TIPS: HOW TO FIND YOUR DOG
1. File a lost pet report with your local animal control officer and your local shelter.
For Ottawa, you can file a report online with the Ottawa Humane Society at http://www.ottawahumane.ca/services/lost-and-found/claim-your-lost-pet/lost-animal-report/
For the l'Outaouais, you can file a report online with the SPCA l'Outaouais at
For surrounding areas, please see our tab "Important Contact Numbers" for other local shelters and animal control officers. http://www.ottawaandvalleylostpetnetwork.ca/important-numbers.html
2. Post your dog on our Facebook page, Ottawa and Valley Lost Pet Network. This is a free service.
3. Check Kijiji, Used Ottawa and other buy and sell sites as many people post ads there. Look in every category including: Lost and Found, Free to Good Home, and For Sale. Post an ad on Kijiji and make use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. Post ads on other lost pet sites such as Helping Lost Pets.
4. Create and distribute a lost dog poster. For more information on how to create an effective poster, please check out the Missing Pet Partnership's website. You can also create a free poster on Helping Lost Pets.
5. Make index cards with the same information as above and go to every home, in every direction from the site of where your dog disappeared. Give people a card, slide cards under doors and place them on windshields. Stop and speak with every person you encounter - the more people who know about your lost dog, the more likely the person who spots him will call you.
6. Tag your car with Neon Car Glass Markers. Tape a photo of your pet to your car’s back window. See Missing Pet Partnership’s website for detailed information on tagging your car.
7. Ask people to check their garages, under their decks, in barns and sheds - especially at night.
8. Put a LOST DOG sign on your lawn and/or in the exact spot your dog went missing. Also, place signs at major intersections in the area. People who find dogs will often drive around trying to find the owners.
9. Call all veterinary clinics including those outside your local area as sometimes people pick up a stray and drive it to a distant clinic.
10. Call all surrounding animal shelters and animal control officers, local dog kennels, dog training clubs, and grooming shops to get the word out.
11. Visit all local dog pounds and animal shelters. Do not rely on their information, go in and look at all dogs DAILY.
12. Take an article of clothing that has been worn at least a day, the longer the better, so your dog can pick up the scent. Bring the article of clothing to the location where your dog was last seen and leave it there. Also, if your dog has a crate and familiar toy, you can bring those too (unless location undesirable for crate). You might also want to leave a note requesting item(s) not to be moved. Come back the next day, or check intermittently if possible.
Even the friendliest and most social dogs may quickly become terrified and wild. Your own friendly dog when lost may hide from people and run away. He may even run away from you. Don't chase after a lost dog - they are much faster and you will only scare them more. Instead, sit on the ground, talk in normal tones repeating his name and familiar phrases over and over again. A frightened, hungry animal will usually stick around, and after a few minutes or hours, come closer and closer. Bring high value treats like bacon, hot dogs, chicken, hamburgers, etc.
You may need to rent or purchase a humane live trap, to capture a terrified lost pet. Local animal shelters often rent or loan these.
Most importantly, DON'T GIVE UP! Be aggressive in your search, get lots of help, get the word out right away - don't wait a few hours "to see if he'll come home on his own." You will need those first few hours to inform as many people as possible.
DOG RUNNING SCARED
When a dog is running scared, it switches from friendly house pet to survival mode. This means that it feels hunted by people who are trying to bring him to safety, and his instinct is to flee. Often, this mindset is so strong that it will even run from his owner in fear. Here are the steps to take when attempting to catch a dog that is running scared:
1. DO NOT call the dog's name, whistle, clap, pat your leg, etc. The dog WILL run away.
2. GET DOWN on the ground. Sit, crouch or lie down.
3. IGNORE! DO NOT make eye contact. Turn away, bow your head. This is the least threatening position to be in.
4. STAY QUIET Don't speak to the dog, even as he approaches you. This is critical in building trust.
5. EAT. Gently crinkle a plastic food wrapper, and act like you are eating, making quiet chewing sounds. Drop food on the ground near you.
6. BE STILL as the dog approaches and starts to eat the food you dropped. Keep dropping food closer to you.
7. PATIENCE. This can take a long time. Don't jump the gun and reach out to pet. Use your gut instinct. If the dog is still very skittish, reaching to pet it will likely make him take off. If the dog seems calm, you can VERY SLOWLY try feeding it by hand.
8. MAKING CONTACT. If your gut says the dog is ready to be touched, gently touch the dog (least threatening place is under the chin. A hand coming from above spooks many dogs). If the dog accepts the touch, keep feeding, keep quiet and keep petting it. Be patient. You are building trust for as long as it takes.
9. LEASH. If the dog has a collar, you might be able to slip a leash through it. However, the collar can come off if the dog pulls back in alarm. A slip leash (just pass the leash through the handle to make a "noose"), is more effective on preventing the dog from escaping. Let him sniff the leash, and be patient. This is tricky, as most dogs will see the leash as a restraint. When you sense he will accept it, try petting him, offer more treats, and slowly slip the noosed leash over the head.
10. STAY CALM after the leash is on the dog. Don't get excited as this will scare him. Stay sitting, keep feeding and petting. Talk quietly and reassuringly. Once the dog is calm, slowly stand, still staying in a non threatening demeanor. More treats! Off you go calmly and quietly.