Please take the following precautions. This can happen to anyone. What we don't know can't hurt us, but what we ignore certainly can.
If you read nothing, please read this:
1. Keep a collar with identification on your dog AT ALL TIMES.
2. Notify IAGA IMMEDIATELY if your dog gets lost so we can assist in the search.
How can I prevent losing my dog?
1. Make sure your dog is a) wearing a collar b) WITH IDENTIFICATION. Most dogs escape out the gate or the front door. Are you traveling with your dogs? Consider having an ID tag made with the local contact information.
2. PADLOCK YOUR GATES. Don't use them unless there is absolutely no other way. And don't be giving people keys - supervise any necessary unlocking and relocking yourself.
3. CHECK YOUR GATES. Padlocks are a huge safeguard but they aren't foolproof. Check the gates before letting the dogs out. Regularly check the fencing for any breaks or damaged sections, especially after a storm. If you have an outside service that takes care of your lawn check the gates when they have been there because that is the most common reason we have found greyhounds escape "the grass guy ddint close the gate properly"
4. PROTECT ALL DOORS TO THE UNFENCED OUTSIDE. Install baby gates in front of the foyer/front door, door to the attached garage, etc. You can make a gate quite cheaply out of finish lumber, plastic garden mesh, zip ties, light duty hinges; couple eyebolts and a screen door spring will make it self-closing, too.
5. HARNESS YOUR SPOOK. If you have a spooky or easily frightened dog whom you must walk outside fenced areas, use a harness AND a collar and attach a leash to both.
6. SUPERVISE YOUR DOG. If you have a spooky dog, a known jumper, a really keen hunter, or an escape artist, supervise the dog when s/he is out in the fenced yard.
7. HANG ON TO THE LEASH. Stick your hand through the loop and wrap it around your wrist a time or two BEFORE you open the door or put your gloves on.
8. Educate all family members and guests about greyhounds. They need to know that it is critical not to let the dog escape the house, and that the front door cannot be left open.
9. Don't leave your dogs in the care of someone who cannot be trusted 200%, even for a few minutes. An elderly relative with dementia, a distracted teen, a middle-aged relative who thinks you're neurotically careful about your dog's well-being. These have already been found to be problematic. Take the dogs with you; it's easier than searching for them later.
10. Keep your IAGA tag on your dog, that way as soon as he/she is found someone can be notified immediately as we always have someone that answers the phone. Each IAGA dog has a number on the original tag that is unique to your dog so we are easily able to identify the lost greyhound and contact you immediately.
My dog ran away! What do I do?
1. Take a deep breath. Calm down. No one thinks clearly in an emotional state of mind.
2. NOTIFY IAGA IMMEDIATELY. Accidents happen, and we want to help you bring your dog home. Our volunteers make up a very powerful, effective search team and we can get things done fast.
3. Print off flyers and put them up all over your neighborhood. Stop and ask people you pass and notify surrounding businesses.
4. Notify local shelters and vets and give them a contact number.
5. Drive around your neighborhood as many dogs are still close by if their escape is noticed in a timely manner.