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  1. I've seen postings for 3 missing dogs in the past couple of weeks and in every single case these dogs were not wearing any ID with their family's contact information on it. In one case the dog was not wearing a collar at all; in another the dog was only wearing a rabies tag; and the last only had a tag with the breeder she came from on it but not the family that has had her for the past *18 mos* - and that breeder is several hours away and in a different state from where this dog now lives. People have put up flyers and Facebook posts about these dogs with contact numbers, but unless the person that finds them happens to see those (and hopefully they will all be found!!) that doesn't do anyone any good. This has happened in the past with dogs adopted through our BC rescue group as well. In more than a few cases, families have left *our* tag on their dogs, but not put one of their own on them. That's all well and good, but as we're an all-volunteer organization, our 800# is not staffed 24/7. The best someone can do is leave a message. And while we take it in turn to monitor the messages as often as possible, we aren't able to do this every minute of the day, and it's entirely possible that the person that gets the message may have no idea what dog it is based solely on where the dog was found. In that case it then becomes a frantic game of trying to get in touch with other volunteers to ferret out what dog it is; dig up the information for their adopter; and try and get in touch with them. The last time this happened, the dog had been adopted YEARS before and was now living several hours away from the last address we had on file. It took quite a bit of detective work to figure out what dog it was, and then a bunch of phone calls to track down the owners new location. If no one had been available that afternoon to do all of that, the dog probably would have landed in a shelter somewhere, as there were no rescue volunteers anywhere close by to go pick him up. Prior to that, a former volunteer's dog was picked up wearing a BC rescue tag (this was not even one of our dogs) and it took us a while to even figure out whose dog it was. In that case, the person that found the dog was going to take her to a shelter if they weren't able to reach the owner quickly. They didn't have the ability (or inclination) to bring her home with them and the shelter they would have dumped her at was the Boston city shelter. (eek) Then there was the case last summer where I picked up an old, mostly blind dog wandering on a busy street on my way home. He only had a rabies tag on him. It was almost 5:30 and I lucked out and managed to catch the vet's office *just* before they closed. The person on the phone dug through records and based on my description of the dog and where I found him, told me where he lived (thankfully not far from where I found him). But they also told me that in their case, they can't just lookup a rabies tag # and find the owner. She actually had to do some digging through their records based on where I found this dog. Had he been further from home, I'm not sure we'd have figured out where he belonged without me bringing him in and someone there hopefully recognizing him. Who knows if he was chipped, but I wouldn't have expected them to keep the office open late until I could have gotten there. Lots of people are microchipping their dogs these days, which is great, but may not be enough. If your dog is only chipped, you're relying on the person that picks up your dog having the knowledge, ability and inclination to take your dog to a vet or shelter to get him/her scanned. If they don't do that, the chances of your dog being returned to you are slim. They may take him/her to a shelter, and sure the shelter will probably scan your dog for a chip, but if it's a big/busy shelter, who knows how quickly that will happen or how motivated they'll be to return your dog to you as quickly as possible. Personally I shudder to think of my dogs spending any time at all in a shelter - even though the ones around here are far better than some. Please everyone - make sure that whenever your dog is not safely in your house, he/she has a tag with YOUR CURRENT CONTACT INFORMATION on it! Dogs can go missing for LOTS of reasons - many you'd never think of. Make sure if your dog ends up in someone else's hands, then get back to yours as quickly as possible!
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