The National Humane Society estimates that out of five million family pets reported missing each year, as many as two million are stolen. The majority of these pets end up at research institutions. Just thinking about this makes me sick!
How to prevent this?
- Get an ID tag for your dog and mount it securely on his collar or harness.
- Better though, have a microchip implanted. (More information at shelters and vets).
- Have your animal tattooed.
- If your pet stays outside on a run or fenced yard, make sure the gates and fences are secure.
- If your pet resides indoors, make sure that he can’t open doors and that windows are protected with screens and secured. Be especially alert during thunderstorms, dogs are easily spooked by thunder and lightning, especially when they’re not properly house trained. The same applies to fireworks, and when you have a party or entertainment for a number of people.
- Never allow your dog outside on streets without collar, harness, leash.
- Every dog needs at least basic training. It should listen to a few simple commands such as stay, sit, heel. And check also your dog’s health.
- Sometimes neutering reduces a dogs desire to wander off or show some other problem behavior.
- When transporting your dog use a kennel or a harness. Never let your dog sit in the car without a collar or harness. In case of an accident, the dog might get spooked and jump out of the car.
- If you drive a convertible, don’t take the roof down. Your dog might jump out of the car, and in addition, it is bad for his eyes to have them exposed to strong wind.
How to locate a missing dog?
- If you have a microchip it’s easy. Contact all animal shelters, human society, and veterinarians. Animal shelters are required to screen if a dog has a chip and will contact you.
- If your animal was tattooed, notify the organization where you registered your pet. If you don’t, your dog may end up whining…
- If you did not get your animal a microchip nor a tattoo, call all shelters, police stations, post flyers at veterinary clinics, boarding kennels, stores, street crossings, etc. best with a picture of your dog.
- Visit shelters, and make repeat visits.
- Place ads in your local newspapers and make sure your dog is well house-trained.
- Place ads with a picture online at various sites that deal with lost and found animals.
- Walk and drive through your neighborhood and talk with your neighbors, letting them know that you are searching for your dog.
Remember, if your pet is frightened, it might be hiding. Don’t limit your search to a 2-block radius, extend it to a 20 block radius of your home.
- Offer a reward.
- If you have any indication that your pet was stolen, contact your local police and let them know.
The Wolf Pack Theory
There is an order that humans and wolves follow. Wolves, through the years, have actually become probably the highest of all carnivores in social behavior. Wolves and wild dogs live in packs. A pack is a group of animals usually closely related by blood ties and live in family units, just like humans. There is a hierarchical order within any pack and all animals know their place within the pack.
Like humans, wolves are living in an extended family. They work as a pack and cooperate with each other to help live and survive. They also use the pack to define and protect their territory.
The female and male leaders within the pack are referred to as the alphas. They are leading the pack in hunting and are the first to eat along with their puppies. Generally, but not always, the alpha male and female are the only ones to have puppies.
As you know a pack is made up of more than just the alpha male and female. The wolves under the alphas are called betas. These wolves provide food for the pregnant and nursing alpha female. They are also the protectors of the pack from other wolves and predators that may enter their pack territory. There is also a position within the packed called the omega. This is the lowest ranking wolf of the pack. This wolf is always last to eat and is the wolf that gets picked on. The omega is usually the smallest and weakest wolf of the pack.
The male wolf matures around 22 months of age. At this time they may test their maturity against the alpha male. If they succeed in beating the alpha male then that beta wolf usually becomes the new alpha male of the pack. In turn, the beaten alpha male will leave the pack, becoming what is called a lone wolf. This lone wolf will then go out to search for a new female to start a new pack. Rarely are lone wolfs allowed into an already established pack.