Dori Edwards, Global Animal
NEW YORK — As Hurricane Sandy approached New York City, Dr. Diana B. Kirschner and her loved ones spent a rainy week searching for her lost dog Zoey.
When Dr. Kirschner’s father was walking Zoey at the park, the recently rescued pooch escaped in playful pursuit of two fellow canines. Mr. Kirschner immediately hailed a cab in attempt to follow Zoey, but he soon lost sight of his canine companion.
While the storm was brewing, Dr. Kirschner and her faithful search team worked tirelessly to find Zoey. Offering a $5,000 reward, they printed and posted one-thousand flyers featuring Zoey’s picture all over the giant metropolis.
After visiting many shelters, hospitals, and rescue shelters—including Zoey’s adoption agency Stray From The Heart—and receiving several unsuccessful phone calls from mistaken neighbors, hang-up callers, and scam artists, Dr. Kirschner finally received the news she had been waiting for.
When it seemed as though all hope was lost, Zoey was eventually found seven miles from where she escaped, reminding Hurricane Sandy victims to never give up the search for their lost pets.
Unfortunately, losing our beloved canines is not uncommon, especially in the wake of a natural disaster.
Here are some great tips to help you find your beloved pet:
• First, make sure your dogs are equipped with an updated identification tag including your home address and the best phone number to contact you or your family.
• If you can, be aware of the circumstances in which your dog escaped. This will give you some clues as to which direction your canine may have gone.
• In search of your companion, make sure someone stays behind just in case your dog returns home. Bring a flashlight to check under cars or bushes as well as a whistle, clicker, or a form of noise your dog responds to. Also, carry a picture to show people you encounter during your search.
• Call friends, family, or any familiar locations your pet may have traveled to. Also, make sure to contact local shelters, rescues, veterinarians, animal control, pet stores, as well as the police to see if they have seen your dog.
• If this fails, make signs and flyers and post them all over town—including places that are farther than you would think to find your dog. Make sure the posters are large, bright, and eye-catching. They should also feature a recent photo of your dog and possibly a reward as incentive. You can e-mail the poster to friends and family so they can also post flyers in their neighborhoods.
• Next, consult the mass media and post ads in the newspaper and online, including Facebook and Craigslist. For instance, a volunteer-based Facebook group called “Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets” attempts to reunite pets and their guardians by giving people a place to share photos and information. In addition, many shelters and organizations post photos of recently found animals, so be sure to check the local websites for photos of your beloved pet. You can also contact companies such as sherlockbones.com that will compose a mailer for you to distribute to homes in your area.
• Most of all, never give up hope. Always try to stay positive and search farther than you would think.
Read the full New York Times article on Zoey’s touching tale: http://www.nytimes.com/nyregion/odds-slim-for-finding-dog-lost-in-manhattan