April 23rd Is National Lost Dog Awareness Day

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Every April 23rd, National Lost Dog Awareness Day is observed to increase awareness regarding missing dogs and celebrates reunions. On April 23, 2014, Lost Dogs of America created and launched the first National Lost Dog Awareness Day (NLDAD), a canine-focused day aimed to bring attention to all dogs that are lost each year, while also celebrating the thousands of lost dogs successfully reunited with their families. The tenacious efforts of the combined states’ volunteers efforts, along with over 700,000 fans have helped reunite over 145,000 dogs with their families since 2011. Getting lost dogs back home reduces stress on owners’, staff at shelters/animal control facilities, other dogs in the facilities, and ultimately saves taxpayers’ money. It also opens up kennel space for truly homeless dogs.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe:

#1 Keep your dog secure either on a leash or in a fenced yard. Be sure to check local laws regarding leash laws.

#2 Training is key both for the dog and the human. Dogs who have been trained by a professional are less likely to go missing. Most importantly, sogs learn recall commands. Formal obedience training benefits owners by offering valuable information that leads to better relationships between pet and owner.

#3 Just like kids, dogs need supervising even when in a fenced yard. Dogs, especially expensive purebreds, can be stolen even from a fenced yard.

#4 Tags and microchipping help with the recovery of a missing animal – both dogs and cats. These steps must be completed when you first receive your new family member. Tags are an inexpensive way to protect your pet. Unfortunately, dogs can slip their collars. Microchipping is an additional step to help insure your dog’s safe return. Many shelters and veterinary offices hold microchipping events for a fraction of the cost. It is essential to keep the information on the microchip or tag up to date also. It is only as useful as the information listed on the chip in helping recover your pet.

#5 Spaying and neutering reduces your pet’s likelihood of wandering off in search of a mate. In addition, spaying and neutering eliminates the chances of unwanted offspring should your dog wander off unexpectedly.

#6 Keep your animals records up to date. That includes photos, vaccinations, and those valuable tags and microchips, too.

#7 Purchase and install an Invisible Fence Brand boundary product.

Some Statistics to Think About:

How Many Dogs/Cats are Lost or Stolen Each Year?

The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year. One in three pets will become lost at some point during their life. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats).

What are the odds of finding your lost dog?

Percentages of lost dogs versus lost cats were nearly identical: 14 percent for dogs and 15 percent for cats. 93 percent of dogs and 75 percent of cats reported lost were returned safely to their homes. Only 6 percent of dog owners and 2 percent of cat owners found their lost pets at shelters. (ASPCA.org)

Where do most lost dogs go?

These dogs will often run blindly and can travel for miles before intervention. When they eventually slow down, they will often seek out areas (wooded forest, cemeteries, creeks, etc.) (HomeAgain.com)

Why do so many dogs go missing?

Many lost dogs are just bored pets that have found a way to escape from a yard or car—and, according to some experts, as many as 1.5 million dogs and cats get stolen every year from those same places. (AKC.com)

How many dogs are kidnapped each year?

Dognapping isn't something any owner wants to think about, but it's important to be aware and prepared. Statistics put the number of dogs stolen each year at around 2 million. In just a matter of seconds, you can become the victim of a criminal who sees your dog as a quick and easy way to make a buck. (AKC.com)

How many dogs are abandoned in the US each year?

We estimate that the number of dogs and cats entering U.S. shelters annually has declined from approximately 7.2 million in 2011. The biggest decline was in dogs (from 3.9 million to 3.1 million). Each year, approximately 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized (390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats). (American Humane Association)

5 Things to Do if You Have a Lost Dog:

#1 Immediately put out food water and your dog’s bed or an article of clothing at the location where your dog was last seen. There is a good chance that your dog may return.

#2 Get the word out by using flyers and signs (like yard sale signs) with a picture of your dog and your phone number. Check your phone often! Go door-to-door with your flyers in the neighborhood where your dog was last seen.

#3 Contact your local animal shelters and animal control facilities, vet clinics and police departments to report your dog missing. Fax or e-mail them a photo of your dog and your contact information. Contact the microchip company and report your dog as lost.

#4 Instruct everyone that is helping you to NOT call or chase your dog. This will prolong your search. If they see your dog, tell them to sit or lay down (no eye contact) and gently toss our tasty treats to lure your dog in.

#5 Post your dog on local lost and found sites on Facebook.

(Information provided by Lost Dogs of America)

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