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  • Lost & Found 2

There are so many things to think about when you decide to get a dog that you can become swamped by the number of choices you have and the equipment to buy and then your children pick out a dog and you can't say "No" to their choice and before you know it you have a dog! This checklist is designed to help you through the process beforehand and give you points to consider so you get the dog that best suits your needs. Are you ready for a dog? This may seem like a silly question but have you really considered what owning a dog means? Apart from the obvious benefits you have the chewing, housetraining, digging, barking, vet bills - the adults must be prepared for all eventualities and the cost should not come as a shock!

What breed or type of dog do you want? Larger or smaller? Long or short coated? Male or female? Puppy or older dog? From a breeder or rescue? How much exercise will the dog need? Are there any medical issues with your chosen breed? Are there behavioural considerations? What was the breed designed to do? Is the dog neutered or will you have to pay for this? What is your lifestyle? Do you want an active dog or would you prefer a couch potato? Will the dog need to be home alone at all and if so for how long? Do you have children, cats, other small animals? How would you describe your personality - calm, shy, vibrant? BE HONEST! All these questions will serve to narrow your search and if you have already gone through this process you will make the job of matching you to your dog much easier.

House Rules. Where will the dog sleep? Who will take the dog for walks? What toileting routine are you planning? When will the dog eat? Who will groom the dog? Which vets will you register with? What equipment will you need? Are you prepared to attend training classes? If you are still keen to get a dog then you will need to find a reputable breeder or rescue centre. Any good breeder or rescue will have several key procedures in place to ensure good homes for their dogs.


An interview process - to find out as much about you and your lifestyle as possible to match you to a temperament tested dog or puppy. A home-check - this will be carried out by someone who is experienced with correct ownership of dogs and will be used to assess any improvements to your property or in your living arrangements to allow you to accommodate a dog. A contract - a breeder contract should set out your rights and obligations as purchaser of the puppy and the breeder's obligations as vendor.

It should include all health checks and results AND clearly defined return policy - this states that the breeder will take the dog back if you are unable to keep It at any time. Any breeder who does not carry out health checks and does not offer a return clause cannot be relied on to provide a good service. Rescue contracts set out your rights and obligations as an adopter and will include a very strict return policy. They will also include a clause permitting them to inspect the dog at any time in the future to ensure you are still taking good care of your pet All these legal hoops are designed to make the life of all dogs better. If all breeders were required to health test the dogs they want to breed from and obligated by contractual provision to be responsible for returned dogs, backyard breeders and puppy farms would be unable to function. Now you have been through your checklist, been interviewed and filled in your forms you are ready to take your dog home. Good luck and enjoy your new friend.


There are some steps you can take to speed up your dog's return and make It easier for dog wardens, vets, rescue organisations and helpful members of the public to match found dogs with their owners. The following tips are for owners and finders of dogs.

Tags and chips:- It is the law that ALL DOGS carry a tag with their owners name, address and contact number inscribed on it, lack of this can result in a substantial fine and prevent your dog being returned to you as his details will be listed as unknown.

From the start of 2016 all dogs will be required by law to be microchipped.

It helps if there is an ID disc on your dog when at home as you never know when a helpful delivery person or neighbourhood child will leave a gate not quite closed and Fido decides it is time for walkies. If your dog has a habit of losing tags you can buy an ID bar that your dog’s collar can be threaded through. A microchip is not enough as not all small rescues or members of the public have access to a scanner, especially on a Sunday evening when the vets are closed!
Know your numbers: Council lost dog lists are usually handled by the environmental services dept. and the local dog wardens but they may not operate an out-of-hours service and some councils contract out the dog warden service. Contact your council and find out who is responsible for lost dogs, what the 'out of hours' phone numbers are and the procedure for locating dogs in your council area.

Keep a list of local vets, pet shops, groomers, dog walkers, trainers, pet sitters and re-homing organisations; you would be surprised who people will turn to in the absence of a 24 hour council line if they find a stray dog.



Posters: - Flood your local area with details of your dog with an idea of the date, place and time he/she went missing; you stand a better chance of getting him back. Posters are a great idea, send them to all the places listed above and supermarket notice boards, telegraph poles etc. but don't offer a reward and use your mobile number rather than a landline if possible, unless you are directed to do otherwise by an experienced organisation such as Dog lost (details on our links page).

Most dogs are found fairly close to home and are returned quickly, but you need to know where to look and who to ask, they can't tell you where your dog is if they don't know your details.
If you have to go away without your dog, make sure the person looking after your dog knows the drill too! Although your dog is more likely to be straying, dog theft is becoming more and more prevalent. Ensuring your dog is tagged, tattooed and micro chipped will make it more difficult for thieves to pass your dog on. Dog Lost and Petlog will be able to advertise your dog’s details nationally and notify vets, groomers, trainers etc. If you are contacted and asked for a reward for information or return of your dog, contact the local police and Dog Lost who offer support and advice on how to proceed.

If you find a stray dog, it is most likely somebody's beloved pet, not a new friend for you. You are required by law to hand the dog into your local council's dog warden service and in the absence of a service, to notify the council giving your full contact details, details of where and when you found the dog, a full description of the dog and where the dog will be staying whilst the owner is located.
If you are taking care of a dog whilst the owner is found, do your best to help by putting up posters, contacting vets, dog walkers, groomers etc. asking if anyone recognises the dog. Give the council's contact details rather than your own and let them be the go-between and always keep them updated of any new information.

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