If you own a dog, it is going to run off. It happens. And with particular breeds, it can happen often!
Maine Lost Dog Recovery is the first place to stop when your dog is missing. (or if you FIND a dog!)Time is of the essence! Many people who find dogs check Maine Lost Dog Recovery before contacting animal control. This is especially convenient for you if the person picked up your dog on their way to, or from work in another town, or even county.
A dog in the road 100 yards from your home can be rescued, and given a ride 45 miles away, or more in just an hour! Many times, people traveling in rural areas take the dog to the nearest urban area.
I live in Stetson, near Newport. A dog found in my area can be in Bangor, Skowhegan, Dexter, or Waterville in just a short time. All of those locations are better than my dog being hit by a car, but that is a lot of shelters to cover.
Picking a dog up from the person that found it, is less stressful for the dog, (and for you) than it is if your pooch has to spend the night in a shelter.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Maine lost dog Recovery’s current president, Natalie Messier and she agrees that reporting your dog missing as soon as possible is key to getting your dog home safe.
She also stresses that you can do a lot to get your dog home quickly before it is even lost in the first place by spending a few dollars on a good collar and name tag with your address and phone number on it. She adds that a microchip is also another way to go.
She also suggests going to the area you last saw your dog and leaving an item that belongs to it there or something that has your scent on it. This is a trick I have known for years.
Hunters swear that they have left missing dogs in the woods after dark, dropped their coat, or hat on the ground, and come back first thing in the morning to find their dog laying there waiting for them.
Currently, Maine Lost Dog Recovery has 18 volunteers, with between 6 and 8 folks monitoring the website, and helping folks out. The page is monitored from 8am until 8pm at all times, and sometimes even earlier and later, as admin volunteers check in during the off hours.
I was surprised to learn that the nonprofit service that started out in 2013, in the Yarmouth area by four friends now has a following of more than 25,000 followers. A large portion of those followers come from the Bangor area.
In fact, they even received a grant from Bangor Savings Bank for $1000, after winning the write-in vote. That money was enough to purchase two large live traps to assist in catching frightened dogs that were far from home.
I asked Ms. Messier how long some dogs could be lost, before being located, and returned safely. I was shocked when she told me 3 months or more.
She said “It is incredible how resourceful dogs are!” and went on to tell me the story of one dog from her early days as a volunteer.
A lab/pitbull cross had been missing from Topsham since September of 2011 and had been spotted by somebody who had seen the dog featured on MLDR’s facebook page in Auburn, more than thirty miles away!
That dog was not caught, and returned home until Memorial Day Weekend of 2012!
Although a little thin, the shorthaired dog had survived all winter by raiding trash cans, and scrounging food the best he could. He had found shelter in a building near the airport in Auburn.
Further research on my part found a pair Bangor Daily News stories (“Military family’s dog that had been missing for 3 weeks found in Buxton” & “Popeye the missing dog found after 22-day adventure in Maine” ) of dogs that had been missing for 3 weeks and were successfully located, with helpd from Maine Lost Dog Recovery volunteers, and reunited with their owners.
Ms. Messier says the most important thing to remember when encountering a dog that appears to be lost is, ““NEVER run after a loose dog because they will run, and may end up in front of a moving vehicle. Get low and coax them to you.”
If the dog will not come to you, do your best to get a picture of it, and post it to Maine Lost Dog Recovery’s facebook page.
Maine Lost Dog Recovery works very close with police departments, animal control officers, and shelters throughout Maine, and is a resource you are encouraged to use, but they are always on the lookout for volunteers.
If you would like to become a volunteer for Maine Lost Dog Recovery check out their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MaineLostDogRecovery/
From that page you can also report a found dog, a lost dog, see pictures of lost, and found dogs, find helpful tips, and even make a donation to help them get lost dogs reunited with their families! While you are there, click “like” so you can tag them when people in your friend’s list post lost dog pictures.
If you can spare a few hours a week, and you love dogs, and helping people contact Maine Lost Dog Recovery, and volunteer your time.
So remember! If you lose a dog, the best thing you can do is contact Maine Lost Dog Recovery as soon as you realize your dog is missing.
That will start a process that is key to quickly reuniting you with your dog. It is much better to get things in motion and have the dog come home just a few moments later than it is to have your dog missing with just a few people looking.