If Your Dog is Stolen

If you suspect that your pet is stolen it is crucial to take immediate action. Here is a list of immediate steps you should take in order to try and ensure a speedy return.

1. Begin the search for a missing dog immediately. Enlist friends and family members to start searching your local neighborhood. Start your search on foot first. Circle around you block and then widen the circle to include the next block and the block around that until you are reasonably sure that you are including neighboring areas. Be sure to have a friend or family member wait outside your home in case your dog returns to your building or doorstep. Also make sure that you check all local parks and any of your pet’s favorite places.

2. Answer your telephone twenty-four hours a day in case someone contacts you with news about your missing dog. Keep the telephone line free!

3. Put together a clear, bold, easy-to-read “lost chihuahua” poster, The two- line, bold headlines should read: ,REWARD: LOST DOG.” The flyer should also your pet’s general physical description and temperament, the date and location of where your pet was lost and two or more phone numbers that people can call if they find your pet. While the flyer should offer a reward for the safe return of your pet, it should not specify the amount of the reward.

4. To prevent con artists from scamming you for the reward money and cruel pranksters from falsely raising your hopes, leave one or two physical characteristics off the description you offer on your missing poster. That way if somebody calls, you can ask if the dog has any other marks besides what was described.

5. Contact all local animal shelters, humane societies, veterinary hospitals, and animal control officers immediately and ask them if a pet that meets your description has been reported or turned in. Also contact your local police, sheriffs’ office, pet supply stores, groomers, boarding kennels, and training schools. This makes it harder for your lost pet to be sold to a buyer.

7. Contact agencies like Petfinders (1-800-666-5778) that specialize in recovering lost pets.

8. Place “Lost Pet” ads (with your pet’s photograph) in the ,Lost and Found, and ,Pet, sections of all local newspapers. Many times local community papers will run these types of ads free. Make sure you include your dog’s picture if possible.

9. The Internet is also a good place to let lots of people know about a lost pet. Send emails, complete with a picture of your pet, to everyone you know in your neighborhood and surf around to see if there is a localized ,Lost Pet, broadcast alert you can post your notice on.

10. If a caller claiming to have found your pet tells you to meet him at a strange or dangerous location, or to send him money in order to get your puppy back then chances are very high that you have been conned. Call the police immediately and they will deal with it.

What Dog Breed Can You Afford?

What dog breed you can afford to keep might depend on your income. I thought it might be interesting to break down your pet ownership potential by looking at your annual income. Many people think they can afford a Labrador for instance and then are amazed at the amount of food it eats as well as the dental care and other expenses that it requires just to keep it healthy. They don’t really take into account that a Labrador is the same size as a small human being and has similar health care needs like dentistry and grooming.

For instance if you make fewer than twenty thousand dollars a year it is quite obvious that you can barely take care of yourself never mind a pet. You can’t afford food or health care for a dog as expenses could be as much as 5,000 a year. There is nothing worse than having a sick pet and not enough money to take care of it. Get a goldfish!

If you make less than forty thousand year then you can afford smaller dog that does not require the extra expense of a lot of food or training. You should stick to pets that are medium sized (less risk of accidents then toy breeds). Good choices include the American Water Spaniel, Bacon Fries. Bolognese, Brussels Griffon, Cairn Terrier, Cardigan Corgi, Javanese, Cotton De Tulia, Standard Poodle and the Tibetan Spaniel. These are compact pets that are well behaved, flexible, adaptable and do well in rented spaces because they tend to quieter.

If you make under sixty thousand year was your answer then you can probably afford most dog breeds for a pet with the exception of the more expensive breeds that cost over $1000 to purchase such as the Appenzeller Mountain Dog, the Cesky, the Chinese Shar Pei, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Norwegian Lundehunde, the Afghan, the Giant Schnauzer, the Irish Setter, the Jack Russell Terrier, the Pharaoh Hound, The St. Bernard, the Shi Tzu and the Whippet. These dogs are all a bit alpha and require a lot of training to combat their hard wired instincts to chase, herd, run, jump up on people and nip at their ankles. They are also larger and more neurotic pets. You need to stick to braes that feature all smaller to medium sized dogs that don’t eat a lot and don’t need a lot of health care. Look for a friendly smaller dog. Better yet adopt one from a shelter.

If you make over sixty thousand a year you can well afford any dog that you like including many of the expensive toy breeds. However be aware that if you choose an alpha dog and do not have him trained that you could be liable for millions of dollars in damage. This is why it is a good idea to budget in for some dog training for your pet. An untrained dog can cost a lot of money in the long run especially if he or she bites someone.