Cody, a 13 year old Chow Chow, went missing from his yard near West Lebanon, Indiana on July 27th, 2019. It is assumed that he was picked up by someone who pulled into the driveway. Cody’s owner, Brandi, made a Facebook page for him to post his photos and share his story. She didn’t know about our Facebook page or website but thankfully one of our volunteer matchers, Cynthia D. of Wisconsin came across her page and also noticed that we had received a found report at Lost Dogs Indiana for a similar looking dog from the same area. Cynthia immediately contacted Brandi to let her know about the possible match.
Unfortunately it wasn’t a quick reunion because the finder was difficult to communicate with at first. The finder had taken Cody two hours away and given him to someone else. The man who had been given Cody was very kind and had fallen in love with him but he realized that Cody had a family who missed him desperately and wanted him home. He did the right thing and returned Cody to Brandi. After a few tense days and some phone calls, Brandi was finally reunited with Cody on August 25th!
There are four important lessons in this story:
- Never take a dog out of someone’s yard, even if you think he is lost or neglected. You don’t know the dog’s age or medical history and you shouldn’t make assumptions about his care or well-being. Knock on the door and ask if the dog belongs there. If you think a dog needs a welfare check, call the local humane society or police department and let them handle it.
- Never take a found dog out of the area where he was found. Call the local police department and take the dog to the correct stray holding facility for the location where you found him. Unfortunately, police departments and shelters don’t cross-communicate so it is very easy for matches to be missed if you take the dog out of the area. If you will be housing the dog while searching for an owner file a found dog report with Helping Lost Pets. This will provide you with a free flyer and social media links to help you .
- Never purchase or “adopt” a dog from someone without doing your due diligence. Do they have proof of ownership? Vet records? Microchip records? Photos of the dog from a young age with their family? Be very cautious. Have the dog scanned for a microchip before you complete any transaction. You may be purchasing or aquiring someone else’s family member.
- Never Give Up! Remember that your dog may have been transported out of the area (or walked on his own!) so it is very important to continually expand your flyering range.
Hats off to our matcher, Cynthia who had this to say about the Helping Lost Pets system (our software partner): “I love the map – wouldn’t be doing the matching without it – at least not successful matching. Brandi is just SO happy she’s getting him back”.
Check out more tips to find the rightful owner of a dog by clicking here.