However, it’s not just the dog owner who needs to know what to do when a dog goes missing. Those who want to help in the search need to know what to do as well. Often the most well-meaning dog searcher can hinder a search by what they do and say. Some have even caused a dog to go missing longer because they were trying to “help” and inadvertently ended up hurting the search.
I thought I would put together a list DO’s and DON’Ts for both owners and those who want to help them. Please feel free to share.
Owner of a Lost Dog
- Tell everyone you know that your dog is missing. Call all local shelters, animal control facilities, vet clinics and local police to let them know.
- Make a flyer with the most pertinent information – dog’s picture, coloring and weight, where lost, contact information (i.e., phone number). If you have a shy dog, make sure you also add DO NOT CHASE to the flyer.
- Place flyers at all local vet clinics, animal shelters, stores and local businesses. Also, start canvasing the area your dog was lost and handing the flyers out to people walking their dogs.
- Leave a flyer in each residence’s newspaper box (It is illegal to place in mailboxes.) or inside their screen door.
- Place an ad on Craigslist.
- Ask for help from friends and family. Ask them to help spread the word or pass out flyers.
- Share information on Facebook and Twitter – If you have a Lost Dogs Facebook group for your state, share there. There are quite a few that have been created, including ones in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Texas, Minnesota and Illinois.
- Create signs that you can place in strategic locations so drivers can see them as they drive past. Keep the sign simple (e.g., Lost Sheltie and a phone number) so people can read it quickly.
- Pay attention to where your dog is sighted. Generally, a dog will establish a pattern of places they visit or hang out. Once you have a pattern, set up feeding stations so he/she stays in the area. When you are certain that they have gotten used to feeding at these stations, set up a trap or traps at those locations and move the food inside the trap.
- Consider utilizing one of the many services out there to help spread the word – Pet Amber Alert, FindToto.com, etc.
- Send positive thoughts to your dog. Tell them to go into the trap or to seek out a person for help. It may seem silly, but it does work.
- Place an article of your clothing or your dog’s bedding in a crate or trap near the location they were lost so they are drawn in by the scent. If your dog went missing from your home, place it in your backyard or in an area they could enter it.
- Carry smelly treats with you that you can toss to your dog if sighted. Make sure you sit down facing away from your dog or sideways to them and sit quietly with your head down. Don’t speak right away. Just toss the treats towards your dog. (Cupcake was lost for 12 days and by the time I found her she was in survival mode. She didn’t recognize me by sight or sound. It was only when I sat down and allowed her to safely approach me that she was able to smell me. That is when she recognized me.)
- Give up hope. Dogs and cats are much more resilient than we think. They can and do find food and shelter. Princessa’s Story is good example of how dogs can survive the cold of winter.
- Assume your dog will run right up to you. Chances are they won’t. I wrote about this a couple of months ago – Why your lost dog may not run back to you.
- Share trap locations with more than a couple of people you trust. The more people who know about the trap locations, the more the risk you will have too many people monitoring the traps and this could scare your dog away. Make a plan for who will know the trap locations and who will check them and when.
- Drive around assuming you will see your lost dog somewhere. Utilize flyers and get more eyes looking for your dog immediately.
Lost Dog Searchers
- Offer to hand out flyers and spread the word. (It was a stranger who offered to hand out flyers that led to me getting Cupcake back. Flyers really do work.)
- Offer encouragement and hope to the owner of the lost pet. One of the reasons a lost pet is not found is because the owner gives up hope. Help to keep that hope going.
- Share the lost dog’s story and information on Facebook and Twitter. Most people don’t share because they assume that people don’t live in the area and don’t care, but this is not the case. (When my Cupcake was missing people shared across the globe. One of the people to see her story lived in New York. His parents just happened to live a few blocks from me. They became instrumental in my search for Cupcake and her eventual capture. People know people who live near where the dog was lost. Never assume they don’t. It can make all the difference.)
- Call in sightings to the owner ASAP.
- If you see the lost dog, sit down facing away from them or sideways to them and bow your head and toss tasty treats their way. Don’t talk to them, but do call the owner immediately. The objective is to keep them there until the owner can come to get them.
- Send positive thoughts to the missing dog and encourage them to enter the trap or seek help from a human. Negative thoughts do not help the dog or owner.
- Add to a lost pet owner’s fears by talking about the chance their dog could be killed by coyotes or cars or cold weather. They already know this and your sharing this information is not helpful.
- Try to catch the lost dog yourself. Most dogs go into survival mode and will run away from all people, including their owner, because they are afraid. I wrote about this a couple of months ago. Please read it – Why your lost dog may not run back to you.
- Chase the lost dog. You only risk scaring them further away from the location. We want them to STAY in the area.
- Ask the owner to call you when the dog is found. (I had many a well-meaning person contact me to find out if Cupcake had been found. When informed she had not, most of them asked that I call them back after she was found. I am sorry, but the last thing on a lost pet owner’s mind is keeping you informed on the status of the missing dog. They are too busy looking for their lost dog.)
- Assume that the owner hasn’t tried everything to get their lost dog back or make derogatory remarks about how they lost their dog. Under the right circumstances, every single one of us could face this situation with our own dogs. To assume your dog could never get lost goes against all the statistics that say otherwise.
- Assume that you will be the one to find the lost dog. Offer to help where you can, but realize that what really finds lost dogs is not someone chasing the dog down. What works is getting flyers and signs out there so more eyes are watching for the dog and an call the owner as soon as there is a sighting.
- Go looking for the traps after they have been placed. The owner’s scent should be the one that is near the trap not yours. You could inadvertently scare a dog away from the trap by hanging out near it or traipsing around in the area surrounding it and end up leaving your scent behind instead of the owner’s.
Losing a dog is such a heartbreaking and terrifying experience, but knowing what to do can make all the difference. Those who help them need to know what to do too. I hope this helps.
The other day I heard one of the radio DJs refer to this week, the week between Christmas and New Years, as the “lost week.” I suppose in some cases this is true. So many people take this week off from work that not much really gets done in terms of “real” work.
But for me, this week is a time to reflect. A time to look back on the year that has passed and to think about what is to come in the year ahead. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I have been doing a lot of reflecting on one particular dog this year – Cupcake, my sweet little Sheltie girl.
My how far she has come in this past year.
Last year, she had just returned home after being lost for 12 days. I was just happy to have her back home again. It was such a relief to know she was safe and not lost in Eagan or someplace beyond.
But this year, I find myself reflecting on her amazing progress.
I can still remember the very first day she came to stay with me (as a foster dog). She was so scared and uncertain, both of me and her new home. I remember her standing at the gate watching her former foster mom get into her car to leave and how she ran along the length of the fence, trying to find a way out, to follow her. Dawn had been such a rock in her life up until then. How sad and scared she must have been as she watched her leave.
But that Cupcake is long gone now. The one that has replaced her is so much more confident, happy and secure, not only in herself, but also in others.
The old Cupcake was afraid of all strangers and never would have even considered approaching someone other than me. Over this past year, I have watched her approach people she has come to know as friends (or those she deems as “safe”) as well as strangers. It seems she has learned that some of our dog park friends carry treats, and because she is treat-motivated, she will approach them to get one. At first it was only come close enough to have tit tossed to her, but now she will take them right from the person’s hands. She even approaches people she doesn’t know, if she suspects they have treats.
The new Cupcake also loves to play, and will tear around the house with her brother, Jasper, as they wrestle and growl and act like silly pups. (She has even been known to play a game of tug with her sister, Daisy!)
She also plays with some of the dogs at our dog park, especially Duncan, another young Sheltie, who seems to have caught her eye. She will twirl and jump and dance just to get his attention.
Watching her playful side come out has been such a joy.
The new Cupcake also knows the commands “sit”, “down”, “come”, “drop it” and “watch me”, and is quite good at solving some of the most difficult doggie puzzles. (She also is quite good at stealing the cat’s food, but we won’t mention that one will we?)
In the past year, she has also had the chance to experience new things, like a hike in the woods, putting her toes in a lake, walking along a beach and chasing more squirrels and rabbits than one can count.
She has also learned to share my attention, doggie bones and her toys with her siblings. She is still the first to corner me in the bathroom, but she doesn’t mind sharing the space with Jasper if he wants to join her.
I love that she will now put her paws up on the edge of the couch and paw at me to let me know she wants some attention. I love that her preferred sleeping space is right next to my bed (or on my bed) and that she wants to be where I am because that is where she feels safe.
I love that she feels safe and happy and curious and confident in her new home. I love that she knows this is her home. (I think she knew it before I did.)
The dog I adopted a year ago has turned into quite an amazing little dog. I never could have guessed she would have come this far in just a year. It makes me wonder… what will she do in the next year?
I was reminded once again this past weekend how much we dog owners don’t know about missing pets. That’s not a judgement in any way, just an observation. So few of us really know or understand what happens to a pet when they become lost.
This past weekend someone asked me why any lost dog would not just go to their owner once they saw them. It’s a good question. I think most of us just assume that our own dogs would come running to us as soon as they saw us. After all, we’ve cared for them, fed them, cuddled with them and loved them. But, sadly that is not the case for every lost dog – even your lost dog.
I first read this story (“Dog Lost for Four Months Recognizes Family by Whistle“) on Life With Dogs back in October. It’s a good example of how a lost dog can become confused and disoriented when they are lost for several days or months. Luna, the dog in the story, was missing for four months. When her family finally found her again, she didn’t recognize them, and even walked away from them when they arrived to be reunited with her. It took two days, six visits and a distinctive whistle by the owner, for her to realize it was them. What had been a puzzling circumstance finally resulted in a happy reunion for all.
As many of us already know, not all dogs are created equal (if they were our lives would be pretty boring!). Some dogs are happy-go-lucky, love people and other dogs, while others are much more wary and unsure. Puppy mill dogs are especially wary of strangers. They’re also more skittish. They are less likely to stick around and see if the human approaching them is “their” human or someone intending to harm them. As a result, they are much harder to catch and usually have to be trapped.
But a dog does not have to be a puppy mill dog to react this way. Many lost dogs tend to go into “survival mode”. They are frightened, unsure, hungry, tired (exhausted) and on constant alert. In many cases, they are fending for their lives. The longer they live in this state the less likely they are to recognize their owner on sight – and in fact, they are less likely to stick around and wait to see if the person approaching them is their owner.
A year ago this week, my foster dog, Cupcake, was missing. As a lost dog and owner, Cupcake and I had a lot going against us finding one another again – she was a puppy mill dog, had only been with me a little over a month, and was frightened of strangers. She was dodging traffic, coyotes and people in the twelve days she was missing. Talk about being in survival mode – she was definitely in it.
When we finally were able to see each other again it was at a warehouse loading dock. Even as people blocked all her avenues of escape, she continued to run back and forth, trying to find a way out. I was standing right there and she didn’t even recognize me. I called her name and she kept running. I asked if she wanted to go home to see Daisy and Jasper (my other two dogs) and she stopped for a second, then kept running – she was in survival mode, searching for a way out.
It wasn’t until I sat down with my body turned sideways from her, with my head bowed down and avoided eye contact with her, that she came close enough to smell me. I still remember the moment she started to realize it was me. She lifted her nose to the air and sniffed me. Then she moved closer and sniffed again. When she finally got close enough to really sniff me, and to hear my voice, she sighed. It was at that very moment she realized it was me. She leaned into me. She finally knew she was safe.
All lost dogs act differently. As owners, we need to know that before our pet goes missing.
We need to know that chasing a lost dog is one of the worst things we can do. It only reaffirms to the dog that people should be avoided.
So what should you do when you encounter a lost dog or your own lost dog?
- Sit down.
- Turn your body so your back or side is to the dog.
- Keep your eyes averted and bow your head so as to look non-threatening.
- Toss tasty treats (hot dogs, chicken, smelly cheese, etc.) behind you or to the side of you.
- Don’t talk.
- Wait patiently for the dog to approach you. Don’t make any sudden movements, but continue to toss treats.
- Don’t grab the dog when they get close, but wait patiently and build trust.
- Speak softly, but if they back away, stop talking and just continue to toss treats until they trust you enough to come closer.
As a dog owner, it pays to know what to do if your dog becomes lost. Below are some sites with some great tips on what to do. I really encourage you to check them out.
Lost Dog Tips
Here in Minnesota we have this unique thing called Give to the Max Day.
It’s one day
Thursday, November 15th (that’s today!)
for just 24 hours
thousands of Minnesota nonprofits come together to raise millions of dollars in just 24 hours. The idea is to bring attention to Minnesota non-profits while at the same time helping them to raise money so they can continue to give back to their communities (people and pets).
It’s also money that in many cases will help them operate for another year.
Non-profits have an added bonus for participating in Give to the Max Day… a chance to win matching dollars by winning one of the tiered grant prizes:
$12,500 prize grant*
$5,000 prize grant*
$2,500 prize grant*
$1,000 prize grant**
*Awarded to the top three nonprofit organizations which receive the most dollars during Give to the Max Day.
**Awarded to each nonprofit in 4th through 10th place.
This year there is one non-profit that is very much in need of your dollars and a chance at one of the grant prizes – Minnesota Sheltie Rescue (MNSR).
This organization is very near and dear to my heart. They walked with me, searched with me, supported me, and paid dollars out of their precious funds, to help me find my missing foster Sheltie, Cupcake. I cannot begin to tell you how much they were there for me throughout the 12 days she was missing. Do you know many rescues do that for their foster dogs? I can tell you from experience, not many.
But, MNSR has done much more than that.
In 2012, they rescued Shelties in need from across the country. They took in dogs left behind in shelters, strays found by strangers, and puppy mill dogs in need of a second chance. As a result, MNSR had some really huge medical bills this year. Through Oct. 31st, 2012, they paid out over $46,000.00 in veterinary costs – this was to cover spaying and neutering, teeth extractions, vaccinations, medicine, and special care for dogs with thyroid issues, seizures, and other more serious medical issues.
There has been a big increase in the number of older Shelties being released from breeding facilities (i.e., puppy mills) and, as you can imagine, most of these dogs have not been in good health. With the great generosity of past donors, MNSR had the funds to help these dogs in 2012, but now those funds have been used up.
We could really use your help.
Minnesota Sheltie Rescue is so very important to me. Won’t you help me to give back and help other Shelties in need?
You don’t have to be from Minnesota.
You don’t even have to give big (although we welcome big donations!) – $5 or $10 makes a difference – and on Give to the Max Day it makes even more of a difference because sponsors will double your donation.
It’s so easy to do too! Just click on any one of the photos in this post or click on this link: http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Minnesota-Sheltie-Rescue and make a donation today. Because…
It’s only one day
Thursday, November 15th
for only 24 hours
Cupcake says thank you!
I know I say this quite frequently, but I really did have something else planned for today’s post. Something informative. Something interesting.
Maybe it has to do with how long she has been missing – 32 days as of November 13th.
Or maybe it’s the cold weather we are experiencing right now – 19 degrees as of this Tuesday morning.
Or it could be where she is hanging out - a brushy field alongside a man-made lake where coyote and fox dens are plentiful.
More than likely, it’s also because the anniversary of the day I first lost my dog, Cupcake, is fast approaching – November 18th.
I can’t help but feel strong emotions as I watch the drama of Lizzie’s story unfold so much like it did for Cupcake. My memories of those 12 days are still so strong even now, a year later. I still tear up when I remember how Cupcake sighed and sank against me when she finally realized she had found me and was safe. I think it was in that moment that I fully understood how scared and worried and fearful she had been during her ordeal. I certainly knew how scared I had been. Finding one another was one of the most intense, most powerful, moments of my life.
I cannot help but feel the same feelings as for Lizzie. I know she must be so very frightened. And, there is so much that is similar to Cupcake’s story.
- Went missing while away from home. Her home is in Rochester, Minnesota, but she was staying with her owner’s daughter when she got away from her.
- Seems to be staying in the same general area now, although she did travel quite far at first.
- Has mostly been sighted in the early morning hours or late evenings.
- Is hanging out in areas known to have coyotes.
- Has many of the same people searching for her that helped search for Cupcake.
- Was even sighted sleeping near a wooded area – just like Cupcake.
I know we are close. She has been sighted many times and seems to have a pattern to her days. It is only a matter of time before we get her. But until then, I will worry and pray and hope that she stays safe. This one is too close to my heart and too close to my own recent experience not to worry.
If you want to help, please send some good thoughts Lizzie’s way and pray she stays safe until we can get her. If you live in Apple Valley, MN, please keep an eye out for her. She has been seen in the downtown area. If you do see her, DO NOT CHASE her. She is a former puppy mill dog and afraid of most people. She even ran from her caretaker. This is what Shelties do when they are in survival mode. Instead, if you see her, please call 651-206-4777 or 507-319-5547.
I’ll keep you updated on Lizzie’s progress. I hope she is caught soon.
Update: Early this morning, Aug. 30th, Cappy was sighted near home. Miracle of miracles, he is home safe now!
Tonight we got a bit of good news. Cappy was sighted not too far from home. A trap is on it’s way to his last known location tonight in hopes we can catch him. Please say some prayers that he is soon home where he will be safe.
I know that his parents, Kris and Doug, are very much hoping that this will be the case. I can imagine how worried and scared they are for him. Was it only 10 months ago I was experiencing the same worries and fears?
Maybe that’s why this video so resonated with me. It’s a wonderful message of hope for those who lose their pets, hoping one day they come home safely to them. The people who have been the recipients of Granite State Dog Recovery’s good efforts are indeed lucky people. God bless them and those who are helping to find Cappy. Thank you Minnesota Sheltie Rescue, Lost Shelties MN and LostDogs-MN for all your hard work to help bring lost dogs home.
You can see more videos by Granite State Dog Recovery, and the work they do, on their YouTube channel, helpfindhope1.
Have a wonderful Friday everyone.
Come home Cappy. Come home.
Update: Early this morning, Aug. 30th, Cappy was sighted near home. Miracle of miracles, he is home safe now!
I had another post planned for today, but a more urgent matter came along this Wednesday night.
We have another LOST SHELTIE from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue. His name is CAPPY and he went missing Wednesday (August 29th) night. He is a very small (only 12 lbs.) and shy little guy and is in need of our help. Cappy went missing in Lake Elmo, Minnesota near Manning Trail and County 15 (Manning) in Lake Elmo, which is in Washington County.
Please share, especially if you know someone in Minnesota. Share with them and ask them to share as well. You can keep updated on the search for Cappy on Minnesota Sheltie Rescue’s Facebook page or on Lost Shelties of MN.
If you tweet, please retweet: Lost #Sheltie in #LakeElmo #Minnesota. Name: Cappy. Blue merle. Afraid of people. Tweet @melzpetpals if you see him. bit.ly/PPgbMp
If you are on Facebook, please ask your friends to share with their Minnesota friends a picture of Cappy or refer them to this blog post so they can see his picture.
If you go out to help hand out flyers or look for Cappy, please DO NOT CHASE. SIT DOWN and CALL one of the numbers listed below. Remember, Shelties are skittish dogs and will go into survival mode quickly. This means they will not approach a stranger and may not even approach their owner at first. Chasing or calling to them will not bring them to you. If you see Cappy, please call the numbers listed.
Here is the most current information we have on Cappy:
Date Lost: 08-29-2012
Dog’s Name: Cappy
Breed of Dog: Sheltie
…Neutered / Spayed: Neutered
City where lost: Lake Elmo
Closest Intersection: Manning Trail and County 15 (Manning)
Zip Code: 55042
Color or Markings: Blue merle with a white and tan face
Dog’s Age: 8
Dog’s Weight: 12 lbs.
Dog’s Demeanor: Shy/Timid
Dog was: Wearing tags, Wearing Collar
Any information on how lost, description etc. Cappy is a rescue sheltie we’ve had for about 8 months. He was restless today and shot out the front door before we could block him — he ran down our cul de sac and we quickly lost sight of him.
Contact’s Name: Kris Killian
If seen, sit down and call 651-777-3428 or 612-804-9204 with exact location, direction the dog headed and description of dog.
Bailey Update 8/8/12: “Bailey went to the vet this morning and the doctor said she is recuperating really well other than her red blood count is not quite where they would like it yet, but it will take time. She is on an antibiotic again for another week for this. She’s also got a tick disease called Anaplasmosis which she is taking antibiotics for as well. The wounds are healing quite well, and a couple have scabbed over and fallen off. Her back end which was the worse, is healing quite well said Vet Kayla. She is awesome by the way, as well as her assistant Heather. I couldn’t ask for a nicer, more caring vet than I’ve seen with them. They truly love their dogs!
But Bailey is doing well I will say emotionally and physically. She is eating good, pottying good, and wants to play. In the morning when we go outside to go potty (Bailey that is – hehe) she will go down the deck steps, but has to be carried up. She seems to be way more cautious in the yard; stopping to smell the air nearly in all corners of the yard, and listening, standing very still. And sniff sniff on the ground. She shivers a bit when outside and the grass is wet, and wants to come in shortly.
In the house she seems to feel way more secure, and she will go right to her 2 new toys – a frog and a bear, and bring them to me to throw for her and Monte. She lays on the couch w/me and Monte just snoozing and enjoying home once again. She is safe!
She is heading to the Vet again next Thursday to have her blood checked once again, and I hope and pray it’ll be better then. But we all know she’ll make it, she’s such a fighter!” **
Bailey Update 8/4/12:
Bailey had a check up at the vet on Friday and her blood cell count was still up. It was found she has Lymes now and is on another antibiotic. Her puncture wounds are still oozing the infection and she still is not sleeping for long periods of time. Closes her eyes for a bit then is wide awake. She still has a long road to till she’s healed. Bailey will go back on Wednesday to the Vet for another check up.
Please continue to pray for her quick recovery.
As many of you know, Fridays are usually the day I share a favorite video. I promise. I have a special one all picked out for you this week, but first I want to share a story with you. It’s about Bailey the lost Sheltie.
Bailey is a Sheltie who lives in Duluth, MN.
On July 14th, while out on a walk with her brother, Bailey and her brother were frightened by something and got loose while in the care of a family member (Bailey’s mom was away from home taking care of her sick mother). Bailey’s brother came back soon afterwards, but Bailey was too scared. She ran and ran and ran. She was missing for 16 days.
Her mom looked everywhere for her. She posted flyers and told neighbors and friends. She searched day and night for her. She was so worried about her little girl being out in the world by herself, and with good reason, Duluth has plenty of wildlife that could do harm to her, including bear and coyotes.
On Monday morning, July 30th, Bailey wandered into a woman’s front yard and laid down. The woman, seeing how badly injured Bailey was, immediately scooped her up and took her to her vet. It turns out that Bailey’s mom had been right to worry. She had been attacked by a couple of wild animals (the vet suspects two coyotes based on her injuries and the blood infection she is currently fighting). She was in serious shape with injuries to her leg, neck, rear end, side and stomach. There is no easy way to say this, Bailey’s rear end was partially bitten off. She also has puncture wounds and tears all over her body.
Bailey was still wearing her collar with her identification tags attached when she arrived at the vet and he was able to read her tags and immediately called Bailey’s mom, Kathy. When Kathy arrived her little girl was lying on the veterinarian’s table, seriously ill. Even though she was so very sick, Bailey opened her eyes and wagged her tail a little when she saw her mom.
Kathy spent the night with Bailey at the veterinarian’s office, where she was given antibiotics and put on an IV containing pain reliever & fluids (in addition to her injuries, Bailey was also dehydrated). Because her wounds were so serious, the vet decided not to close them up right away so they could drain as Bailey recovered.
The fact that she made it through the night is a miracle. And while Bailey is still not out of the woods yet - she is still fighting off the blood infection she got from the coyotes and her wounds are still in the early stages of healing, at least she is home now. I am hoping that will help in her healing process. I am also hoping that being home will help to heal her mind and heart. According to her mom, Bailey isn’t sleeping much right now. She will only close her eyes for a few minutes at a time. I imagine after what she has been through, she is afraid to sleep. Poor thing.
You might be asking why I took the time to tell you about Bailey.
For two reasons:
- To ask for you to send good thoughts, energy and prayers to Bailey and Kathy. While Bailey is home, she is still in serious condition and still on strong antibiotics and pain killers.
- To ask for you to give if you can. Bailey’s vet care is already over $1000 and could go higher (she has another vet visit tomorrow). Her mom is dealing with a lot right now – a seriously ill mother and a seriously ill dog. It would be nice if we could ease some of her stress by helping her out. I have created a ChipIn account to help pay for Bailey’s medical bills.
Below, I have attached a few pictures of Bailey before she went missing and Bailey after she was found. I hope that your prayers will help Bailey (and Kathy) to heal.
Now for that video. It’s an oldie but goodie, but one I thought worth sharing again today. Hug your dog a little closer today.
Today, Monday, July 23rd I am participating in an event called Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue. We are asking all dog bloggers to participate in a special online global event designed to bring attention to dog rescues. BTC4animals.com is proud to partner with Blog Catalog, Dog Rescue Success and YOU to harness a global online community to help save the lives of dogs in need.
Across this country there are dog rescues who, with very little funding, and a small dedicated group of volunteers, commit to fostering, training, promoting, vetting and caring for dogs that might otherwise be abandoned, abused or killed. They have a thankless job. One that requires hours and hours of work, and lots of time spent raising funds, so they can manage the difficult of job of saving dogs’ lives and finding them loving homes.
Maybe you have you have never adopted from a rescue before, or you don’t really know what a rescue does.
Let me tell you a little more about one particular dog rescue and the work it does to help save Shelties in Minnesota. This is a group that I volunteer for and support – Minnesota Sheltie Rescue (MNSR).
MNSR is a 501(c) tax-exempt, non-profit organization. They are an all-volunteer foster-based rescue organization that houses all of its dogs in foster homes until they find their forever homes. Since their founding in 2003, they have found homes for almost 500 Shelties in need.
MNSR not only works with dogs in their care, but also with other rescues and shelters to help dogs in need. They help individuals who may be thinking about surrendering their dog by providing them with resources and information that may help them work through an issue or problem, or if this is no longer an option, they work with the owner to help their dog make a smooth transition to a foster home and eventually to their new forever home.
Below is a list of just some of the things Minnesota Sheltie Rescue (MNSR) does on a regular basis. As you read through the list, keep in mind that this is an all-volunteer dog rescue organization, operating with limited funds.
What does MNSR do?
- Rescues dogs from a wide variety of places and circumstances – owner surrender, shelters, puppy mills, etc.
- Makes every dog a top priority by dedicating the time, money and care needed to have the best opportunity to find a forever home.
- Provides medical care for every dog it takes into its care. This includes dental extractions, anti-anxiety meds, heartworm preventative, and Frontline.
- Conducts home visits with every potential foster home and adoptive family.
- Offers shy Sheltie training classes for its foster dogs and foster parents. Classes are led by a positive reinforcement dog trainer.
- Provides support, guidance and assistance to foster parents, adoptive families and strangers who’s Sheltie is missing or lost.
- Shares adoption listings for Shelties in other states, or with other rescues, who are in need of a home
- Provides support and guidance to people looking to rehome their pets but who are not looking to surrender to MNSR.
- Shares resources and tips on everything from working with a shy or fearful dog to dealing with thunderstorm or fireworks phobia to pet food recalls to helping you keep your pet.
- Provides ongoing support to adoptive families as they get to know their dog.
- Shares opportunities to attend training seminars and events for volunteers to learn more about helping dogs.
- Promotes training opportunities available for all Sheltie owners.
You might be thinking that this is a pretty comprehensive list. I agree.
MNSR is a very dedicated dog rescue organization who does a lot to help dogs and their owners. Although I think they are exceptional, I know there are other dog rescues out there doing similar things. That’s why it’s so important to support them whenever you can.
How can you help support dog rescues like MNSR?
- Adopt, don’t shop. Want a particular breed? There are a lot of dog rescues, like MNSR, who specialize in specific breeds.
- Foster a dog. Every dog that makes it to a foster home is one less dog that will be euthanized. Not sure you can give them up? Ask to participate in a foster-to-adopt program for a local dog rescue.
- Donate time, money or supplies. Dog rescues are often operating on a small budget. Any support you can provide will be gratefully accepted. Don’t have a dog rescue in mind? Donate to MNSR.
- Spay and neuter. The truth is that until we end the supply of dogs entering our shelters, we will never stop killing them. Sharing the miracle of birth with your kids might be cool, but chances are one of those puppies will end up in a shelter and be killed because there just isn’t any room for them.
- Encourage your friends and family to adopt.
- Donate your time - Last week, I wrote a post about how you can help if you can’t foster (“I could never foster a dog or cat…”). There are a wide variety of ways you can help a dog rescue.
- Tell others. Post this to Facebook and Twitter: SPREAD THE WORD – BLOGGERS UNITE FOR DOG RESCUE – Promote dog adoption on July 23rd! http://bit.ly/pO7dZp #BtC4A
Dog rescues make a difference.
Please support them, and the work they do, whenever you can.
Do you remember Daniel’s story?
Daniel was the dog who went into a gas chamber in Alabama and was still standing with his tail wagging when they opened the door. Because he survived the gas chamber he was given a chance at life. He was transported by Pilots N Paws to a rescue in New Jersey.
What a long way he has come since that story first hit the internet. Daniel now has a new family in New Jersey and several sisters and brothers to play with. He is also working to end the use of gas chambers to kill animals in the United States.
Who could have ever guessed that his survival would lead to such a wonderful ending? Or that it would motivate his owner, and others, to take action?
Daniel’s story made me realize how much my own dogs have changed my life.
When I chose to adopt Daisy, my Lab, I did it to protect her. I didn’t want her to go to a home or family that might not understand her special needs. Even with my limited skills and knowledge, I knew I could provide her with a better home than someone who had never had a dog before or who had never had a shy and fearful dog.
Never once did I think adopting Daisy would lead me to get educated about puppy mills or to share that knowledge with others. I never expected sharing Daisy’s story might help others with puppy mill dogs. She has changed my life and what is important to me. She motivated me to get involved.
Knowing Jasper came from similar circumstances only made me more motivated to learn more about the connection between the pet stores who sell puppies and the puppy mills that provide them. (Yes. 99% of all pet store puppies really do come from puppy mills.)
Lady changed my life too. Losing her for 12 days not only taught the importance of giving back and helping others (because lord knows I received an amazing amount off help and support while she was missing), but it also motivated me to want to share what I learned with others. Without Lady, I never would have gotten involved in helping people find their lost pets or sharing their missing pets’ pictures and stories with others.
I don’t know if you have had the same experience, but having Daisy, Jasper and Lady in my life has changed me. They have given me causes to rally around. They have motivated me to get involved in ways I never expected.
So I was wondering… How has your pet changed or motivated you? What have you done or gotten involved in as a result of your pet? I’d love to hear your story.