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Once they are gone, it may be too late

Ensuring Your Dog's Safety: A Guide to Preventing Escapes and Being Prepared for the Unthinkable

Do you believe your dog would never escape, that he's always safe and secure with his collar or harness on? Countless pet owners have shared that sentiment, only to find themselves frantically searching for their beloved companions later. In this blog post, I want to highlight the importance of being proactive in preventing escapes and being prepared for the unthinkable, sharing a personal story as a poignant reminder.

The Unthinkable Happened to Us: As I write this, our hearts ache with the desperate search for Paxton, one-half of a bonded pair we rescued from a heartbreaking backyard breeding facility. Paxton and Stella, once like feral cats, gradually learned to trust and embrace life with humans. But then, the unthinkable occurred – Paxton, spooked by another dog, managed to escape his harness and has been missing for nearly two weeks.

While we hope that your dogs never go missing, preparing for the unthinkable is smart; what can you do now to be prepared in the event it should happen to you?

  1. Choose the Right Collar: Consider using a Martingale collar, even for smaller dogs. While some vets caution against regular collars due to potential trachea issues, Martingale collars, when used in conjunction with a harness, provide a secure option without compromising your pet's well-being.

  2. Be Prepared for the Worst: Create a plan ahead of time and keep current pictures of your pet readily available. Prepare "scent packets" by rubbing gauze pads from an emergency kit on your pet and storing them in a sealed plastic bag labeled with your dog's name. Keep this bag with their belongings for easy access. These scent packets can last up to three years and will give you instant, uncontaminated access to your dog's scent for a tracker dog.

  3. Know Who to Contact: Familiarize yourself with local resources for lost pets. While the internet is a valuable tool, not everyone is on social media. Have a list of contacts and organizations to call if your pet goes missing, and share information through various channels. Keep the phone numbers of reputable dog trackers readily available. Not every tracker is equally skilled, so research and identify legitimate professionals in your area who can assist in locating your furry friend.

  4. Register your microchip! Every US Dog Coalition and Rescue dog is microchipped, and we have them all registered with our contact information. However, it is imperative to keep your personal information up to date so you can be reached quickly should your dog be found.

The heartbreaking experience of searching for a lost pet is one no pet owner should endure. By taking proactive steps now, such as choosing the right collar, preparing for emergencies, knowing who to contact, and having tracker information on hand, you can significantly increase the chances of a swift and successful reunion should the unthinkable happen. Let Paxton's story remind us all – that prevention and preparedness are key to keeping our beloved pets safe and sound.

Please keep sharing Paxton's picture online with your friends and colleagues. We have not given up hope and KNOW our buddy will come home. Not knowing where he is and if he is safe is incredibly difficult. We are counting on everyone to watch for Paxton, and we hope that you report EVERY sighting of a lost dog to places like Pawboost, the Wake County Animal Shelter Lost and Found, and your neighborhood Facebook pages. Bring found dogs to a vet to have them scanned for a microchip, even though a dog might be matted and skinny, it doesn't mean he was neglected, he may just have been on the run for a long time. A sighting may be the difference between being lost forever and at home with their families.

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