Steps to Find a Lost Dog
- Schedule a Phone or Email Consultation to learn what to do (and what NOT to do) in the search for your lost dog. To learn more about consultations available, click here.
- If your dog went missing within the last 24 hours or if there have been recent sightings in one area, you may want to schedule On-Site Assistance immediately. You will receive an on-site estimate once you complete a Lost Pet Form. For more information on how on-site services work, please read below. To learn how to schedule on-site assistance, click here.
- If you cannot afford a consultation or on-site assistance, check out these low cost and free lost pet resources.
How a Lost Dog Search Works
Please be aware that my search dog is an area search dog for lost cats only and does NOT track lost dogs. If you are interested in finding a tracking dog, check out the Guide to Finding a Pet Detective or Search Dog. I would also strongly suggest reading this article on using search dogs, so that you know what to expect. Many people expect the search dog to be the answer to finding their lost dog, but in reality less than 5-10% of lost dogs are located during a search with a tracking dog. Many lost dogs can be found, but other techniques are often more effective.
Since I do not have a tracking dog, most people start with a consultation to learn the most effective methods for searching for their lost dog and also, very importantly, what to do and what NOT to do if they see their lost dog. Some people do have me come on-site immediately if their dog has been missing for less than one day or if there have been repeated sightings in a general area. In these cases, I assist with a search of the area, rent wildlife cameras and humane traps, and/or assist with trapping. My specialty with lost dogs is assistance with specialized capture techniques for dogs that have been located but cannot be caught by hand. It is unfortunately not uncommon for a lost dog to become so fearful once loose and on-the-run that they won’t approach anyone including their family members. Some of these dogs can be caught in a cage-type humane trap while others are “trap-shy” and require an enclosure trap or other capture method.
On-Site Services are primarily available within 100-miles of South Hadley, MA (near Springfield). This includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and parts of New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. On-site services may be available up to 150 miles on a limited basis, but this will often require an overnight stay. If you live outside this service area, check out the Guide to Finding a Pet Detective or Search Dog to find someone in your area.
Cost of On-Site Services
On-site services packages are highly customized and an estimate will be provided upon submission of a Lost Pet Form. A typical lost dog search starts at $200 (for an on-site consultation) plus travel fees (if over 25-miles from S. Hadley, MA) and tolls if applicable. Surveillance camera (i.e. wildlife or trail camera) or humane trap rental is an additional $25/ea for the first week and includes set-up. Search and trapping time is $25/hr. Assistance with trapping often takes multiple trips and possibly overnight trapping efforts, so these services often cost $500+. Discounts for trapping may be available but only within 10-miles of S. Hadley, MA.
Additional On-Site Services Available
Extended Stay – In some cases I will spend several days on-site and can provide additional searches, assistance with designing and putting up posters/flyers, checking shelters, and/or assistance with overnight surveillance or trapping. An overnight stay would be recommended if your dog has been sighted repeatedly in the same area, and you would like assistance locating and catching them more quickly. Some people also request an extended stay if they are unable to search or put up posters themselves. If you are interested in any extended stay, please let me know when you fill out the Lost Pet Form.
Specialized Capture – If you have located your dog but cannot catch them, I also offer assistance trapping and specialized capture.