Finding Stolen Dogs – Search for Your Dog


Finding Stolen Dogs –
Things to do in Your Search

Man Using Binoculars Finding stolen dogs - searching for your dog.

Searching for Your Dog!

There are a number of things you can do when looking for your stolen dog.  Do as many as you can — the more things you do in your search, the better chance you have of finding your dog.

There are five ways to let people know your dog has been stolen:

  • Make calls
  • Hang flyers and posters
  • Talk to people personally
  • Send emails
  • Contact websites

You keep a sheet for incoming phone calls from your team and one for any calls generated from flyers and ads.

Team members should hand out flyers to everyone they talk to and get permission to post them in business windows or by cash registers.

Call these people. You can begin calling immediately and then follow up by email or faxing them a flyer.

  • All local shelters and vets within 25 miles of where your dog was stolen
  • Animal agencies and rescues
    • Animal shelters
    • Animal control agencies
    • County and city shelters
  • Humane societies
  • Animal microchip, tattoo, and tag registries
  • Breed clubs
  • Breeders
  • Breed rescue groups
  • City newspapers (both to place an ad and the reporters when on assignment may see your dog or want to do a story)
  • Dog trainers
  • Dog walkers
  • Doggie day cares
  • Emergency veterinary clinics
  • Farriers
  • Florists
  • Horse trainers
  • Kennels and boarding facilities
  • Local TV stations (the reporters when on assignment may see your dog or want to do a story)
  • Local radio stations
  • Mobile groomers
  • Mobile vets
  • Neighborhood crime watch groups
  • Pet sitters
  • Pet stores
  • Registered animal dealers and research facilities


For flyers

  • Any bulletin board on any business you can think of
  • Anywhere groups of people frequent that get a lot of foot traffic

For posters

Flyers may be visible from a car, but they are not readable. If you want readability, then you must have a large poster with a large photo. If you only put flyers on telephone poles or at intersections, pedestrians will be able to read the information and photo but not car occupants.

Place posters on all four corners of an intersection so that drivers of cars of oncoming traffic can read them.

Place them eye level to people riding in cars.

Here are some specifics.

  • Alleys
  • Bars and taverns
  • Beauty salons
  • Bus stops
  • Churches and synagogues
  • Coffee houses
  • Colleges and universities
  • Community centers
  • Day care centers for children
  • Doors of residences (NOT in mailboxes because it’s illegal unless there is paid postage)
  • Emergency vet hospitals
  • Feed stores
  • Fire departments
  • Gas and service stations, Minimarts
  • Grocery stores
  • Grooming shops
  • Hotels and motels, especially ones that accept pets
  • Internet cafes
  • Laundromats
  • Libraries
  • Mechanics and auto repair shops
  • Near time clocks and/or bulletin boards of local businesses
  • Office buildings
  • Park benches
  • Parks
  • Pet stores
  • Post offices
  • Recreation areas
  • Rest stops
  • Restaurants
  • Schools (Ask permission to give a flyer to each teacher to show to
  • the class.)
  • Shopping malls
  • Tack stores
  • Telephone poles
  • Vehicles windshields in the immediate neighborhood
  • Veterinary offices
  • Walking or jogging paths
  • Windshields of parked cars

Give flyers to these people in and around where your dog was stolen as well as anywhere else you see them. These are people who are travel and are outside frequently or know their neighborhoods well.

  • Anyone you see on the street
  • Bicyclists
  • Business owners in the area
  • Cab drivers
  • Children of friends or neighborhood children
  • City street maintenance workers
  • Construction crews
  • Delivery people – anyone from pizza to UPS
  • Dog walkers
  • Doormen
  • Garbage collectors
  • Gardeners and landscaping crews
  • Gas and oil delivery people
  • Highway maintenance/cleanup crews
  • Home heating fuel delivery man
  • Homeless
  • Joggers
  • Law enforcement
    • Highway patrol
    • Police
    • Sheriffs
    • State troopers
  • Mail carriers
  • Meter readers
  • Mobile catering trucks (that service construction crews)
  • Newspaper delivery people
  • Parents waiting at the school bus stop
  • People at dog adoption events
  • People at street fairs
  • Penny savers
  • Pet sitters
  • Road crews and construction workers
  • School bus drivers
  • School crossing guards
  • Skateboarders
  • Truck drivers
  • Utility workers


  • Distribute flyers as soon as possible.
  • Follow up EVERY phone call with a flyer sent either by fax or email and tell the person you talk to that you are sending one.
  • Tape a large poster on the back and sides of your car, volunteers’ cars, and anyone else who will let you. Use gaffer’s tape so it won’t ruin the paint on the car.
  • Keep flyers in your car and ask everyone you see if they will help you by handing them out.
  • Email your friends with the flyer attachment and ask them to email their friends.
  • Bring flyers to work with you and distribute them. Ask your coworkers for their email addresses and send them flyers so then can email it to their friends.
  • Many of your flyers and posters will be removed. Go back as often as feasible and put them up again.
  • If another language is spoken in the area where your dog was stolen, make flyers and posters in that language.


These sites offer listings for lost/stolen/found pets. Do not join any email groups that do not require moderator approval.

As I was updating this list, I discovered that many of the ones that were previously listed had become commercial sites.  Some were hacked.  Some came up on my anti-virus notification.  These sites change all the time and seemed like legitimate sites when I checked them out.  Be careful!

The following sites are for grief, loss, and support. I was not able to find anything specifically for stolen dogs.

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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