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.
- 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 I do NOT have a tracking dog that searches for 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 first, 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 very few (probably less than 5%) 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. In some cases, using a tracking dog can actually decrease the chances of catching your lost dog (read this article to learn more).
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, rental of 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 25-miles of South Hadley, Massachusetts (near Springfield). This includes parts of Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Counties in Massachusetts and parts of Hartford County in Connecticut. Limited services may be available up to 50-miles from South Hadley, MA. 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. Just to give you a rough idea, an on-site consultation plus equipment rental would probably start around $500 if you are located in the local service area.
The starting cost for assistance trapping and specialized capture is $800-$1,000 in the local service area. These services include additional costs due to multiple on-site visits and/or overnight trap monitoring. Please submit a Lost Pet Form to receive an estimate. Discounts for trapping may be available but only in South Hadley, Granby, Holyoke, Chicopee and Hadley.
Rental of equipment requires signing an agreement that you will replace the cost of the equipment if it is lost, stolen or damaged (to the extent that it no longer functions). A deposit for the (full or partial) replacement cost of rental equipment is required at the time of rental and is not included in the above estimate. This will be refunded minus any outstanding rental fees or replacement costs of lost/stolen/damaged equipment. You are responsible for any fees incurred in returning equipment whether you choose to mail equipment or pay for on-site pick up. The full Equipment Rental Terms and Conditions are available within the Services Agreement.
For people that do not have the time and/or ability, I am also able to distribute flyers and/or put up posters. This service generally requires purchase of a phone or on-site consultation and is only available in the local service area. The cost is $40/hr plus travel (if not already on location). This does not include the cost of printing the posters/flyers or purchasing poster materials.
Extended-Stay On-Site Assistance
Not currently available.