The High Deserts Social Network Blog…

Lost and Found; A personal experience


Hazel’s Story


Katie and Hazel


Families go through many trials together. Losing a pet can be one of the most challenging trials to handle.
This is what happened to our family when Hazel, our 9 month old German Shorthair pointer decided that there was something outside the block wall and iron gates that she had to see. It happened on Labor Day and before we knew it she was spending her first night alone in the desert. We drove around in the desert, rode horses out in the desert and
informed everyone we could think of that she was missing. We tried not to panic but we did not sleep much. Day after day searches yielded no results. Then I started researching and educating myself on what to do when you lose or find a pet. The following information is what I found.

Animals usually run into the wind. Hazel did. Check sheds and garages of yours and your neighbors. I once found my cat in a neighbor’s shed because I heard him vocalizing. The neighbor had no idea he was there. Make lost pet fliers that include a recent photo, breed, sex, color, age, weight, personality characteristics, location and date last seen and phone numbers to reach you. Offer a reward but do not state an amount. If your pet has amicrochip, you can make the flier up on the microchip company website or many other websites. Distribute the fliers to as many individuals and locations as you can: dog parks, pet supply stores, feed stores, pet grooming stores, veterinary offices, grocery stores, gas stations and around schools. Children are often more observant than adults, especially with animals. Withhold an identifying mark or characteristic of your pet to verify the identity of your pet. Replace fliers regularly as they fade or are destroyed by weather. When you find your pet make sure you take down all your old fliers.

Notify the microchip company if your pet has a microchip. They will send out notices to veterinary hospitals, animal control, etc. Advertise. The penny saver and Craig’s list are free. Found ads are free in the Antelope Valley Press and lost ads require a nominal fee. Look through the found ads regularly. Talk with the postal workers, garbage crews
and anyone else you can think of. Give them fliers. Notify rescue groups. Animal forums and message boards on the internet are also good way of getting the word out. Networking does improve your chances. I found people to be very compassionate and helpful. Animals do tend to bring out the best in all of us!

Put a piece of your clothing or blanket at the spot where your pet was last seen. He may come back to that area.  Research reported that certain breeds are more likely to do this than others.  Utilize your county Animal control facility or Humane Society. Personally speak to as many officers as you can and look in all the areas. Visit the facility in person and visit regularly.  Leave fliers regularly. Check the dead animal list and check the web site regularly.  The individuals at our local Animal control facility were amazing to me in my quest for Hazel.  They have a very tough job and I am very thankful for them.

Be careful of scams. I was taken for $120 when a nice older gentleman from a company he called called me and said they would call homes within a 10 mile radius to spread the news about Hazel.  After research, I discovered that it was a scam. Unfortunately, there are many individuals who prey on anothers troubles
so be careful.  I did find a legitimate company entitled Find who did call people in the area to notify them of the loss.

To prevent loss of your pet, the most important tool you have is the microchip.  Microchips can be easily inserted into your pet at Animal Control or any veterinary hospital.  Make sure that you have your current address and phone number registered with the microchip company. I have one client who was able to get her pet back after 1 year because of the microchip. Countless success stories arise because of microchips. Good collars that fit well with tags are helpful.  Pet proof your yard regularly.  Train your dog and spend time with your dog.  A well exercised dog is less likely to run off.  There are also many outstanding tools for boundary training available. Spayed and neutered pets are less likely to wander. Research the breed prior to getting a pet so you know what you are getting into and keep a current photo of your pet. Prevention is the best key and saves a lot of heartache. Finding your dog is great but not losing your dog is even better.

Don’t just wait and see. Don’t focus on the wrong theories. Dogs are rarely stolen for research labs.  This kind of thinking will only drive you crazy. Our family persevered through the power of positive thinking.  As a mom, I had to not be a lunatic for my 12 year old daughter (Hazel’s owner).   Showing her a good example of problem solving was
important to me.

Rescuers can determine the fate of the animal. If you rescue a dog, Please keep in mind that this may be someone’s pet.  Please be responsible and compassionate. Animals can quickly begin to look rough if they have been out- but don‘t just assume that they are mistreated or not well taken care of. Many dogs can become frightened, hungry, etc and may not act themselves.  DO NOT JUST ASSUME THAT AN ANIMAL HAS BEEN DUMPED RATHER THAN  LOST.   You can take the pet to any Animal Control facility or veterinary office to check for a microchip.  There is NO cost for checking for a microchip. It is a quick, easy procedure and yields a high percentage of positive results.

Finally, if I may quote Winston Churchill- Never, Never, Never, Never give up. Once you lose hope, you reduce your chances of finding your dog. The power of positive thinking does work in life. Hazel is home after 3 months and our family received the best Christmas present ever.

Debbie Spencer, DVM

Southern Kern Veterinary Hospital

Quartz Hill Veterinary Hospital

July 14, 2011 - Posted by | AV Best Veterinary, Lancaster Veterinary, Palmdale Veterinary, Quartz Hill Veterinary, Rosamond Veterinary | , , , ,

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