down the garden path to the sound of “So where have you been Mr?”.
So, please remember, as dog wardens it’s our job to care for and try to return stray dogs to their owners…..a job that would be a lot more successful if you do your job as a dog owner.
Thank you so much Hollie for some really great tips. Fingers crossed that more dogs are reunited with their owners
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