Random PoP Query – Why So Many Lost Dogs?

DSCN9608, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

This is something I’ve been thinking about lately. On my walks around town (and through the occasional email) I’ve been noticing a ton of lost dog posters. And I’m just wondering why there are so many lately? I know one dog slipped its collar but that seems rare to me. How do all these other dogs get lost. Do they run out of the house, jump fences? What’s the deal here? I’m also wondering about one poster that said the dog had a microchip. Can’t they put a GPS function in the microchip?

It’s actually quite sad. The effort that has been made with many of these posters (including rewards offered) clearly shows that the owners are terribly distraught. But I’m seriously curious – how do so many get loose? Have you guys noticed a lot of posters lately?

28 Comment

  • How would YOU like to be cooped up in a hipster condo for 8 hours a day?

  • Dogfighting doesn’t just claim innocent pitbulls:


    Wonder no more, PoP.

    Some of DC’s more cowardly and ignorant residents still have a sick, sub-human fascination with “dog fighting” (i.e. torture).

  • a hipster condo? what even is that? seriously. the random derogatory use of the word Hipster is just getting out of hand. when you people do Madlibs do you just fill in every blank with the word Hipster? “The Hipster walked hipsterly to his hipster condo.”. You guys need help. As for the dog posters people are really good about putting up lost dog posters but not so good at taking them down. That dog Lucy for instance. the owners canvased the whole of DC and then found her. I still see the posters everywhere. and they even kept track of where they put up signs on their lost dog blog.

  • Bored?
    Why not look into some social clubs with the neighbors, frequently in town/ country people have done this or at activities with your church.

  • I thought that was the point of the chip……to track your dog if it gets lost.

  • The dog I found apparently was quite skilled at slipping through the fence – which made me wonder why the owners did not bother putting a collar or chip on him. (Steph – a chip merely contains scanable information, so that whomever finds the pet can locate the owner; it doesn’t have tracking capacities that I know of, so unfortunately it’s a one-way system).

  • No, the chip is so that if your dog or cat is found, it can be taken to a vet, who can scan your pet and get your information. It’s kind of like a barcode. One possible issue there is that you have to update your address online, so if people aren’t on top of that, any vet who might scan your pet won’t know where it belongs.

  • It’s the new Thai place on 14th st

  • I agree that a lot of the problem is that people don’t take the signs down. Hugo the cat was lost in my neighborhood last year and the signs are sill up. I’m pretty sure that if Hugo was not found he’s either toast or someone else’s cute kitty.

  • Was that dog in the bottom poster (12 lb, looks like a dachshund) ever found? I couldn’t go a block without seeing 5 of those signs.

  • In many – certainly not all – cases, animals that go missing have been left unattended. Your pet should never be left alone, even in a fenced yard.

  • i think part of the problem lies in people letting their dogs off leash in the back horse trails of rock creek. as you’ll notice a lot of the lost dog signs are up in mt pleasant, where many who live there access rock creek frequently. while i’m all for off leashing one’s dog in the deep woods of rock creek, dogs will often chase the white tails or find a dead raccoon to snuggle with and end up forgetting about the ‘hipster’ parents.

  • A lot of these issues are just impossible to solve.

    we once had a cat who after living with us for about 18 months used to take off its collar every day. I mean every day. We talked to the vet and they suggested a new kind of collar but before we could buy it we found the old collar on the porch, a hole in the screen and the next day the neighbors told us the cat was hit by a car.

    I’m sorry, but it’s impractical at best and cruelty at worst to monitor your pets 24/7. I mean, how many of us as kids opened the door to get the mail only to have the dog push you over and run outside.

    The impracticality of it all is why I don’t own pets now, but I really want one.

  • it is extremely easy to keep your cat indoors: just never let it outdoors. they are naturally curious but also very cautious creatures. my cats would never in a million years escape outside.

  • My old dog was a German Shepherd/Beagle mix – with none of the good traits of either breed (she was dumb as a bag of hair, strong, and prone to wandering off wherever her nose led her). I was living in Baltimore, just south of Patterson Park, and she constantly took off running, either yanking the leash off my hand, slipping her collar, or on one particularly special occasion, through my screen door. More often than not, she’d end up at the corner bar a couple of blocks down, but eventually I ended up giving her away to friends who had a big farm down in Southern MD where she could be safe and happy, going where her nose led her.

    I learned many things about dog ownership from that experience, perhaps most importantly not to name a dog that you’re going to have to call after a lot “Midget.”

  • I would never get a cat and coop it up in my 800 sq ft apartment. its just cruel. Ill wait til I have a house and can install a cat door so it can come and go as it pleases.

  • Anon 11:16: So it can kill birds and also always have fleas?

  • it is far more cruel to let your cat outdoors in a city than to raise it indoors. my indoor cats are happy as clams. outdoor cats kill millions of birds, get in fights, get hit by cars, etc.

  • @ Nichole- that’s hilarious. Midget.

    I too have noticed a lot more of these lately, but what I’ve also noticed is the yearly Spring/early-Summer excitement that seems to get into my dog. She’s escaped twice in the last month or so, but luckily her general fear in being away from home overpowers her stupidity and interest in following whatever smell she’s riding…

    I think it’s the time of year — dogs are a little more exited and are more likely to take off, leashed or not.

  • while my heart goes out to anyone with a lost or missing pet, i’m so glad i don’t have to worry about this as my dog seems unable to lose sight of me (even hiking in the woods free of the leash) and refuses to step beyond a ten yard radius of me at any given time. she’s very controlling. i’m hers and she’s going to make sure she knows where i am at every moment of every day. i’m very lucky.

  • eric in ledriot: how large is your place? I have an indoor cat who currently enjoys living in a three bedroom house with roommates but I’m moving into my own place in July. I think he would be happy anywhere with a window, treats, a bed, and his toys. Do you agree?

    Thanks 🙂

  • Our cat likes to hang in the window and watch the alley cats, but she suffers from fear of open spaces so is happy just living in our house. She’s been an indoor cat from the beginning

    I think its the spring/summer fever. So many new things to smell and chase, our dog goes insane this time of year.

    The real fun will begin when fireworks season begins in the next couple weeks. I expect lots more lost dog posters. Our dog just goes and hides under the bed, but would run away if left outside, even in a fenced in area. Do doubt the persistence of a terrified animal.

  • Speaking of lost dogs, a client just texted me to say her greyhound got away from her dogwalker near 9th and Kennedy yesterday. Her name is Gidget and is kind of tan with streaks. If anyone sees a greyhound walking around in that area, please call me at 202.297.9753. Very sweet dog.

  • Did it occur to anyone else that perhaps some of these missing pets have actually been stolen?

    If you leave your pet alone in the back yard he/she might get some ‘assistance’ in wandering off.

  • that’s true – my neighbor had her dog stolen by some kids a couple of years ago. she eventually found him though (thank god)

  • Great article on Slate about a stolen dog: http://www.slate.com/id/2219224/

  • This reminds me of someone my sister knows who supplemented his college income by abducting dogs and selling them to medical research.


  • saf

    Oregonian – as you sure she really knows him, or is it a friend of a friend thing? Because seriously, there is no reputable medical labl that would procure animals that way.

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