Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reuniting Lost Dogs could be a paradigm shift in the Humane Movement

In January of 2010 I wrote a post called "Think Lost, not Stray" and the "Missing Pet Partnership" - and it was about changing people's mindframe's about the idea of stray dogs - that most of them aren't "stray" - that they are just "lost" - that if they could be reunited with their owners - we'd save the shelter system a lot of time and money.

In the post I said that 75% of the dogs that had come through the SPCA were stray dogs - so if we could have reunited even 40% of those dogs with their owners - that would be a huge difference in the amount of animals that the shelter system would have to deal with.

Since I've written that post - there has been a new organization formed here in Nova Scotia - the Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network - and they are showing just how many pets are getting lost - and not just that - they are showing how many OWNERS are looking for those lost pets.

Until now there's never been a real way for owners of lost pets to congregate and find a voice to look for their lost pets - and the Nova Scotia Lost Pets Network has given them that voice - and I think that's awesome. The group is giving pet owners the tools to actually go out and find their pets - and families are being reunited - and I'd bet it's happening like never before.

Mistakes happen - gates get left open - pets bolt - but Nova Scotian pet owners now have been given a great network to get pets back home with the Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network. They are on Facebook - and they also have a website.

What would be really great is if every town's animal control department developed a relationship or link with the group so that if they picked up an animal - they could check with the group to see if an animal had been reported to them. Most town bylaws have a 48 to 72 hour limit before they're allowed to either kill or otherwise dispose of an animal in Nova Scotia, which isn't very long - it'd be so much easier if there was a central spot like the Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network as a reporting function for lost animals that AC Departments could check when an animal was impounded. But a person can dream, can't they.


  1. Joan,

    Thanks for this. Your thumbs up means a lot! Even we didn't realize how many lost dogs were out there until we started looking for missing dogs to help bring them to safety.

    What our overall goal is is that others will be inspired to ...copy us and set up lost dog networks in their communities.

    We have tried to make the concept as easy as possible to copy and use technology that is available for free. Social Networking is the foundation. We try to mentor through the process and then we all become sister networks that can easily interact.

    We have already inspired the set up of the BC Lost Dog Network, Quinte Lost Dog Network and NB Lost Pet Network with others in the works.

    The whole key is bringing missing dogs to safety through networking. It's working!

    Again thanks! Spoke to Annie's owners just yesterday. Annie is the lost dog that inspired this and the Berner in the picture you used. She was lost for 13 days in a rural area and travelled over 40 kms. She lost 13 lbs. Annie is doing great with minor repercussions from her adventure. She and her family are so happy to be reunited.

  2. Anonymous1:19 PM

    I am the proud Mama of 4 dogs. They are our children.(They range in age from 11,10 to 2 years old.)Although they are never far from our sight, I did loose my Boxer a few years ago when she ran out the door when I came home at lunch time to let her out for a pee. I still feel sick to my belly when I think of the panic I felt that afternoon. I remember Standing in the kitchen my knees knocking wondering what to do or who to call. I also knew how fast a 4 year old Boxer could travel and how much ground she could cover in a short amount of time. Knowing she wasn't at all street smart made me feel sick. I thought for sure I was going to have to pick her up of the busy intersecting street from our house. Luckily my story has a happy ending, Maggie ended up following some school kids back to school and the cross walk guard took her home for the afternoon. I am thankful for this new resource that helps track lost pets. Thanks to this, more lost pets will find their way home safely.
    Also reminding pet owners the importance of having dog tags on your pooches. They can't speak so their tags speak for them. If Maggie didnt have a collar with her phone number attached that day she set out on an adventure,I'm not sure what would have happened to her. It saved us a lot of heartache and grief.
    Tara Clark,West Porters Lake, NS

  3. I think the lost dog network is a wonderful undertaking and it's great that you're bringing it to everyone's attention Joan.

    Glad you got your mojo back.