What to do if Your Greyhound Gets Loose
ACT QUICKLY but don't panic
Being thorough and getting the word out quickly will increase the likelihood that your greyhound will be found safely and returned.
Follow these steps:
- Start the Lost Hound Network Phone Tree and Email Blast
To start the phone tree and email blast, complete and submit the Lost Greyhound Form
- Notify the Lost Hound Network by submitting the lost hound form. This completed form will be distributed to a list of people who are associated with the Lost Hound Network and may be able to help you find your hound.
Who Else to Call:
GPA MN phone line: leave a detailed message on the GPA MN phone line, 763-785-4000
Vet Clinics: in your area and your personal vet, especially if the hound has a rabies tag from that clinic
Animal Emergency Hospitals
- Post on Lost Dogs Minnesota Facebook Page
- Prepare a Lost Hound Search Kit
What to take with you:
Squawker or squeaky toy
Fragrant dog treats
Flashlight (if night is approaching)
- Print Flyers
Editable Microsoft Word flyer downloadable here. Modify with your information and your hound's picture and print copies for posting.
Pet ID Poster: http://www.petid.com/missing_pet.lasso
Pet ID offers a FREE .pdf file creation service to anyone who has lost a pet, regardless if they are subscribers or not. Enter the information requested and they will create a .pdf file that is downloaded to your computer; you can then print or send to others. There is also a search tool on their site to help you find shelters and vets in your area.
- Move into Action
Spread the word, connect reach out, remain positive and focused
They are counting on you to bring them home. Walk and drive the neighborhood and surrounding community. Use the squawker or squeaky toy to get their attention and entice them. Yell something that will catch the hound's attention like car ride or treat. If you see the dog, walk or run in the opposite direction. Don't run toward the dog as they may think you are playing and run farther and faster.
Spreading the Word
Important information you should provide with every communication:
Location: City and street with nearby cross streets and the direction the hound was headed. Include any easy to identify neighborhood markers, businesses, etc.
Time: When was your hound last seen?
Description: Gender and color and any identifying characteristics (collar color, any unique markings, etc.)
Identification on your dog: Personal ID tag, GPA tag, rabies tag, etc.
Personality: Is the dog friendly and outgoing, or shy and spooky?
Special word/phrase: Any special familiar word or phrase that will get the hound excited to come running
Contact information: Who is leading the search? Name, phone numbers and/or email address.
- Set up a Search Unit
1. Send out search units of 2 to 3 people in all directions. Greyhounds have a tendency to run in circles, even if they headed in one direction they may have doubled back in the other direction.
2. Each search unit should take an area about 1/2 mile square. Stay in your area. The hound might not be there the first five times you go down the street, but may be there your next trip.
3. Each search unit should have a cell phone, a collar and lead, some dog treats, and a flashlight if night is approaching. If you can take a dog along too, especially a greyhound, it might help the scared hound feel more comfortable and draw them in.
4. Check alleys, outside restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and any place where the dog may be able to find food. Check cemeteries and parks in the area; both places can offer shelter and trash to search for food.
5. If you spot the hound and sense he is spooked (even a friendly dog can get scared after being loose), walk away from him or lay down on the ground and call him gently. Sudden movements may send him running again. Offer 'stinky' food that may be very appealing to a hungry dog. Consider setting up a familiar kennel in the area where last seen.
6. If you don't find the dog, make sure you leave food and water outside your home. Leave a familiar blanket or bed outside so he will know this is home should he find his way back. If he likes riding in the car, leave the car door open overnight: you may have a surprise waiting for you in the morning
7. Keep your outside lights on and keep a garage door or gate open in case the hound returns to the area looking for home. Set your alarm clock and check outside every hour.
Help from other greyhound groups: Ask othe greyhound adoption programs to help spread the word and assist if possible. Twin Cities area groups are Northern Lights Greyhound Adoption and Minnesota Greyhound Rescue.
Animal Humane Society: Free online board. You can post information, a photo, and check the found section to see if your hound has been found.
Petfinder: You can post lost pets by state and check found pets.
Craigslist: Lost and Found postings.
The Retrievers: Helps find and recover lost pets.
Other online search tools: http://www.findtoto.com/, http://www.fidofinder.com/, http://www.petrescue.com/
Facebook and Twitter: Post notifications and updates to get the word out. Post on the GPA MN Facebook Page and Twitter Feed (using tag #gpamn)
Email distribution groups: City offices, area schools, Chamber of Commerce, community e-lists, etc.
Newspapers: Consider posting information in your community newspaper.