What to do if you lose your dog or find a missing dog

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Lost Dog Awareness Day is Sunday.

The fourth annual awareness day is to bring attention to missing dogs in shelters and rescues whose families are looking for them.

Lost Dogs of America, a free resource that helps reunite owners with their pets, has documented over 42,000 reunions since 2011. The group provides tips to owners searching for their missing dog, Facebook pages by state to share missing pets and free flyers.

What to do if your dog is missing

If your pet is missing, put food and water out where it was last seen. Lost Dogs of America also suggests putting out a piece of clothing or the dog’s bed as well.

Contact local shelters, animal control facilities, veterinary clinics and police departments. Visit the shelters to see if your pet is there. Also, if your dog is microchipped, report it as missing to the microchip company.

Some pet care facilities, such as grooming shops, assist with locating the families of lost pets, so check with them as well.

Put up flyers up around your neighborhood and local businesses, and post about your missing dog on the internet.

For the Love of Louie is a Facebook page that posts missing pets for free. Lost Dogs Michigan also posts missing pets, and has pages for each state. Post about it on Craigslist as well.

According to Lost Dogs of America, tell those who are searching for your dog to not call or chase it. Instead, they should sit and toss treats to the dog without making eye contact.

What to do if you find a dog

If you find a missing dog, first check for ID tags or a pet license. Also, check around your neighborhood to see if it belongs to any neighbors.

If there are no tags, take the dog to a veterinarian or shelter to have them check for a microchip or tattoo.

Report the dog as found to your local police non-emergency line and complete a found dog report with your local animal control agency. Bring the dog to animal control if you cannot keep the animal while searching for the owner.

Put up flyers saying the dog was found, and post about the dog on sites like Craigslist and the Love of Louie and Lost Dogs Michigan Facebook pages.

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