After you’ve done all of the first steps …
1. You can put an ad in the local paper. Online classifieds are free for both of these local county papers. Also, look into your smaller local advertising and community newspapers, in print and online.
RACINE COUNTY: Journal Times – Place an Ad. This will reach a much broader audience in one shot. It’s very cost effective, 6 lines and a photo are $29 for 28 days in print and unlimited text and up to 50 images online! Here’s the options available:
KENOSHA COUNTY: They do not charge for lost/found ads. They consist of three lines and run for seven days. To place a lost/found ad, contact them at 262-657-1600.
2. Unless you’ve had sightings to help pinpoint where your dog could be, or the direction your dog is going, there is also a great service from the USPS. It’s called Every Door Direct Mail. It’s 14.5c per household the flyer is given to. Cost will be determined by how many households are in the area targeted. Not everyone can afford that. But if you can, do it! It’s done by an area. Try to only do the area leads have led your search towards.
Alert services are different in that they help get the word out through faxes and some do phone calls to neighbors too. Many are very specific about the area they cover for you. The more you pay, the more they share our lost pet information with your community professionals and neighbors. But the free options are great too! Only you know what you can do. Read through them below and maybe check reviews to see who has good ratings and is worth putting your money into. If money is not object, just try not to duplicate. That won’t help.
Findtoto.com – Free flyer creation but it’s an alert service that charges to send alert calls to local landline phones, online, and Google Ads. Only you can decide if it’s worth it to you, and your pet’s safety. Pricing packages are Rural Area for $$220.00, Suburban Area for $290.00, and Metro Area for $390.00.
LostPetAlert.com – A flyer creator and fax service that has a 5 free faxes and their paid options. Three package options: $49 for up to 15 faxes to Vets/Shelters, 200 neighbors called, FB post, and 24 hrs of FB ads. $99 for up to 35 flyers faxed to Vets/Shelters, 450 neighbors called, FB post, 3 days of FB ads. $219 for up to 80 flyers faxed to Vets/Shelters, 1000 neighbors called, FB post, and 7 days of FB ads.
PetAmberAlert.com – This is an alert service that costs too. They have three different packages: $29.95 for poster faxed to vets and shelters only, $39.95 for phone calls to neighbors within a certain area, and $69.95 for fax and phone alerts.
LostDoggieAlert.com – Another alert service that you can choose a free fax and emailed alert to 25 local vets, shelters, and rescue groups. They also offer packages for more exposure through a wider net of faxes, alert to neighbors, mailings, and FB ads.
Think small and think large. Think close and think about far reaching. Who else can you send the flyer to? Don’t think of who would share the flyer. Think of what businesses you can and let them decide if they will or will not. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, very pleasantly surprised, at all who will!
Has it been a while since your pet went missing? A week? Two weeks? A month? Longer?
Still, do all the above and then read on …
There is still hope! Trust us, there is! At this point, your search should be reaching farther away from home than you would have initially started. You need to keep looking close by but also reaching out by adding miles in every direction for flyers in businesses, calls to businesses, and going door to door in the last known direction.
It gets daunting, we know. But don’t give up. There are stories shared all the time online about dogs being found and reunited with their family months and even several years after going missing. Your pet may not know where ‘home’ is now. Did he go missing on a trip, did you move in the last year, is he a new adoptee and do you know where he came from? You may have heard those stories of dogs traveling across the country to what they know to be ‘home’. How long have you had your dog? Follow that trail that your dog traveled to get to where he belongs or knows to be ‘home’.
And, a scary thought, but dogs have been picked up and moved by good and bad intentioned people. Don’t give up on your dog. Many have escaped the good or bad intentioned people. Especially those hard to handle breeds. And don’t presume stolen, only know or consider LOST. If you use Stolen on flyers when you’re not sure and someone good intentioned has your dog, you’ve now instilled fear in them about reaching out to you. Don’t presume unless you have tips or witnesses, AND you are sure of it!
And then there have been some stories that have proven dogs can be more resilient than you could ever imagine. Truly. Our favorite story is: Princessa lived in the brutal Wisconsin winter FOUR months, from Nov to Feb, and she’s a chihuahua! She found dumpsters to eat by, one by a steak house where they fed her well. Another safe area she found was in a condo community where she was being taken care of really well, and eventually captured in their tennis court enclosure. The whole community was in on getting her safe. And they are all truly amazing!
So, don’t give up. He hasn’t. He’s counting on you to find him. And we will help or get you in touch with who can help if we can’t.