We’ve noticed a recent trend to omit a lost dog’s name from lost pet listings and flyers. We understand where this rationale has come from. Lost dogs in survival mode should never be chased or called so not including their name can theoretically prevent a well-meaning Good Samaritan from running after the dog and possibly chasing him into traffic. Some people also think that if a finder knows the dog’s name they will familiarize themselves with the pet and then try to keep him.
But, when it boils right down to it, the main objective is to find your dog quickly. You should always include your dog’s name on the flyer for two very important reasons.
- A Good Samaritan will make a larger emotional investment in helping you and your dog if they know your dog’s name. It will also help them remember your dog if he/she is missing for more than a few days. We had a recent case in Wisconsin, the dog was missing for 18 months and his name was Tucker Tiny Toes. I don’t think anybody forgot that name! When his image appeared on a Ring doorbell camera over a year after he went missing, a Facebook fan immediately recognized him and remembered his name.
- When there is a potential sighting or possible match of your dog at a shelter, a name will help the Good Samaritan quickly locate the listing. It is much easier to search listings for “Charlie from Lake County, Illinois” than to have to search through the hundreds of listings for missing dogs from that area with a vague guess at breed or description.
Think about how you can make it EASY for people to help you find your missing dog. Always put the name of your pet front and center on the flyer! And remember, if your pet is missing for more than a day you should be entering the listing into Pet FBI, a free, searchable US/Canada centralized database for lost and found pets. Facebook listings quickly slip down the page. You need to have your pet’s listing somewhere that it can be searched weeks, months and even years later.
Never Give Up! Your dog is relying on YOU to help bring him safely home.