Lost my Boxer - please help!
"I lost my Boxer ... What do I do now?!"
Losing your Boxer is a very scary & stressful experience. Where did he go? Who can help me? Which number do I call to see if he’s been picked up? These questions are hard to answer in the heat of the moment. Keep the following information handy and follow these tips should your furry family friend go missing.
1. Contact the Twin Cities Boxer Club!! We have a great resource here ... hundreds of local Boxer lovers ... many who are willing to put boots-on-the-ground and help out a fellow Boxer owner! Email our Group Manager, and then post a "Lost" notice on our Message Board ASAP!!! The quicker we can set-up a search party, the more likely we will be successful in helping you find your Boxer!
2. Do a quick search in area your Boxer went missing.
- Grab a leash, flash light, blanket, high value food (i.e. hot dogs or canned dog food), and your pet’s favorite toys. If your pet has a favorite toy with a squeaker, bell, or other noise, use it while calling for them. Dogs have exceptional hearing and are able to hear things from a distance.
- Place your Boxer's bed/food/water & favorite toys outside your house door. Also place a piece of clothing out from the person your Boxer is most bonded too.
- Leaving out canned food may attract your Boxer back home.
- Dress for the weather and ALWAYS carry a cell phone (check the battery & bring a car charger)
- If you have an outgoing animal, they may be looking for other dogs, cats, and people that are likely to provide comfort, food, and shelter. Yards or public parks are good areas to check for these types of animals.
- If you have a shy or older animal that is not very trusting of strangers, it may be hiding; check bushes, under cars, open garages, and similar small places.
3. Inform your neighbors about your missing pet. Ask them if they would not only look around, but also allow you to check their garages, sheds, window wells, decks, etc. Owners typically look a little harder for their own animals.
4. Make up LOST DOG flyers ... lots of them (over 300)!
- If you are reading this BEFORE you have lost your Boxer ... make up a flyer now and save it on a flash drive. Put the flash drive on your key chain. Then if the worst should happen, no matter where you are, you have a flyer ready to go ASAP.
- This is where a good friend or family member, that knows your Boxer well, comes in handy. Have them make fliers while you are doing the "quick search".
- What to include on your LOST DOG flyer?: ( Here is a template.)
- 1. A recent, clear picture of your Boxer; color if possible.
- 2. Description of your Boxer - (make sure to use terms the general public understands ... for example "dark brown dog with floppy ears, short tail, white on neck & face and two white paws" is understood by more folks than "flashy brindle Boxer with natural ears, docked tail, and two white socks".) ... include the following information:
- Color (i.e. "dark brown with two white paws")
- Size (i.e medium size - over 40 lbs)
- Floppy or cropped ears, docked/short or long tail
- Color of collar they were wearing
- 3. “REWARD” - Don’t say how large, but a reward can be an incentive for everyone,and especially someone who would otherwise keep your lost animal.
- 4. The main location where the animal went missing. For example: city, cross streets, park, etc.
- 5. Your contact information. For safety reasons, it's best to use your cell number and only your first name. Do NOT list your full name or your address.
- Wes site address. If you are tech savvy (or know someone who is) make up a Facebook page or web page to keep folks updated.
- Do NOT publish identifying marks or microchip/tattoo numbers on your flyers. If your Boxer was stolen, or the person who found your dog is considering keeping them, you do not want the thieves to know how your dog can be identified. But DO give chip/tattoo numbers to animal control and all area vets.
- 6. See list below at tip "#5. Walk Your Neighborhood" for a list of suggestions on WHERE to distribute your flyers.
5. Walk the neighborhood (door-to-door) and talk to your mail carrier. Let people know that you’re looking for your pet, even distributing flyers with a recent picture and contact information will be helpful, multiple sets of eyes are always better than one! Never go out alone & let other know where you are heading. Important - Keep a list of where you have placed flyers, so that you can retrieve them once your Boxer is found. Here is a list of other folks in your community that you should contact & give fliers to (in person, if possible):
- Gas Stations
- Restaurants (dogs often seek out food at their trash bins)
- Garbage Companies ... give fliers to your garbage man and other waster removal companies in your town.
- Schools & Daycares
- Neighborhood kids ... kids are often out more than parents and could possibly know or see more. Kids love to help too, and often times have jumped on their bikes and joined in on the search.
- Post Office ... give fliers to your carrier and other postal/mail delivery companies (Fed Ex, UPS, etc.) in and around your city.
- Vet offices & pet hospitals.
- Pet businesses ... groomers, doggie-daycare, pet stores, training facilities, dog parks, breed groups (i.e. Twin Cities Boxer Club, MN Boxer Rescue), professional dog-walkers/pet-sitters, dog poop removal companies, etc.
- Outdoor sports organizations ... Geocaching.com, Disc-golfers, golf courses, REI, Midwest Mountaineering, Cabella's, Gander Mountain, etc.
- Food delivery businesses ... Pizza delivery, Chinese food deliver, Jimmy Johns, etc.
- In-home service businesses ... carpet cleaners, plumbers, furniture repair, cable, telephone, lawn service, furnace/duct cleaners, cleaning companies, diaper service, newspaper delivery person, snow-plow services, satellite/cable companies, etc. ... these folks are out & about all day, and armed with your flier may spot a dog on the loose.
- Parks - city, state, and national parks & forests.
- Fire stations & Police stations & Sheriff
- Community Centers
- Fitness Centers
- Local businesses & grocery stores
- Local newspaper, radio & TV (most have a Facebook page ... post there too)
- Firearms/hunting retailers & gun ranges in your area - If lost in a rural area, Hunters are a great ally to have help keep a look-out for your Boxer.
- Look for animals in the early morning or late evening when the neighborhood is quiet. You may have an easier time hearing a bark. Bring a flash light!
6. Don’t forget to make SIGNS (which are different than fliers)! Signs are the best way for people in the community to assist you in your search. Post at ALL intersections within a 3 block radius, and also at major intersections within a mile radius. The best signs should include:
Source: Missing Pet Partnership (click for more GREAT tips on making signs)
- Make them GIANT so that people driving by cannot miss them.
- Make them FLUORESCENT so that the color attracts the attention of everyone.
- Put them at major intersections near where you lost your pet (and in areas of sightings).
- Keep them BRIEF and to the point.
- Let them convey a VISUAL IMAGE of what you have lost.
Source: Missing Pet Partnership (click for more GREAT tips on making signs)
7. Contact your local Humane Societies, Animal Control Facilities, and Non-Emergency Police Department to report that your pet is missing. Make sure you do this in person. As the owner of the missing animal, it’s your responsibility to take steps to locate your lost pet. It’s very difficult for a shelter worker to make a positive identification over the phone, and perceptions of color and breed vary from person to person.
- Animal Control facilities & non-emergency Police numbers in Minnesota (see page 2)
- Animal Humane Society (Twin Cities Locations)
- Minnesota Valley Humane Society
- Other Humane Societies & Pet Shelters in Minnesota
8. Know that each animal welfare organization can’t possibly know details on every stray animal in their care. Shelter staff do their best to follow up with lost/found reports, but with different staff/schedules it is difficult to know exactly what is in stray holding at any given time. Don’t be a stranger! Go in-person (or send someone who knows your Boxer very well), and check in with these facilities as often as possible. There is a five day stray period in Minnesota and a seven day period in Wisconsin (including weekends). This means that strays are euthanized after 5 days!!!! Make sure to check the facilities every two to three days.
9. Remember, pets on the run have no regard for city boundaries. Make sure to check around surrounding suburbs, even neighboring cities often use completely different impounds or animal controls.
10. Flag your pet as a lost pet. If your animal has a microchip, call the company the chip is registered through and have your pet’s chip number flagged as a lost pet. Microchip company contact info.:
- 1. AVID 1-800-336-AVID
- 2. AKC 1-800-252-7894
- 3. Home Again Pet Recovery 1-866-738-4324
11. Contact your veterinarian. If your animal is wearing veterinary tags, contact your veterinarian to let them know the animal is missing. Keep in mind that most veterinary clinics are typically not open on the weekends.
12. Check online! There are a number of different online "Lost and Founds" and it’s difficult to gauge where a person may list a found pet.
Here are some ideas:
13. Tag your car too.
14. Agencies that assist owners in locating/recovering their animals. Be very weary of pet-finding agencies that contact you. Scam artists unfortunately do exist, even in the pet world. Make sure you ask the right questions and request printed information to ensure you’re working with a legitimate business.
15. Contact the Twin Cities Boxer Club!! We have a great resource here! Email our Group Manager and post a "Lost" notice on our Message Board ASAP!!! The quicker we can set-up a search party, the more likely we will be successful in helping you find your Boxer!
Most important of all ... never give up hope. ♥
More than likely someone has taken your Boxer in, since Boxers are such sweeties, and does not know how to go about finding his family.
We were searching door-to-door once for a club member's missing Boxer. We had almost stopped for the night, when we went to knock on one more door ... when we shared with the gentleman why we were there, he said "Yah, I have her. I was just waiting for someone to come looking for her, since I had no idea where she came from."