The Pick-up Artist
Your dog is out of his home territory – in the neighbor’s yard, out of your site at the dog park or maybe he’s just decided to go AWOL (Absent Without a Leash) and a Good Samaritan has picked him up. Outgoing, “social-butterfly” dogs or dogs that may freeze or cower when a stranger approaches are the most likely dogs to get caught up in the “Pick-up Artist” scene. It is important to note – this is NOT a stolen dog situation – these are dogs that were recovered with honest, good intentions.
Maybe she’s used to a life on the road, she’s escaped an abusive situation, or is a resuce pup unused to her new home or a puppy mill survivor and had a difficult time bonding, or perhaps she was separated from you on a trip away from home, or maybe she’s just a Houdini that likes to explore – this pup is roaming outside of their known, home territory and may not have the navigation skills to find their way back to home base.
Though highly unlikely to happen, the AKC reports that pet theft has been on the rise in the last few years. Most often it’s for resale (particularly true with unique, “designer” and popular breeds), though occasionally dog will be forcibly taken by someone who simply wants to keep the pup or by an individual who wishes to cause the pet parent stress and anguish.
Unfortunately, though not as common as you might fear, dogs do get into accidents that make it impossible for them to make it home on their own. Being hit by a motor vehicle, eating something poisonous or toxic or wandering into a wild-life trap are all some of the potentially life-threatening scenarios a dog might encounter.
Particularly if you live near the country-side or a park/reserve that is home to wild animals like coyotes, bobcats or bears, this is an ever increasing problem. As humans (and their pets) move deeper and deeper into homes and migrating paths of wild animals, more and more of these encounters are common.
Dazed & Confused (and not feeling so hot!)
Different than a dog that gets sick or injured WHILE being lost, this pup is lost BECAUSE he is sick or injured (and experiencing confusion, illness or pain (CIP)and disoriented or wanting to have some “alone time” away from the buzz of humans. This scenario often involves a hiding dog who just wants some peace and quiet – but most likely needs medical attention soon.
Accidental Trapped Tourist
Your sweetums may be accidentally locked in a neighbor’s shed or garage that she was exploring when the neighbor shut the door, or maybe she followed a yummy scent into a storm drain and now she can’t climb out or perhaps when she bolted after that squirrel in the park, her leash got snagged in a bush and she can’t break free. If she’s a common wanderer who always comes home for dinner – this type of scenario is a good one to consider.
Displaced by Intention
Just like Hansel and Gretel, this pup may been deliberately “lost” by a human (either his owner or someone else), perhaps he has been picked up by animal control and been placed in a shelter outside of his home area or perhaps he’s been secretly taken by someone for his own protection (in the case of an abuse situation).
That repair man’s trailer had a LOT of really interesting smells – who knew he wasn’t gonna stick around long enough for your cutie-pie to hop out? Perhaps the rarest of all scenarios – it does happen. A dog is accidentally transported in a vehicle (or even a mobile home!) away from his home base.