Lost Dogs Flyer Basics.doc
Create a flyer immediately
for posting & distribution. Make it easy to read, using plain, bold, capital
letters, in black ink only. Colors fade, use only for pictures. The flyer’s
goal is to give the public enough information so they can match a dog they see
with the description you provide and call you with a “sighting.”
Using the word “REWARD” - Some children and
adults get excited and it may encourage them to chase your dog. It doesn’t
necessarily lead to more sighting calls.
LOST DOG should be at top of flyer in very large
PICTURE(s) can be inserted just under it. A close-up,
full body picture of dog standing is best, but any picture that is clear and
detailed is fine. If necessary, use 2 pictures side by side. Remember that one
great picture is larger/better. List any major changes in dog’s current looks
from the picture used. (Ex. red collar in picture = “missing red collar”, “puppy
picture” or “shaved for summer.”)
“DO NOT CHASE” – Mandatory phrase. Insert and underline
it. Many well-intentioned people will chase a dog and chasing can make it run
“DETAILS” - Make sure Animal Control Officer “ACO”,
Veterinarians, shelters & rescue groups have details that may not be on flyer,
such as tattoo, microchip, and scars. Put dog’s name, sex, weight & breed;
mixed dog - list top two. List major colors only. List things easily seen by
people, not shown in picture, such as a white tip on tail, curly tail, shaved
for summer, etc. List collar, leash or harness and it’s color. Tags –mention
out-of-state (Ex. “ME tags”, “NY rabies tag”) Old tags – Notify the issuing Town
Clerk, ACO and Veterinarian that your dog is lost with old tags on; especially
if you have since moved from that town/state.
DATES/LOCATIONS - If you
omit the date, street & town where dog was lost you could save time re-doing
flyers. Reasons to omit: Some people see an “old” date on flyer and assume the
dog has already been found. Others, knowing a dog is still missing, will be
quick to judge by date alone, a dog’s chances of being found safe/alive.
Listing exact street locations & towns will limit your use of the current flyer
in new sighting areas. Many people will not be on the lookout if your flyer
lists a street too far away from their home. If you go “door to door” with
flyers, you may use exact information as desired. The same applies when working
in multiple towns.
PHONE NUMBERS on flyers must
include area code. List two numbers if possible. Do not use the ACO’s number
except in special circumstances, such as dogs lost out of state. Even then,
include your number. A “live” person (best) or answering machine should receive
sighting calls. Check machine as much as possible, even when calls are
Fit CALL ASAP next to the top phone number.
Put “ANY HOUR” right under “CALL ASAP” if you can
handle a call at midnight. Few people will call at “any” hour. Most wait until
a “normal” time, no matter what. Change your message machine to say, “Hello, if
you are calling about ‘dog’s name’, thank you! We need the day,
time, street and nearest cross street or exact location you saw ‘dog’s
name’. If you wish to leave your name & number, we appreciate it &
we’ll call you back as soon as possible.”
Flyers should be posted on poles about chest height with small
staple gun. Do not post on poles with a fire alarm box, on curves or high-speed
streets. Do not nail on trees. Do post at all intersections and as needed on
long streets. Tips - Insert flyers in Xerox sheet protectors (office supply)
open side down. Protects flyer from weather.
Get a map and highlight where you have posted. Keep track of
all sighting calls and mark sites on map. Make a list of names & phone numbers
of everyone you contact. This makes it easy to notify them when your
search is over. Ask the ACO to notify you ASAP regarding any calls about stray
dogs that generally match your dog’s description.
Help the next “lost dog” and quickly remove all flyers when
your search is over. E-mail flyers when you can’t hand deliver, but verify
receipt. Post on the Internet such as on ‘Petfinder.com’ in classifieds
section. Include street & town where lost and good description; many ads
are vague. Renew/Delete as needed.
Searching Hints and Behaviors