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  • Writer's pictureCaryl Wolff

Finding Stolen Dogs – Preparation

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Finding Stolen Dogs – Preparation Before Your Dog Is Stolen

REPRINT POLICY for Finding Stolen Dogs

This article is provided free as a service and may be reprinted IN PRINT ON PAPER ONLY in its entirety exactly as written with the following wording:

Copyright 2007-2021 Caryl Wolff All rights reserved. Print reproduction is granted in entirety.

I will be happy to send you a PDF file – FREE OF CHARGE – that is formatted and ready for publication in booklet form (including pagination, Table of Contents, and log sheets), so that you can print it out for distribution. Please email me at I do ask that you link to or on any Websites, newsletters, blogs, or email discussion groups.

PLEASE NOTE: This article is all the information I have. I understand that this a difficult time for you if your dog was stolen. I regret that I cannot give you any further information or cannot help find or reunite you with your dog. I welcome emails that say “thank you for your information,” but please don’t email or call me to ask for further assistance because I can’t help you any further.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

I welcome any additions you may offer. Please email suggestions.

Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, we can get to the article itself.

Finding Stolen Dogs – Preparation Before Your Dog Is Stolen

There are a lot of things you can do NOW so you won’t waste time when it counts. DO IT NOW. You don’t know when or where your dog will be stolen from, but chances are it will be someplace near your home.

Gather information now. Make a list of addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers using (Local phone books do not generally list fax numbers or ZIP codes.) of all veterinarians, animal hospitals, pet shops, grooming shops, and any other facilities listed under Pets or Dogs. These are the people you are going to want to contact immediately. (You can also ask your vet to borrow his AVMA directory for veterinarians in your area.)

Get the names of registered animal dealers and research facilities in your area. Here are the links where you can find them.

Take some clear, close-up photos of your dog for flyers and posters. The photos should show his head clearly and a side profile of his body. Crop photos so there is no extraneous background.

  • Color for flyers and posters

  • Black and white for faxes and flyers (Test it by faxing it to someone to make sure people can easily tell that it’s your dog.)

Write out a general description and a specific description NOW. Why?

  • You may forget specifics because you are stressed.

  • The photo may not show any distinguishing marks.

  • Photos will not be included in lost and found ads or on radio.

  • Some people don’t recognize breeds by name.

The general description is for the flyers, posters, and phone calls. The specific description is for the person finding your dog to give to you.

General description

  • Breed

  • Sex

  • Size

  • Weight

  • Color

Specific description

  • Breed or if mixed, the breed it most resembles

  • Coat texture (rough, silky, smooth, wiry, etc.)

  • Color

  • Ear set (erect, cropped, tipped, left ear folds over, etc.)

  • Eye color

  • Hair length (short, medium, long)

  • Identification information

    • License number

    • Tattoo registry information including tattoo number and registry

    • phone number

    • Microchip registry information including chip number and registry phone number

  • Markings (patches, spots, tattoos)

  • Tail (long, short, medium, docked, bushy, corkscrew, C-shaped, etc.)

Make a mockup of flyers and posters. Make flyers so people can read them and put them where people can see them. If you have a flyer prepared in advance, you can store it on your computer. All you will have to do is to print it out and put in the information where your dog was stolen. This again will save you time in your search. A detailed description of how to make posters and flyers as well as a template flyer is available in the Word or PDF versions.

If you can get the supplies now, that’s even better than waiting until your dog is missing. A list of supplies is at Part 6.

Because this article is so long, it’s broken up into sections. Just a reminder, if you email me at I will send you the entire booklet in PDF.

Thanks for visiting Finding Stolen Dogs - Preparation. I make a small commission on any products or books I recommend.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

If you need help with puppy or dog training, we do both private in-person and virtual lessons via Zoom. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to . We look forward to working with you.


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