What Modern Lost Pet Searches Involve
In 2010, Laura, the founder of Helping Hounds LLC, was fostering a dog named Olivia, who ran away after only a week. At the time, Laura had no idea what was involved in a modern lost dog search. Fortunately for the search, she was not working at the time. Among the tasks of putting up flyers, talking to people near the most recent sightings, keeping up with the internet outreach, going to check the shelters, and managing about three dozen volunteers (to whom she will forever be indebted), she spent 12-14 hours per day on the search.
Of course, most people have “real” jobs and cannot give this kind of time to searching for their lost pet. This is where Helping Hounds LLC come in. Laura basically had no choice but to become an expert in modern lost dog searches and all that they involve:
- Constant flyering (and re-flyering);
- Helping with tracks of the lost pet;
- Regularly emailing every shelter, dog business, delivery-type business, groups who are devoted to helping find lost dogs;
- Checking each area shelter at least once every five days;
- Forming a Google group to organize the volunteers;
- Maintaining a search map and a blog to keep the volunteers interested and motivated;
- Fielding calls from people claiming to have seen Olivia (whether they turned out to be legitimate or not);
- eventually monitoring feeding stations and the pictures taken by infrared motion-sensing cameras; and
- just walking around neighborhoods with Leah in an attempt to draw Olivia out.
Not only do most people not have time to do all of this, having a missing pet and looking for him or her puts the guardians in a state of panic and they soon become both physically and emotionally exhausted. The amount of work to do can be completely overwhelming, but this is where Helping Hounds LLC can help.
Both because I have a wealth of experience in this and because I am not usually emotionally attached to their dog or cat, I am able to start and often maintain all of these tasks at least to give them a break and often to run the entire search for them. Lost pet searches can also become very expensive, and I try to help the families fundraise to defray at least some of the costs. Because my schedule was usually more flexible than that of the lost pet’s family, I was (/am) also available to assist Sam Connelly (professional pet tracker of Pure Gold Pet Trackers) with the searches and, with Leah and I now able to do our own tracks, we can do them even without the pet parents present.
Just to give an example of how detailed and demanding modern lost pet searches can be, I will paste below the Google Map and blog I maintained for over two years while we searched for Olivia.
Olivia Search Map
Olivia Search Blog
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