Your dog is missing. You've done a Facebook search for "lost dogs" plus "state." You've contacted your local police station and Animal Control Officer (ACO), hung flyers, and posted on social media. And then you get the call you've been waiting for - your dog has been seen! Now what?
The most important thing for a successful recovery is to keep your dog in one place; once your dog leaves a known area, the search is back to square one. When you get a call, do ask the caller for specifics:
- Description of the dog. Unless the dog seems radically different from yours (i.e. white and your dog is brown), don't discount the sighting; people have very different ways of describing dogs
- Exact location of the sighting
- Collar (Color? None?)
- Direction in which the dog was traveling
Not everyone will be able to provide you with all these details, but ask anyway.
Do go to the area of the sighting as soon as possible to put up flyers and scope out areas where your dog may be hiding and routes she might be traveling. Are there food and water sources? Shallow woods abutting homes? Abandoned or little-used buildings? Lots of sheds or porches a dog could hide beneath? If so, pay particular attention to flyering in these areas.
Do tell anyone you see while flyering that your dog has been sighted in the area, and emphasize that if seen, your dog should not be chased.