Dogs get lost every day–and many wind up in shelters. Lost Dogs of America notes that “an estimated 40 to 60% of ‘stray’ animals in shelters are actually lost pets.” This pet awareness day puts an emphasis on reuniting dogs with their families, an act that also helps lighten the load of already-overwhelmed shelters.
When is Lost Dog Awareness Day?
Lost Dog Awareness Day is recognized every April 23. The awareness day was launched in 2014 by Lost Dogs of America (LDOA). Share the day on your social channels with hashtag #LostDogAwarenessDay.
“When a dog goes missing, many families give up looking for their lost pet. National Lost Dog Awareness Day was created to give hope to the families still looking for their dogs and remind the public that not all stray dogs are homeless,” explains Susan Taney, co-founder of Lost Dogs of America and Lost Dogs Illinois.
The combined Lost Dogs of America states’ volunteers, along with approximately 700,000 fans, have helped reunite over 150,000 dogs with their families since 2011.
How Does Lost Dogs of America Find Owners?
Shelters often scan dogs for microchips and either find no chip–or find a chip that is unregistered or contains owner information that has not been updated. Similarly dog tags can contain either old address and contact information–or are so unreadable they give no clue as to the dog’s home.
“We have been collaborating with shelters, police departments, veterinarians and Good Samaritans to trace microchips and tags that have outdated owner information or unregistered microchips,” explains Lost Dogs of America.
“This is a free service offered by the volunteer group associated with Lost Dogs of America. In 2021, the Microchip Help group nationwide received over 1000 requests for assistance. Illinois alone received 391 cases and reached 73 percent of the families. We consider this a highly effective way to get lost animals home and increase shelter Return to Home rates.”