lost-dog-sign

(a) Lost your dog?

1. Contact the police department in your area (or the area where you lost your dog) giving them the following information. Contact the local city council, especially if there is a local shelter. City council shelters usually hold onto stray dogs for 15 days before they put them down. It is therefore very important to inform the local shelter about our dog being missing, in order to avoid such an outcome.

The following information should be given:

-         Microchip number

-         Sex

-         Age

-         Breed

-         Colour

-         Size (small, of medium size, big)

-         Area where it was lost

-         Day and time it was lost

-         If it was wearing a collar and what colour it was

-         Special features (for example scars, distinctive patterns on the dog’s fur etc.)

 

2. Contact all the shelters in your area giving all the above information. Your dog might have been found and taken there by a member of the public. It would also be advisable to send them a recent photograph of your dog.

3. You could also make a colour poster with an up-to-date photograph of your dog to put up on noticeboards of places such as the local vet surgeries, supermarkets, shops, libraries, post offices and other public noticeboards to see if anyone is searching for the owner of a dog that fits your pet's description. You can even have the photograph posted in local newspapers.

 

4. Send the same photograph/poster with the necessary information to animal welfare websites, as well as animal welfare groups on Facebook. You can of course contact PAWS by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will share all the above on our Facebook page.

 

Προσέξτε: Dogs often stray after losing their way back home, especially if they are puppies or quite young, or if they find themselves in a new environment. Dogs often take off from the house or garden, in search of an adventure or as they might have caught a whiff of a scent, without realising the potential dangers. They usually find their way back, but not always. For this reason, your dog should wear a collar and a name tag with your phone number, otherwise, it might be taken for a stay and, therefore, it might be ‘adopted’ by someone else or taken to a shelter. The name tag is the fastest way for someone who finds your dog to contact you. However, your dog should also be microchiped. If your dog is taken to a shelter, your pet will be scanned for a microchip to reveal his unique ID number. That number will be called into the pet recovery service, and you will be contacted using the contact information on file (in the Veterinary Services’ registry) with your pet’s microchip. Remember to keep your contact information up to date whenever you move or change phone numbers, so you can be contacted when your lost pet is found.

* While a name tag is a faster way to identify the owner of a lost animal, the microchip is so much safer. If your dog gets lost, he might lose his collar and tags; if your dog is stolen, the collar and tags might be removed. With a microchip, you can help people who find your dog find you, and if someone else claims it is their dog, you can prove the dog is yours.

 

(b) Found a stray dog?

First of all check to see if the dog is wearing any form of identification that will enable you to return him/her directly to the owner. In the case there is no identification, visit a vet to scan the dog for a michrochip and locate the owner. The scanning process is always free of charge.

1. If the dog is microchiped and registered to the Veterinary Services, then the vet will contact the owner to collect the dog. If the owner refuses to do so and has actually abandoned the dog, this is an illegal act and it should be reported to the police. A statement should also be given, that will allow the police to take legal action against the owner. You should make sure the police do take such action against the owner as abandonment is an illegal, highly unethical and irresponsible act. Only penalties which are provided for by law will bring about change.

 

2. If the dog has a microchip but the number is not registered to the Veterinary Services, then the vet can tell us which veterinarian was responsible for the microchip implant by the microchip number. In this case you need to go to the vet believed to have implanted the chip to identify the owner.

 

3. If the dog is not microchiped then contact the local police station or the local city council, giving the following information:

-         Sex

-         Age

-         Breed

-         Colour

-         Size (small, of medium size, big)

-         Area where it was found

-         If it was wearing a collar and what colour it was

-         Special features (for example scars, distinctive patterns on the dog’s fur etc.)

 

4. You can also make a poster, with the dog’s photograph, your phone number and any other information you think would be useful, and ask the police officer to post it on the notice board of the department. Moreover, you can put the announcement in bakeries, kiosks, shops, mailboxes and streets in the area you found the dog. This little time and effort you put in, may be proved valuable in finding the owner.

 

Then you have the following options:

a) Contact the local dog shelters to see if they are able to take the dog in. Usually, however, the shelters are full and they may refuse to do so (in some cases a financial contribution to help feed/keep the dog may help them to accept him). Please be aware that some shelters regularly euthanize healthy animals due to overpopulation. This is a phenomenon that is almost constant in the shelters, which have limited space and resources and fail to keep or manage to give for adoption all the dogs they take in. Now you understand the importance of sterilization to combat this phenomenon...

b) Foster the dog until you find a home that will adopt him. In this case, the dog should be advertised in various ways, such as through animal welfare organisation websites, animal welfare groups on Facebook or in newspapers. You can of course send an email to PAWS (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), enclosing a photograph of the animal with the necessary information to share on the website and on our Facebook page.

 

d) If none of the above is possible, then the last option is to go to the local municipality shelter. If the owner is not found within two weeks, the animal will be euthanized with the method used by the particular municipality or community. Unfortunately, in Cyprus not all municipalities / communities use the appropriate method of euthanasia.

 

Note: If the above has made you realize the responsibility of every citizen towards the defenceless animals and the responsibility of each owner towards their pet, then you might understand what the poor dog might be going through when he/she is lost or abandoned, as well as the difficulties that animal welfare organisations face. We must all contribute in our own way to change perceptions and stereotypes in Cyprus. Share such an experience with your friends and family and try to explain to them what abandoned or lost dogs go through. Our help and contribution is necessary to help them. Let’s motivate people not to buy pure bred dogs and give a chance to shelter dogs and strays that are equally healthy, strong, smart and playful, to find the home they deserve. Such an adoption might, seemingly, not make much difference to the large numbers of stray dogs, but in the long term, if people realise the problem and become sensitive to it, more and more adoptions will take place and the numbers will be affected positively! Remember that your efforts will directly make a difference in the life of the animal, and the family that decides to adopt a stray.

You can also now understand the importance of sterilization in order to reduce the number of unwanted and stray animals, as well as the importance of the microchip, which reunites a lost dog with his/her family or indicates who is responsible for the abandonment.

Adopt a stray and get the most loyal friend in life!