Finding Stolen Dogs – Preparation


Finding Stolen Dogs – Preparation

A blackboard with the text Be prepared before your dog is stolen

Need we say more?

Finding Stolen Dogs –
Things to do Now Before Your Dog Is Stolen

There are a lot of things you can do NOW so you won’t waste time when it counts. DO IT NOW. You don’t know when or where your dog will be stolen from, but chances are it will be someplace near your home.

Gather information now. Make a list of addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers using (Local phone books do not generally list fax numbers or ZIP codes.) of all veterinarians, animal hospitals, pet shops, grooming shops, and any other facilities listed under Pets or Dogs. These are the people you are going to want to contact immediately. (You can also ask your vet to borrow his AVMA directory for veterinarians in your area.)

Get the names of registered animal dealers and research facilities in your area. Here are the links where you can find them.

Take some clear, close-up photos of your dog for flyers and posters. The photos should show his head clearly and a side profile of his body. Crop photos so there is no extraneous background.

  • Color for flyers and posters
  • Black and white for faxes and flyers (Test it by faxing it to someone to make sure people can easily tell that it’s your dog.)

Write out a general description and a specific description NOW.  Why?

  • You may forget specifics because you are stressed.
  • The photo may not show any distinguishing marks.
  • Photos will not be included in lost and found ads or on radio.
  • Some people don’t recognize breeds by name.

The general description is for the flyers, posters, and phone calls.  The specific description is for the person finding your dog to give to you.

General description

  • Breed
  • Sex
  • Size
  • Weight
  • Color

Specific description

  • Breed or if mixed, the breed it most resembles
  • Coat texture (rough, silky, smooth, wiry, etc.)
  • Color
  • Ear set (erect, cropped, tipped, left ear folds over, etc.)
  • Eye color
  • Hair length (short, medium, long)
  • Identification information
    • License number
    • Tattoo registry information including tattoo number and registry
    • phone number
    • Microchip registry information including chip number and registry phone number
  • Markings (patches, spots, tattoos)
  • Tail (long, short, medium, docked, bushy, corkscrew, C-shaped, etc.)

Make a mockup of flyers and posters. Make flyers so people can read them and put them where people can see them. If you have a flyer prepared in advance, you can store it on your computer. All you will have to do is to print it out and put in the information where your dog was stolen. This again will save you time in your search. A detailed description of how to make posters and flyers as well as a template flyer is available in the Word or PDF versions.

If you can get the supplies now, that’s even better than waiting until your dog is missing. A list of supplies is at the end of this article.

Because this article is so long, it’s broken up into sections. Just a reminder, if you email me at, I will send you the entire booklet in PDF.

Copyright Caryl Wolff 2007-2015

Next Post on Finding Stolen Dogs

Introduction – Part 1
Background information – Part 2
Things to do Now – Part 3
Things to do Immediately after Your Dog is Stolen – Part 4
Things to do in Your Search – Part 5
Supplies you will need – Part 6
How to Make your Flyers and Posters – Part 7
What to do when you Receive Responses – Part 8
Scams – Part 9
Follow-up – Part 10

I’d love to hear what your comments are on Finding Stolen Dogs. Please share your experiences with your dog or ask a question so we can begin a dialogue to help each other.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog behavior consultant or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

If you need help with dog training or puppy training in Los Angeles, please contact us. We would love to work with you!

Copyright 2007-2015 Caryl Wolff


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