Today, April 23rd, is National Lost Dog Awareness Day. This day focuses on bringing attention to all dogs that are lost each year. We must remember that not all stray dogs are homeless dogs, often when a dog is roaming the street, it is because he has got out of the backyard or wriggled free from his leash and there is an anxious family looking for him.
So what steps should you take if you lose your dog? There are several resources you can turn to for help. Firstly, contact 416-338-PAWS (7297) or 311 to file a lost animal report, providing a description, licence number and microchip number. The City of Toronto has a website listing lost and found pets at: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/animals-pets/lost-found-pets/
Search around your home and neighbourhood, ask neighbours, put up posters and flyers, check veterinarian offices and animal shelters. Bunz Pet Zone a group on Facebook, provides a great way to get the word out and encourage others to keep a close eye on any pet matching that description.
Once your pet has been found, call 311 and update any posting you have made. Getting lost dogs back home reduces stress on owners, staff at shelters/animal control facilities, other dogs in the facilities, and ultimately saves taxpayers money. It also opens up kennel space for truly homeless dogs.
National Lost Dog Awareness Day also gives us a chance to celebrate the thousands of lost dogs successfully reunited with their families each year.