Losing a much loved pet is very distressing and every dog owner should recognise that even the most obedient and well guarded dog can wander off occasionally. Hopefully your dog will find his way home or will be returned, but if he does not we recommend that you take immediate action to help find your straying pet.
REMEMBER – it is a good idea for all dogs to wear a collar with the owners name and address inscribed in it, or a disc attached to it, to enable the owner to be traced. If the dog is wearing a disc it is likely that he will be returned either by a member of the public or a local authority dog warden.
Who should I contact?
County Council Dog Warden
Dogs found to be straying will normally be picked up by the local authority dog warden and taken to a holding kennels. Ensure you contact the County Council as soon as the dog is missing.
Your Local Police Station
If your dog has been handed in to the police, they will tell you where he has been taken. Leave them your name, telephone number and a detailed description of your dog. He may be brought in later and you should be easily contactable. However, there is no harm in calling back at regular intervals and remember to call all the stations in your area as dogs can travel a considerable distance.
We may have found or been notified of a straying dog.
Occasionally a member of the public will look after a stray pet in their home. We do not advise this but if it happens, they should have contacted the police, dog wardens and the KSPCA. It is worth checking the local veterinary surgeries, supermarket noticeboards, shops, library and any other public noticeboards to see if anyone is searching for the owner of a dog that fits your pet’s description. Ask if you can put notices up in these places. Try to keep an up-to-date photograph of your dog – a picture says far more than a written description.
Visit places where you usually walk your dog – he may have just decided to walk himself! Look around your local area and if you have moved recently, ask around at your last address. It is surprising how far dogs have been known to travel.
Are there any building sites or workmen in your area? If so ask around – it is amazing where an inquisitive dog can manage to get trapped.
Why do dogs stray?
It is essential for you to provide your dog with an appropriate level of physical and mental stimulation to avoid problems like straying. Dogs that become bored are more likely to escape from the house or garden in search of an adventure.
Your dog may also stray due to biological urges – the search for a mate! This can be a real problem. Straying can not only lead to an unwanted litter of puppies but also be the cause of accidents or result in him getting into fights and becoming a general nuisance. The way around this is to have your pet neutered. He or she will not miss the “urge” and this “wanderlust” will soon either disappear or decrease.