top of page

Lost Dog Resources

Have you lost your Berner? Here are important steps to take:


  • Act immediately! Gather as many helpers as possible in the first hours of searching. Don’t waste precious time asking for help by assuming you will walk down the street and find your dog.  Don’t be shy.​​

  • Contact Lost Dog Resources. Contact the appropriate Lost Dog Search site (see links below) to enlist their help.


  • Post on the BMDCNV Facebook page and on other relevant Facebook pages. Include a close-up photo of your dog and a phone number people can call in with information about sightings.  Post on specific town Facebook pages if you need helpers in a specific area. If you don't use Facebook, ask someone who does, to spread the word on social media.  Make sure the posts can be shared so others can help spread the word electronically.


  • Tailor the search to the lost dog. Remind your searchers not to shout out the dog's name or to chase them while they are out looking.  Lost dogs become fearful quickly and frequently don’t even respond to their owners' calls.  Calling the dog's name can send them further into hiding.  Request that anyone who sees the dog calls the phone number for the lost dog with specific information detailing where the siting occurred.   If possible keep an eye on the dog (without spooking the dog) until the owner can get there.

  • Set up a search perimeter.  Looking at Google maps, draw a circle in a 3-mile radius around the last sighting, and send out flyers heavily in this radius.  Never assume that your dog will not cross a highway, pond, railroad tracks, or power lines.


  • Develop a communication plan. While you are out searching, have someone contact local police, Animal Control Officers, shelters in the town where the dog was lost as well as adjoining towns. Notify police dispatch that you will be in an area looking for your dog in the event they receive sightings also. Keep a list of who was called and their phone numbers so that you can call back when dog is found.


  • Place familiar items near sight where dog went missing. Place a familiar scent article (dog bed, worn t-shirt, etc.) at the location where your dog went missing. Leave a bowl of strong-smelling food at the location as well. If she was lost from her home, be sure to leave the gate or garage door open. If she broke through an invisible fence, park your car outside the perimeter of the fence and leave the door open so the dog has a safe place if she returns. If away from home, park a familiar car at the location where she was lost, preferably with the door open. If you know that the dog has been sited at a particular location, leave an article of your used clothing at that location in case she returns. 


  • Establish base of operations. Establish a base of operations at the location where the dog was lost. Someone should remain there (a) in case the dog returns and (b) for searchers to check in.


  • Flyers. Create a flyer using a lost dog template (available on most of the links below). Be sure that the phone number(s) you post on the flyer will reach a person (not a machine) 24/7. Print up 500 copies of the flyers. They’re cheaper in volume and you’ll need lots! 


  • Charge your cell phone and make sure your message provides instructions as to what info to leave just in case you can’t be reached.


  • Post flyers. Have searchers post the flyers to telephone poles (not trees) and knock on every door. Ask the owners if you can search their yards for the dog. Lost dogs are often frightened and will hide under shrubs, decks, cars or sheds or in barns and garages. If homeowner owners do not answer the door, leave a flyer in the door or on the mailbox.


  • Call the owner if you see the dog. Don’t just assume the dog will come running when called. If the searchers do not know your dog, consider providing them with a used article of your clothing (in a plastic bag) so that, if found, the dog will recognize your scent and not run from them. If a searcher does locate the dog, the best thing to do is to stay put and call the owner, rather than try to catch the dog who will likely be frightened. The dog may even run from its owner if approached too suddenly.


  • Alert everyone in the area. Stop all passers-by: runners and bikers, UPS and postal workers, parents at school bus stops, DPW and construction workers.

  • Tag  your car using neon markers.  Turn your car into a billboard by using bright florescent window markers to advertise your dog as you drive through your community.  Be sure to include the breed or description of your dog, your street, intersection, or neighborhood name, the city or town, and your phone number.  Keep it to 3-4 lines of information.  The letters should be three to four inches tall - easily visible.  Use different colors in  your message to make it easier to read.  You can also include a color photograph of your dog secured to your window with tape.

  • Drone operation. If you know someone who is skilled at operating a drone, that may be a useful tool to locate your dog if you have an idea of the general location.

  • Take down flyers when appropriate. Once the dog has been found, be sure to go back and remove any flyers that have been posted on any utility poles or at businesses. This is a common courtesy that many folks never bother to do.


  • Send thank you notes to your searchers. If a reward was offered, it should be given promptly to the people who took the time to call in with information and who were critical in locating your dog. If they won’t accept a monetary reward, consider a gift certificate or donation to a charity in their name.


Lost Dog Tool Kit


  •  Cell phones (with list of numbers for all searchers)

  •  Staple guns with extra staples

  •  Clear tape

  •  Plastic sleeves for inserting flyers (large zip-locks work well)

  •  Extra leashes

  •  Wet, smelly food to tempt frightened dog (small cans of cat food are handy)

  •  Change of shoes and socks

  •  First aid kit

  •  Bug spray

  •  Owner’s used clothing in plastic bags (to give to searchers)

  •  Food and water for searchers


Lost Dog Websites and Facebook Pages

New England Lost & Found Pets


Granite State Dog Recovery

Missing Dogs Massachusetts

Maine Lost Dog Recovery

Lost Dogs Connecticut

CT Dog Gone Recovery

RI Lost Pets

Lost & Found Animals of VT

Find Toto

bottom of page