Dont panic! Yes, its hard not to, but its important that you remain focused if you want to successfully find your dog.
If your dog is a certain breed its fairly easy to identify, however, problems can occur when you have a crossbreed. When making contact with people, rather than giving it a breed - describe the dog, specific markings or scars that makes your dog unique. Eg: You know your dog as a German Shepherd Cross, but your dog actually looks like a black and tan collie cross - dont be tempted to label it with a specific breed.
Call your local authority dog warden (see our contact information page) If your local authority uses a sub contractor to collect out of hours strays, ask your council for their contact details and call. Some councils may not give out their details, in cases like this, ask the council to pursue on your behalf. But check back to ensure it has actually been done.
Even though the police are no longer responsible for stray dogs, contact your local station - they may still have a lost and found register. If your dog is stolen, insist on a crime reference number.
Contact your local stray dog kennels. (Contact information can be obtained from your local authority.
Contact your local RSPCA centre, if you dont have one contact the national number on 0300 1234999
Is your dog microchipped or tattooed?
Find the paperwork and contact them as soon as possible. Ensure that your details are upto date and add an emergency number (preferably a mobile or a number that will ALWAYS be answered).
Now get creative - POSTERS! No need for it to be fancy, your time is better spent putting up posters rather than creating them. All you need is A4 paper, a good photo of your dog, a large black marker (dont be tempted to use other colours as they fade in the sun) some cheap clear wallets, sellotape/bluetac. Make up your poster, you can either print them yourself or take the original to your local library or copy shop for larger quantities. For outdoor posters, place each poster in a plastic wallet, seal the open end with sellotape. Always observe local byelaws on fly postering, do not use nails or staples to attach posters to trees, be good to your environment.