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National Lost Dog Awareness Day

National Lost Dog Awareness Day

National Lost Dogs Awareness Day, observed on April 23, is a day that shines a light of hope for families whose dogs have gone missing.

It dedicates support to organizations that tirelessly work to reunite lost pets with their homes and families.

The directors of Lost Dogs Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas initiated National Lost Dog Awareness Day in 2014 and have actively assisted lost dogs in finding their way back home ever since.

History of National Lost Dog Awareness Day

The history of National Lost Dog Awareness Day traces back to the misconceptions about lost dogs. Often, people assume that a wandering dog is a stray without a home.

Lost Dogs of America (LDOA) was founded in 2011 to challenge this assumption and assist these lost pups in reuniting with their families.

In 2013, LDOA established National Lost Dog Awareness Day to raise awareness about this issue.

Since its inception, LDOA has been instrumental in helping countless dogs find their way back home.

One notable success story is that of Molly, a dog from Illinois who wandered off.

A kind soul quickly identified Molly through a flurry of posts on Facebook groups after taking her to be scanned for a microchip.

Even though Molly didn’t have one, the vet recognized her from Lost Dogs Illinois, and she returned home within hours of being reported missing.

This heartwarming tale exemplifies the magic that LDOA and National Lost Dog Awareness Day can bring to the lives of both dogs and their owners.

Here are five surprising facts about
National Lost Dog Awareness Day

  • They’re more common than you might think: About a third of all pets go missing at some point in their lives.
  • They fill up shelters: Twice as many pets end up in shelters as strays compared to those brought in by their owners.
  • Only a small percentage find their way back home: Sadly, only around 15% to 20% of lost dogs and a mere 2% of lost cats are reunited with their families.
  • Many stray beyond their neighbourhoods: Almost half of missing dogs and about 30% of missing cats are found outside the areas they call home.
  • A significant number are stolen: Every year, millions of dogs and cats are unlawfully taken without permission, adding to the heartbreaking issue of missing pets.

How To Observe National Lost Dog Awareness Day?

Celebrating National Lost Dog Awareness Day

To observe National Lost Dog Awareness Day, here are three important things you can do:

Microchip your dog

Microchips are small tracking devices attached to your dog’s collar or tag.

These chips make it easier to locate your dog if they go missing, increasing the chances of bringing them back home safely.

Update your dog’s records

Keeping your pet’s information current is crucial for their safe return if they ever get lost.

Take the time to update their records with recent details, such as your contact information and any medical conditions they may have.

Help find a missing dog

One out of every three dogs will go missing in their lifetime.

If you see flyers or notices about a missing dog in your neighborhood, lend your support by spreading the word.

You can also reach out to the family of the missing dog or contact organizations like Lost Dogs of America to offer assistance in reuniting lost pets with their owners.

Every effort counts in bringing these beloved companions back home where they belong.

Preventative steps to take On National Lost Dog Awareness Day

Here are some preventive steps you can take to keep your dog safe:

Keep your dog secure

Whether using a leash or ensuring your yard is fenced, keeping your dog contained reduces the likelihood of them wandering off.

Invest in training

Professional training can significantly decrease the chances of your dog going missing. Training helps them learn important recall commands and strengthens the bond between you and your pet.

Supervise your animal

Always keep an eye on your dog, especially if they’re an expensive breed. Even in a fenced yard, dogs can be stolen, so never leave them unattended.

Use tags and microchips

Tags and microchips are vital for helping recover a lost pet. Make sure your dog wears a collar with tags containing updated contact information.

Microchipping is also recommended and can be done at adoption sites for a reasonable fee.

Spay or neuter your pet

This reduces the likelihood of your dog wandering off in search of a mate and helps prevent unwanted litters if they do.

Keep records up to date

Maintain current records of your pet’s information, including photos, vaccinations, and microchip details. This information is crucial for identifying and recovering your pet if they go missing.

Taking action if your pet goes missing:

Celebrating National Lost Dog Awareness Day

If your pet goes missing, here are steps you can take to increase the chances of finding them:

Contact local shelters and vets

Reach out to animal shelters and veterinary clinics in your area. Provide them with current information about your dog, including a recent photo, to help in their search efforts.

Walk your neighborhood

Take a walk around your neighbourhood and nearby areas. Let your neighbours know that your pet is missing and ask for their assistance in keeping an eye out.

Post notices in public places

Create and distribute posters with your pet’s photo and contact information.

Put them up in neighbourhood grocery stores, gas stations, coffee shops, and other public places where they’re likely to be seen.

Utilize social media to share and post your pet’s details in local community forums.

Check advertising websites

Keep an eye on online advertising websites where lost and found pets may be posted. If you suspect that your dog was stolen, contact the police and provide them with any relevant information or descriptions.

Taking these proactive steps can help increase the chances of your pet being found and safely returned home.


National Lost Dog Awareness Day occurs annually on April 23 since 2014.

It was initiated by the volunteer group Lost Dogs of America, to raise awareness about the large number of lost dogs that end up in shelters each year, placing a strain on resources.

You can join in celebrating this holiday by ensuring your dog is microchipped and keeping your microchip information up to date. This simple step can greatly increase the chances of your pet being reunited with you if they ever go missing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about lost pets:

Where do dogs tend to go when lost?

If a dog is outgoing, it will likely seek out other dogs and friendly humans who can provide comfort, food, and shelter. Places like neighbours’ yards and public parks are common spots they may gravitate towards.

How long can a lost dog survive?

The survival of a lost dog depends on their access to food and water. A healthy dog can survive without food for up to 5 days if they have access to water.

Do dogs get sad when lost?

Some dogs may experience grief for a short period after being lost, but many can bounce back and return to normal within a few days.

Can dogs cry?

Yes, dogs can cry in two ways: vocally, making sounds that tug at our heartstrings, and with tears.

How often are pets lost in the United States?

According to the NIH, around 15% of dog and cat owners experience losing a pet. However, dogs are more commonly recovered than cats.

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