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How to recover your LOST SHELTIE

Shelties can be one of the hardest "lost dogs" to catch because of their fear of strangers.   Here are our step by step instructions, for the best chance of recovering your dog.   The following steps are an accumulation of our 20+ years of experience in catching lost shelties.   These steps work, if followed.

These are not in order.... but make sure you do them all.    Quickly.

Make large posters -- "Telephone pole posters"--  16"x20" posters on all street corners and populated areas.  Anything smaller cannot be seen from a passing car.    Don't bother with roads that have more than a 40mph speed limit, as people cannot read something going that fast.  DO put them at stop-signs, stop lights, and other streets where people are stopped or driving slow enough to read it.  If you live near a business, ask if you can put these in their window. Put these all over in places where people may be out walking. You should have a minimum of 20 of these signs up in a 5 mile radius from where the dog went missing.   You can have these posters made very quickly at Kinkos, Staples, Office Max.. or any other copy shop.   THEN....buy some clear contact paper and laminate them, so they last past the next rain!!   AND... if possible, glue the sign to a thin board so it does not fold or bend in the wind.

A decent sized reward will spring even the most non-caring person into action.   There are many people who will help with no reward.... but sadly, they are outnumbered by those who WILL need the reward to act!    A $500 reward is what we have found WORKS

Download the telephone poster file here


Put the same ad in your local CRAIGSLIST.com website..... and any other other local lost and found  internet board.   Do this right away....as people with smart phones will check these sights if they are out and see your dog.

USE FACEBOOK!!   There is a Facebook page dedicated to Lost Shelties  https://www.facebook.com/groups/lostsheltiecollienetwork/
However make sure you post your flyer all over Facebook

Make "Mailbox flyers" ..... print them yourself on  8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper.   Here is a sample letter.   Put these in (or tape to) as many mailboxes as you can in a 2 mile radius.   If you have no sightings after a week, start expanding your radius.

Download the mailbox letter here


Print Vet and Shelter letters, and mail these to every Police Station, Vet Clinic and Animal Shelter in a 60 miles radius.  Your dog may have been stolen.  Please ask the police to share this with all patroleman.

Download the Vet/Shelter/Police Letter here


Call your Microchip company and let them know the dog is lost.  They will add it to their hot-list.

Give your Mailbox Letter to ALL  local delivery people, the mail man, oil companies, electric companies, or anyone routinely driving around your area-- and ask them to keep an eye out for the dog.   Seek out every child in the neighborhood (kids always know where the dogs are on the street) and give them a flyer or business card with your number. Post one at the school and play grounds.  "Kids on bikes" are always a great asset to have when looking for a lost dog.
Secure a live trap from somewhere/anywhere.  Most humane society's, shelters and many rescue's have one they will lend you.  A live trap is a large crate-style cage, that you "bait" with food.   Once the dog walks in to get the food, the door drops closed behind him, catching him!  IF YOUR SHELTIE IS VERY SHY, YOU WILL NEED A LIVE TRAP TO CATCH HIM....TRUST US.   Once you begin getting sightings, and you know the general area your dog is hanging around in.... this is where you will place the live trap.  Place the trap in  quiet, somewhat hidden area.  You may also want to chain the live-trap to a tree or a pole and padlock it.  Live-traps are expensive and if someone steals it...you are out about $400.  We (CISR) have one that we do lend out free with a refundable deposit.  Note:  in almost all cases of missing Shelties, the only way we have caught them is with a livetrap.  We suggest baiting the trap with something "smelly" that will draw the Sheltie in.   We use tuna, freshly cooked bacon, ground cooked hamburger.... ordinary dog food just is not tempting enough.   You WILL need to check the trap several times a day, and release any wild animals you catch.  Bring thick, heavy gloves with you to release any wild animals that could bite through the wire.   Wild animals will normally run away as soon as they are free, but bring a big stick or something in case you need to scare them into running away.   Always get the land owners permission when setting a livetrap.
Things to know....    your sheltie will go "feral" very quickly when running scared, and he/she will likely NOT come (even to) you,  if he has been gone more than a day.  This is normal.   The good news is that once he finally is home, he will go back to his normal self fairly quickly.
Send your local Sheltie Rescue a copy of your flyer, and we will add it to our LOST SHELTIES website.
The average time it takes to recover a lost Sheltie.... is 90 days.   Some have taken 15 months.   SO NEVER GIVE UP.






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