The downside of summer is the number of stray dogs that show up everywhere! Some of them are abandoned (which makes me angry; go surrender your dog to the kennel or the APL like an adult) and some of them have slipped out of their backyards on a summer's day and have loving owners desperately searching for them! Seriously, one look at the craigslist lost and found sections enough to make anyone sad.
Luckily, Otto and Clair haven't gotten out, nor are they really the kind of dogs that stray very far, but if you have a dog that is a runner (retrievers, huskies. pointers), please consider microchipping your dogs. It's a very simple and relatively inexpensive procedure where your vet will inject a tiny microchip under your pet's skin. You then register you pet's chip at the manufacturers website online ( this part is important; please keep your info updated). If your dog is lost, and either doesn't have a collar on, or the tags break off, your dog can still be identified via his/her microchip. If your dog is picked up by a rescue organization, it is customary for them to scan for microchips. It prevents a situation where your dog gets adopted out to someone else while you're still trying to find him/her.
So, what should you do if you lose a pet?
1. Make lots of posters and post them in and around the area your pet was last seen.
2. Post your missing dog's info on facebook, twitter, and craigslist and ask friends to cross post. Post frequently.
3. Call your neighborhood shelters and the dog warden to alert them. You should probably follow up with them frequently; they get very busy in the summer.
4. Believe in miracles. They do happen. Last week, an epileptic chocolate lab was lost in my neighborhood, and was miraculously found a week later!
If you're a dog owner that thinks of their dog as a family member, please consider microchipping your pet. You will probably never ever need it, and I hope that you don't. But if you do, its just one more thing to help bring your furry baby back home.