If you've lost your pet please read the following carefully.

I strongly suggest you print it out and check off the guidelines as you complete them.

Office of Emergency Management
P.O. Box# 1472 Longview, Washington 98632 USA.
Voice mail - Office 360-414-8093   Mobile (503) 705-0258.

Web site: 
www.k9sardog.com  Email:  sardogk91@gmail.com 


How to Find Your Lost Pet.
Written By Mr. Harry E. Oakes Jr.

The most documented successful credible

K9 Search and Rescue expert in the world.

People spend a lot of money, time, and tears searching for their missing loved ones . This information comes from my over 45 years plus of looking for missing persons, and 31 years looking for missing pets. I hope this helps you bring home your loved one.

Forward: I started in Search and Rescue in 1972 with the Multnomah County Sheriffís Dept. L.E. Explorer Post# 900. In 1986, I co-founded the search dog team Oregon D.O.G.S. (Dogs Organized for Ground Search and Rescue, for the state of Oregon while I was a team leader for Portland Mountain Rescue. In 1988 I founded the international response team of Mountain Wilderness Search dogs.

In 1988, I did my first pet search with my second search dog ďRangerĒ and we found the missing cat ďDweezilĒ in less then 20 seconds. (Hiding upstairs under the waterbed in the clientís home). Where my client swore she searched.

In 1997 I started the first professional FOR PROFIT K-9 SAR dog team in the world. Itís called International K-9 Search and Rescue Services. We provide professionally trained K-9 SAR Dog Teams and coordinators 24/7 around the world for missing people or lost pets.

In 1999, I co-founded the search dog teams for the country of Turkey after responding to their earthquakes as a rescuer. In 2002, I co-founded the search dog program for the US Virgin Islands on St Croix USVI.  Iíve trained K9 SAR dog teams in Africa, Philippines, Honduras, St. Croix USVI, Canada, Mexico, South America, as well as in every state in the USA. Iíve also served as an Advisor to NATO disaster response teams.

During the 1980ís I helped develop NASARís (National Association for Search and Rescue) SAR Standards and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) SAR Standards. As well as Oregon SAR Dog standards. .

With 12 years of Law Enforcement, and 45 years of combined Search and Rescue experience, the information Iím about to pass on to you the reader, are the methods Iíve found useful in finding missing pets. Since 1986, Iíve documented over 12,270 search calls around the world for missing persons and lost pets. I hope this information helps you in your search efforts.


Iíve been featured in People Magazine. TV shows such as AM/NW, Rescue 911, Animal Planet, and numerous news stories about our disaster work around the world.  Iíve also won numerous local community, state and National awards for my work in SAR around the world.

Letís get started. YOUR PET IS MISSING

Check off sheet.

Keep a journal. Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why.

Small posters to Sheriffís office, city police, Park Police, State Police. Animal Control. Local area vets. Offices, US Mail delivery persons. Dept of Transportation (they pick up dead animals). 

Large  3íx 3í ďAĒ Framed sandwich boards. Major local intersections in your area. Always Search Into the Wind.

Search home and property first. Neighborsí property second. Basements, garages, crawl spaces, attics, inside vehicles, under seats, under hood of cars (Small dogs, cats).  75% of the cats and small dogs I find in the client's home or neighbors garage, or on their property. 

Check shelters IN PERSON. Check Dead on arrival, Destroy, Quarantine, Adoption Files.

If thereís a sighting set up a home away from home in the area. Leave a urine trail home or to nearest home who will call you.

Watch out for scams.

If you need to, bring out a credible search dog team.

If your pet is chipped call the chip company right away and register your pet missing.


 Many things can happen to your missing pet. Your pet may;

*Track your scent and find its way back home. As you walk or drive around, you are leaving scent for your pet to follow. Many times Iíve found that the missing pet and their pet owner(s) were traveling in circles while searching for one another. This happens a lot when the pet owner is driving around with their window(s) open searching for their pet. They are dropping their own scent and the pets follow them around.

*Get scared and hide. We often find the pets hiding in wooded brushy areas, garages, under decks, inside homes in attics, basements, cabinets, crawlspaces, or inside RVís. Search your house and garage, any decks, sheds, anywhere your pet can hide. I find many pets hiding in the pet ownerís home.

*Make friends with a small child or other pet, pet owner and follow them home, to their work, or to their school. I wish I had a dime for every pet owner who informed me their pet would, Ēnever ever approach a strangerĒ.

You know your pet under ideal conditions. But, when they are hungry, thirsty, tired, and scared, they often will go to a place of comfort for warmth, food, and shelter.

*Pick up a scent they are interested in, such as the scent of food or the opposite sex, and investigate it. Yes, even if they are neutered or spayed. Often headed into the wind to investigate their new discoveries.  All animals head into the wind. They smell food, water, shelter, danger from the air currents and thus they travel into the wind. So if your pet is missing, find out which way the winds were coming from the day your pet disappeared. Then search in that direction.

*Fall victim to injury, illness, or death. A predator may attack them. In the city there are many predators. Hawks, eagles, osprey, coyotes, raccoons, opossumís, among just a few of the predators that Iíve found that have killed dogs and cats in the city limits. Outside the city limits you also have bobcat, cougar, badgers, bear, and other predators. Your pet may get hit by a car, shot or trapped by a landowner, or fall into the wrong personís hands who may try to keep them, harm them, eat them, or sell them.

SEARCHING FOR YOUR PET. (Please print this section out and read it daily).

Remember you are very emotional at this time and will experience many emotions associated with your loss. The four stages of loss are anger, denial, guilt, and final acceptance. Understanding that these are natural common emotions, will help you deal with your feelings and take control of your search.


*Keep a daily journal of what has happened in your search efforts, from day # 1.  Where you posted signs, who you called, and what animal control agencies did you visit, when did you visit them, and whom you talked with once you arrived. Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why.

This is important in case we determine your pet has been stolen and catch the suspect(s). Not only can you prosecute them for ďTheft of a domesticated PetĒ which is a Class C Felony. You can also file CIVIL charges against the suspects in civil court to recover the cost of your search. The first thing the judge may ask you for is proof of your expenses. So document your actions and keep your receipts.

Documenting is also a great idea because if for some reason your pet is never found, and youíve followed each of our steps, you can review all that youíve done and  you will see that youíve done everything humanly possible to get your loved one back home.

After you read each paragraph, please place your initials on the line at the end of the list, after youíve completed the task. That way you will proceed in the proper order and wonít miss any instructions.

Remember to: Search your own home area first. Checking any areas of possible hiding spots. We find 2% of the missing dogs and 80% of missing cats still on the pet ownerís property or on the neighborís property. In garages, doghouses, attics, crawl spaces below the house, apt, sheds, RVís, behind the washer, dryer, water heater, stove, inside the sofa, cabinets, closets, behind dresser drawers, up trees, pet owners vehicle under the hood or inside the vehicle under the seats. Inside briar patches.  ____.

Cat owners remember to lift the hood of your vehicle and search under the hood. Catís love to warmth of the vehicle engine at night. Also look inside the vehicle under the seats. Also check the nearby trees to see if you cat is stuck in one of them. De-clawed cats can climb. If you have a fireplace, check the chimney.

1.   Immediately start a journal, either hand written, or on your computer. _____.

 Document your search efforts. Date, Time, what action you took, how much you spent. Results of your actions. Who, What, When, Why, Where, and How.


2.   Document your expenses: Cost of newspaper ads, photocopying, Telephone calls, time off work, fuel, cost of search dogs, veterinarians, attorney fees, Posters, SAR dogs services, etc. Reason: If you determine that your pet has been stolen and if the suspect(s) are later identified, you can then file for damages in a civil court to recover your expenses.

Iím repeating myself but this is so very important. Document your actions and expenses from the beginning of your search. On my computer, I use Microsoft word for the daily journals and Excel for the cost accounting figures.___.

3.   Check all animal control agencies within a four county region.

North, South, East, and West of where your pet was last seen. So many times while Iím consulting with clients of lost pets, Iíve been told, ďMy pet never travels that farĒ. You must remember that if a person finds and takes possession of your pet, they may live out of the area and take it to their local animal shelter.

Check the shelter in person. Donít assume that the shelter knows what they are doing. Iíve found 3 reported missing dogs and one cat in one week at our local shelter after the shelter staff informed the clients, ď their pets werenít thereĒ.

Note: I had a case in Florida where the pet was dropped off one month after it disappeared 700 Miles away at another shelter. The pet owner got her dog back because she had her dog micro chipped and had registered her dog as stolen after we traveled to Florida, did our search and determined that was what had happened to it.

File a missing pet report. Or, if itís been determined by a qualified search dog team that your pet has been stolen, file a stolen pet report with the local Humane Society Law Enforcement Division and your local law enforcement agency as well as your local animal control shelters. (Most police departments donít understand that pets are considered PERSONAL PROPERTY under the law.

So if someone has taken your pet, itís a CRIME if they fail to report finding it within 48 hours. Force the police to do their jobs by taking a crime report and assigning a case #. If they refuse, then file a complaint with internal affairs for that particular agency until such time as the report is taken and the case # is assigned.

Donít just search within your county. Weíve found over the years, that many folks are well meaning, but also lazy. They may see your pet, feel sorry for it, and pick it up to keep it safe.

Then turn it in to their local animal control instead of the animal control or shelter nearest where they picked it up. This is often in an entirely different jurisdiction. They may work or be visiting from out of the area when they pick up your pet. _______.

A letter we received from one of our many clientsĒ. Another reason why you should go in person to a shelter. This is shocking. ďThank you very much for all the info. It helped greatly. We found our dog at the Leir shelter.  Her leg was broken and mangled, and they had her just laying in a cage dealing with it.  I checked the shelter three times a day since she was missing. I was there 4 times since the "check in" time on her sheet there. I even gave them all flyers and pictures with them promising to "keep an eye out."  Only after stumbling into a room I probably wasn't supposed to be in, did I find Blue. I rushed her to our Vet, and she is OK and will most likely recover if the bone heals properly. Thank you again, BradĒ.

I canít begin to tell you how many pets Iíve found in shelters after Iíve been told ďthey werenít thereĒ. Check the Dead on arrival, sick and injured, quarantine, and adoption files. If the shelter refuses to allow you to check these areas, get an attorney and force them to show you their records. Most are 501-C3 non profit organizations whose records are PUBLIC RECORDS open for inspection.

Note:  Also the temporary adoption files. (This is a record where a person who has found a pet can call in and register by email or telephone that they are taking care of the pet). _____.

Pets are considered personal property and itís illegal for another person to take possession of your property (your pet) without following strict Federal, State, and County guidelines. If the person(s) who has recovered your pet hasnít filed a found report with the authorities within the specified time limit, (usually 48 hours) they may be guilty of theft of private property.____.

4.      A. Check in person, the animal control agencies files. NEVER EVER TAKE THE VOLUNTEERS or EMPLOYEES WORD THAT YOUR PET IS NOT AT THEIR FACILITY. Most facilities are understaffed and overcrowded. Iíve seen a facility miss a GREAT DANE. I found it in their shelter the first day I went there. This after they told my client, Ēthey didnít have a Great Dane in their custodyĒ.

 Physically drive to the shelters and animal control agencies and check their kennels.

5. Fax or email all veterinarian offices within your search area. Give them a current photo and your personal information. Type in OSVMA (Oregon State Vet Med Association) in a Google search. Or WSVMA (Washington State Vet Med association.

B. Check your ads on the Internet. Craigslist ( www.craiglist.com ) in two sections. Lost and Found and under PETS.  You can also post on MYSPACE, start a FACEBOOK page, post on Next Door as well as other various public media forums.._____.

If you need to raise money to help find your pet start a GOFUNDME Account.  www.gofundme.com

If you need a professional K9 SAR Dog team to track your lost pet, please contact International K-9 Search & Rescue. www.k9sardog.com. Email:  sardogk91@aol.com  

In your travels, look for security cameras at homes, gas stations, stores, etc. Ask the managers, owners to review their security camera footage for your pet.

I.K.9.S.A.R.S. is the most documented professional K-9 SAR Dog tracking team in the world for missing pets or persons. We keep on ongoing computer registered report on lost and found pets around the world. Even though weíre not a member of the Better Business Bureau (because they charge a fee to be a member, we have an A+ rating with them).

Remember to check all of your local animal hospitals, feed stores, vet clinics, animal rescue groups within a 200-mile area. Also post signs at your local feed stores, pet stores such as Petco and Petsmart. Check their lost and found boards. If your pet is a pure bred, check the pure bred rescue groups in your area.

6.   Place an ad in the local newspapers.

7. Check your ads in the newspaper. Check the lost and found section, pets for sale, and pets being given away for free. These are located in three different sections of the newspapers. Follow up on each ad that possibly refers to your pet. Never go to a house or location alone to check out a pet sighting. Think ahead and BE SAFE.  ___.

8.  Donít give up for 10 weeks. After that period of time, you will need to put closure on your search efforts. Get counseling if needed. You and your family have suffered a terrible loss of a family member. I recommend that you sit down away from distractions and write your pet a goodbye letter. Bring a box of Kleenex. Tell them what it meant to have them in your life. How it feels to have them gone. What you did to find them. Then when itís time, let them go. Weíve had successful recoveries a year after our initial search. But honestly those are very rare cases. ___.

9.  If the animal is found alive, get it to a vet clinic immediately. Have it check for Giardia, parasite infections, and dehydration. If itís not micro-chipped, get it chipped right away. ISO, Avid, Home Again, and the other microchip companies offer a great service.____.

10.  NOTE. Many people who have had their pets micro-chipped fail to contact the Microchip Company. Please as soon as you chip your animal, call the microchip company and register your contact information with them immediately. Also give the company a back up contact # of a family member or friend in case you are unable to be contacted during an emergency. If your pet comes up missing, call the microchip company right away and register your pet on the companyís ďHot listĒ or lost list. Make sure they have your current contact information. In the Portland area, we get approximately 3,500 pets back each year through microchips. If you donít know which brand your petís chip is, call your vetís office. They should have it on file.

11. If the animal is found dead, contact your local animal shelter or a private pet service for removal, burial, or cremation of the petís remains. The person who finds your pet may do the following: They may call the newspapers and place an ad to advise people that they have found the animal. Check the lost and found ads for people trying to report their animal missing.

Contact the Dept of Transportation for your state. They often pick up dead animals / pets along highways.

File online with local Craigslist, petfinders.com, Face book, Next Door, and other pet rescue resources, that theyíve found your pet. Report finding your pet at the local animal shelters, veterinarian clinics, or pet stores.  

Some folks will sell your pet, trade it for drugs, give it away to another person, sell it to a medical research facility, or to a friend.

NOTE: Numerous hospitals and medical research facilities buy animals (dogs and cats) off the street. They claim they donít, but we have proved this has happened before. They will not let us tour their facilities for your pet. This includes local hospitals like OHSU, and Good Samaritan. Never support these facilities. Performing medical experiments and testing on animals is cruel and wrong.

Especially around the holidays, the person, who has found your pet, may be lonely and may keep the pet and take good care of it. They may take your pet to a public place such as a park, school, or shopping mall, and let it go, hoping someone else will pick it up and take care of it, or that it will find its way back home. Some cultures will eat your pet. This is highly unusual here in the USA, but it does happen in less than 1% of the cases.

PREDATORS. There are many types of predators that may attack and kill or injure your pet. Humans trying to capture your pet to collect the rewards, or sell it for the fur industry or for bating for fighting dogs such as Pit bulls, etc. They may sell it to a medical facility for experiments. Over the last 31 years, Iíve found that this happens in less than 1% of the cases Iíve investigated.

 70% of cats and 10% of dogs are killed by predators. They are killed by other animals. Dogs, birds of prey hawks, eagles, owls. coyotes, raccoons, possums, cougars, deer, or bears may also attack and kill your  pet for food. Predators killing your pet occur in 70% of our cases that we investigate for cats. If you live in the wilderness, country, or rural areas, check your local animal trails for coyote-bear-wolf, bird of prey, poop and look for your petís hair inside to prove or disprove itís been consumed by a predator.

Hawks, Eagles, Owls, Possums, Raccoons, Coyotes, Fox, Bears, Cougars, Bob cats, and some larger snakes can eat small dogs and cats. Donít blame the predator. Youíre the one who allowed fifi or fido to run loose in the predatorís home.

Every year from March through July, we find a huge increase of missing small dogs and cats that have become food for coyotes and raccoons and other predators, feeding and protecting their young. Be aware of the dangers of allowing your pet to run loose. Often I see dogs chasing deer on a trail and end up dead or seriously injured from the deer's mom stomping the dog with it's sharp holves. (Don't let your dog chase deer or any other wildlife).  When on the trail hiking with your dog keep them on lead. Clip your dogs harness into a 20' lead and enjoy the outdoors. (Donít allow your dog to wear a collar. Put the dogís id on the harness. Dogs often are found choked to death in heavy brush from collars).

Walk nearby trail systems and inspect coyote and other predator feces for your petís remains, fur.

Your pet will always travel INTO THE WIND. This is how they smell for danger, food, water, other animals. So when searching for your pet, step outside, turn around in a complete circle slowly and determine which direction the wind is coming from (Same time of day that you lost your pet). Head into the wind.

WHEN YOUíVE FOUND YOUR PET. Your pet may suffer from psychogenic shock and it may be traumatized. Your pet might not even recognize you as their owner, once youíve spotted one another. NEVER RUN UP TO YOUR PET.

Your pet may run away, or it may attack you to defend itself. The best thing to do is to STOP, SIT DOWN near the pet, take a deep breath, and calm down. Calmly call out your petís name in a whisper, repeatedly, in a very soft voice, trying to lure it back to you.

If you have another pet at home that has bonded with the missing pet, take it with you on your search. Let your other pet greet the one thatís in shock. Once youíve recovered your pet, take it to your vet. Immediately.

IF YOUR PET IS FOUND HIDING or has been spotted. Bring some pet food and something that has your scent on it, like a dirty sock, shirt, or other piece of clothing that hasnít been washed. Put some of the petís food into the pieces of your unwashed clothing, and leave it in the immediate area. You may even leave your scent trail from this area to your home, if itís close by. This may bring the pet out of its shock and draw it back to you. Leave a piece of soiled unwashed clothing, cut up in the size of a quarter, trailing home. One piece every 6 feet.

Set up a home away from home. Buy a tent or make a lean too shelter and place your scent there, the pets toys, bedding, and food and water. Place a GAME CAMERA there to determine when your pet is coming around.

This is also great information on dogs lost on trailheads. Unless killed by a predator or injured or killed by falling over a cliff or into a canyon, the dog will normally make itís way back to the PLS of the owners (Point last seen) and follow their scent back to the trailhead.

 READ THIS PLEASE then REREAD IT. I get five pets back a week with this technique. HUMAN URINE SCENT TRAIL (Pee trail). Another method that works is to have the person who the pet is bonded with the most at home, urinate into a spray bottle. Mix the urine with water. This sounds weird, but this actually has brought home about 10% of our cases. Then the pet owner should go to the areas of possible sightings and spray a SCENT TRAIL of their urine back home. One squirt (from the spray bottle the size of a quarter, every 10 feet). Use a route where your pet wonít get hit by a car. If the sighting is to far away from your home, then take your pee trail to the nearest home and talk with the home owner. Ask them to call you if / when your pet shows up in the area.

The pet may not come out of hiding. A live box trap and trained animal capture staff are available to trap the animal without hurting it. Contact your local animal control agency for assistance. Note: We get about 5 pets back home safely a week using the pee trail method.

If your Pet is found dead. You may call a Critter Gitter service to transport it, or animal control to pick up and handle your petís remains for cremation or burial services. See pet loss support group counseling services. They are free.

Why do cats runaway? A cat will leave if youíve just moved. Catís donít like changes. If the woman of the house is pregnant. Cats hate competition and will try to find a new owner if they find their owner is pregnant. (Not all cats but a huge majority of them). Curiosity. Often I find cats enter a Fed x or UPS vehicle, construction trailer, landscaping trailer, to because they smell something interesting. Also if there is turmoil at home. (Arguing over money, other issues).

Why do dogs runaway? Boredom is the # 1 reason. Dogs are social animals and often the owners get too busy in their own lives and forget about FIDO. So Fido goes out to find attention. Chase deer, rabbits, other dogs, cats.

THE USE OF SEARCH DOGS. If your pet is lost and youíve called our K-9 Search & Rescue team, hereís what to expect. First weíll send you this lost pet profile information. We will obtain a missing pet description and profile, take a report, and obtain a scent article belonging to your pet. (Some kind of fur, hair, blanket, or collar that only the pet has touched or worn, or laid on). We can then initiate a track of the missing / stolen pet with a trained search dog team. We are often called days, weeks, or even months later after the animal has been lost.

In 99% of our cases, our search dog team will track right to where the pet is currently at, or where it was picked up by some well-meaning person, or where it was killed by a predator. In 95% of our search cases, the pet has already been picked up and removed by a well meaning person.

The person who finds your pet, normally will remove the pet from the area by vehicle. The search dog can determine if the pet was killed and the location where this happened. If the search dog indicates a LIVE ALERT, this is a strong indicator that your pet has been picked up by a well-meaning person. We then will ask you to post signs at this location. The person who picked up your pet, observes the poster in the area where they picked up your pet, and often this person will call you to return your pet. 

Remember a qualified search dog team can track a scent trail up to a year after the person or pet has disappeared. Obviously the sooner weíre out searching the better our odds of finding your loved one alive.

Note: If someone is demanding money to return your pet, this is the crime of extortion. Contact your local police and follow their advise. You are never required to pay a ransom for the return of your property.

If your pet was picked up and removed from the area by a human, what do you do then? Post signs. Whoever picked up your pet most likely will be looking for a lost poster and will do everything they can to find the pets owners. Remember to post a sign in English and Spanish.

SCENT. All trained, tested, and qualified real search dogs, as in any other kind of tracking animal, will pick up the freshest scent of the animal, and track it instinctively. As a human or animal walks along, they shed approximately 10,000 pieces of scent per minute.

This scent falls to the ground and stays there until the wind and air currents moves the scent to nearby dirt, sand, brushy vegetation areas. The scent is held there until it fully dissipates about a year later.

When an animal or human walks in one specific direction, itís laying down scent that the trained search dog can track up to 365 days later, even in the rain.

Rain actually helps the scent. It brings the scent closer to the ground surface, keeps the search dogís nasal passages moist to help the dog retain the scent and it will liven the scent. Iíve successfully tracked a missing dog route on the day it rained over 2 inches of rain in Portland, Ore.

What hurts scent? Heavy vehicle and human traffic contaminates the scent.

Heavy rains of 2 inches per day may wash the scent down but we can still perform a track.

Heat dries out the scent and the search dogís nasal scent receptors, making it harder for the search dog to track.

Snow. Search dogs can still track scent in the snow. When we work avalanche searches often the victim is covered by 5 to 20 feet of snow and the dogs will still locate them. If this happens we can still do the search but instead may choose to do whatís called an area search or air scent search instead of a trail or track. If the victim we are searching for is in the area, the search dog will alert and show us where he / she is at. Now if the snow has frozen and itís snowed several feet on top of the scent and frozen again, then we will have to do an area search instead of a track.

Cigarette smoke contains a poisonous drug called Nicotine. Nicotine is an anesthetizing agent that can numb up the search dogs scent receptors by 15% and make the search dogís job much more difficult.

If you smoke around your pet, the second hand cigarette smoke poison that you are putting into their little lungs (Nicotine) can also alter the missing petís scent, therefore throwing off a search dog. Thatís why all of our team members are non-smokers. Thatís also why you are never allowed to smoke around our search dogs or their handlers. You are also exposing your pet to many types of respiratory diseases and cancer. This is animal Cruelty. If you want to kill yourself then do so, but please donít harm your pets for your ignorance and stupidity.

Can search dogís track at night? Yes, of course we can. In fact we prefer it. Air molecules stay lower to the ground at night, and there are fewer scents to contend with in the evening and early morning. 95% of our live finds of missing persons are when weíve been called in at night and our search dogs caught up to the persons while they were sleeping or at least staying in one place.

FALSE TRACKS. A false track happens when the animal walks one specific direction, then the pet owner, or someone else, walks on top of the pets scent, (usually in or around the home).

This transfers the petís scent onto the bottom of the personís footwear, and when the person walks or drives a different direction, this person is now giving off a fresher scent of the missing pet to track. This is called a false scent trail.

There is no way to prevent this from happening, itís a fact of life. The only way that you can help this from happening, is to call our K-9 Search and Rescue team out immediately before you do any looking, so as not to contaminate the track.

With our experience in tracking, we can quickly determine if weíre on a false or a true track / trail. If youíve been out looking for your pet, weíll deal with the false scent trail issue. We run into this daily. It can be an issue at times.

What if the search dog tracks my pet to one specific location, and we get reports of sightings in a completely different area? It is not unusual at all for someone who is well meaning to pick up a lost animal. Soon the animal becomes too much responsibility for the person to take care of. They may let the pet go at a nearby park, school, or business. They may take it back to where they found it and set it free, hoping it will find its way back home. The pet may just break free from the person and try to find its own way back home. Iíve had this happen in approximately 5% of our search cases.

REMEMBER, The search dog doesnít know how to lie. So, if the search dog team tracks your pet to one specific area and indicates your pet has been removed from this area, and, a few days later you get reports your pet is seen in an entirely different area, donít be upset at the search dog or its handler.

Be upset at the person who removed your pet and then let it go somewhere else. This unfortunately happens in approximately 5% of our cases.

How do we know the search dogís track was accurate? There is never 100% guarantee that weíll find your loved one. Weíll give it our best efforts. Again Iíll repeat myself. A search dog doesnít know how to lie. Thatís why their testimony in a court of law is accepted, with training, testing, and mission documentation.

During our track I will try to purposely make the search dog go a different way (the other direction of the actual scent trail). Iíll do this in front of my clients so they can watch the search dogs tracking.

If the search dog is on a valid scent trail track, the search dog will follow the original direction of itís track. (the client will get to see that no matter which way I point my search dog, he/she will get back on the valid scent trail and follow it.

A search dog is trained to follow the freshest track or scent trail of the scent given to them by their dog handler. A mutual trust exists between the dog handler and the search dog. We use the dogsí nose and tracking, air scenting, and trailing capabilities along with our man and animal tracking and clue capabilities to confirm why our search dog is leading us to a specific area.

During our search we look for clues such as foot-prints, fecal matter, hair, blood and other signs to prove or disprove the track. This is call confirming a valid track.

The search dog team (one dog, one dog handler) must go through hundreds of hours of training, testing and actual work cases to maintain their status in K-9 SAR. Thatís why itís important to use a real search dog team and not someone who claims to have a search dog like a pet detective or M.A.R.S. person. 

Ask for references from people theyíve already provided service for.

Our references are posted on our web site for all to see. Be careful of teams who we call ďPosersĒ. These are people (dog handlerís) who ďBRAGĒ on TV or to the newspaper about ,Ēhow good they are and what they can doĒ. Yet when it comes to actual searching, their results are very disappointing. Weíve seen teams like this in Kansas, Washington, Texas, and in California.

What is your success rate in finding lost / missing / stolen pets with search dogs or finding out what happened to them? We physically find 5% during the initial search. Hiding or laying some whereís injured or dead. The remaining 84% of the pets that are found, are found because of the track. Weíre able to determine what really happened to them. Picked up and where, or killed and where by what kind of animal. Etc. Weíll have you post signs where the search dogs indicated your pet was picked up.

The pets are found because the search dog led the pet owners to a specific house, housing area, street, intersection, or park area where the animal was picked up or is hiding. The pet owners then are instructed to post signs at this location. Spread their urine pee trail. The pet picks up on the owners scent and follows it back home or where they lead the pee trail to. Or, the person(s) who picked up your pet, see the signs, and then call you or get nervous and let your pet go. Or the search dogs finds remains of a predator kill. 10% of the pets are never seen again._____.

Why are some pets never found? They may have fallen victim to a predator. Two or four legged. People may take possession of your pet to sell your pet for drugs, dog fighting, medical experiments, food, or its fur. This is rare but it does occur. Four legged predators such as bears, cougars, bobcats, larger dogs, opossums, raccoons, and some birds of prey have been known to carry off smaller pets and transport their remains to their den. If that has happened weíll be able to tell you with a 99% accuracy rate where this occurred.

Why donít you track the pet to the predatorís den? It is not our position to interfere with nature. We donít wish to harm or annoy the predators. Nor do we want our search dogs to be injured by the predator trying to protect its home and its babies.

When people build their homes in or around wilderness, rivers, creeks, green spaces, they are unknowingly taking away the predators homes. And, by doing so, they are providing food for the predator should the pet wander.

PETS AND STRANGERS. I get told on almost every search, ďMy pet will never go to a strangerĒ. This is not a true statement at all. When the pet owner is talking about their pet, theyíre talking about the pet they know in a controlled environment. The pet is in a stable home, has food and human contact, etc. Once an animal gets away from this environment, they have to survive on their own. They revert back to whatís known as a feral stage.

Your pet will hunt to kill and eat food and they will drink from water in mud puddles, creeks, and streams. They may steal food and water from other animalsí dishes in their surroundings. And when they are hungry, tired, and scared enough, they will seek out humans for comfort and safety.

Posters: When you print a poster, here is a suggestion that works very well. Leave some kind of information about your pet out of your description that only you will know about. That way you can determine if the caller has your pet or not. Post your signs within a 1-mile radius for a cat concentrating on the area 4 city blocks from your point last seen. Post signs in a 6-mile radius for a lost dog.

SEARCH INTO THE WIND. 99.99 % of the missing pets will travel into the wind.

Find out which way the wind was blowing on the day your pet disappeared.

Most pets including horses head into the wind when lost or out hunting for food, water, play friends. Post signs at stores, schools, offices, parks, etc. I recommend that you post your signs after a search dog team has determined the route your animal has traveled. This will save you money and time. Remember you will have to remove the signs when you get your pet back.

I actually recommend that you make two different types of posters up.

The general public sign. Put a REWARD notice at the top of the sign. Donít say how much the reward is. Then post a photo of your pet underneath the notice. Post your area code and telephone. Thatís it, nothing else. Let the reporting person id your pet to you with more specifics to prove they have your pet. (Read our scam section).  Say something to the effect of ď$ REWARD $ for safe return of missing pet, no questions askedĒ.

Make a second poster up with all the detailed information about your lost pet. Post the Pets name, microchip #, tattoo type, location, collar make, type, id type. Weight, height, length, eye color, hair color, medical identifiers, etc. This detailed information is sent to your area vets, police departments, Postal employees, animal control agencies, and search teams.

NOTE: If you have a large Hispanic speaking culture in your area, donít forget to make up signs in Spanish as well.

MAKE YOUR SIGNS BIG AND READABLE. Nothing is more frustrating than for me to be driving to or from a search and see a small piece of paper with a photo of a pet and small writing on it. Itís often rain soaked and unreadable. Often Iím not going to pull over, get out of my vehicle in the rain to look at the poster. The poster needs to be something I can see from my car while driving.

Make some ďAĒ framed signs 3í x 4í in bright lime green background with a huge photo of your pet on it. Laminate it so the rain doesnít affect it. Then post at the nearby major intersections. (Kind of like the real estate signs to you see).

STOLEN PETS: If itís determined that your pet has been stolen, you will need to file a stolen pet report with your local law enforcement agency, and the Department of Agriculture Humane Society Law Enforcement. Keep their case # and a copy of their report on file.

If a search dog team responds, after their search, you will be sent a report showing their findings, and an invoice for their search costs. Keep a copy on file.

Lately weíve seen a lot of lazy police officers who donít wish to be bothered with doing their job and taking a report. Remind them please, that pets are considered personal property. If someone takes possession of your property without your consent, they are required by law to report finding your pet (property).

If the person who takes possession of your pet refuses or fails to file a found report, this constitutes, ďTheft of personal propertyĒ. This is a crime. By state law, ďA police officer has the responsibility to take a crime report and investigate the crimeĒ.

If / when we capture the suspect(s) and recover your animal(s), you will need to provide photographs, (proof of ownership), and a value of the animal. (Cost of vet services, meals, breeding, purchase, general care, etc.) You may also be called to testify against the suspect(s). This is why we want you to document your every action in your search for your pet. Many pets are stolen and sold for breeding, resale values, rewards offered, dog fighting, or sold to medical labs for medical experiments.

MEDICAL LABS / Hospitals: Contact your local hospitals that purchase animals for medical experiments, and demand to view their animals in their clinics. (They will refuse). But, if enough people demand to see if their pet has been purchased by the hospital, the hospitals may change their attitudes.

 Thereís been a recent increase in pets stolen for their SKINS and FUR.

Letís stop them now. Example: ďRapper Jay-Z, founder of the Rocawear clothing line, is taken to task by the Humane Society after it found that the ďfaux furĒ in jackets sold by his company is actually dog furĒ.

Remember, once youíve located your pet.  Contact I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Immediately www.k9sardog.com

 Call all local animal control agencies and advise them to remove your petís name from their listings. _____. Remove all of your posters.____. Review all of your written materials and lessons learned from this event. ____. Take precautionary measures so that it wonít happen again. Tattoo / Microchip and ID your pet. ___. Pass on our web site to others who are searching for their pets.

Animal Hording. Weíve seen a huge increase in animal pet hording cases. This is where a person who often suffers from mental illness collects numerous dogs, cats, other pets. When the police or animal control is called to the scene of a hording incident, quite often the animals have been well taken care of. Most if not all have current id from the original owners on their harnesses or collars. The last pet hording incident that was investigated, this person was found to be in possession of over 125 pets.

Type in SVMA in a Google search. (State Veterinarian Medical Association for your state). Oregon itís OSVMA, Washington itís WSVMA) etc, then send fliers to the local vets in your area.

Before your pet is lost, ID your pet. Just like you do your children. (You better have anyway).

1.                 Talk with your veterinarian. Determine and document the following: Identify the breed(s) of your pet. _________________. Petís weight: _____. Age: ________. Height: __________. Hair: Short  Medium  Long. (Circle One). Tail length: Short Medium Long. (Circle One) Eye Color: _________.

2.                  Microchip Brand: ________#____________________________. Other ID: ___________________________________________________.

List Medications:______________________________________________.
Veterinarianís Name:___________________________________________.

Telephone #ís: ________________________________________________.

Comb out the petís hair and place it inside a clean envelope. Place the animalís name on the outside of the envelope and date it. It will be good for up to two years as a scent article for a search dog, if your pet becomes lost.

Take numerous color photographs from all different angles of your pet.

Microchip and Tattoo your pet. Ask your local animal shelter or veterinarian about these services.

NEVER leave a collar or choke chain on an animal. Many animals are found choked to death by choke chains and regular id collars. Use either a harness with the id attached on back, or a breakaway ID collar.

Never smoke cigarettes around your pet. Not only will it make them very ill from the nicotine poisoning, but it alters their original scent, and can make it very difficult for a search dog to track them. The first word in Websterís dictionary about the drug NICOTINE is ďPOISONĒ. Quit smoking, youíll live longer.

Always check references of resources that you wish to use in the search for your lost pet. We have THOUSANDS of satisfied customers, and references are available upon request. (Some of our references are actually posted on our facebook and web site).

8.    Always seat belt or crate your pet when you travel. See our web site for photos and instructions on how to do this.  Review our web site at: www.k9sardog.com for more SAR and private pet detective references. (Note) we look for missing people also.

Example # 1. Very limited information on this poster to avoid scams.

REWARD for MISSING DOG. (Photo of your missing pet).

Please call : 503-222-2222.

Example # 2. Very detailed information on this poster. This is given to law enforcement, animal control, vets, shelters, etc.

REWARD FOR MISSING DOG. Name: ďLARSĒ. Breed: MUTT. Long hair chi. mix. Age: 4 years  Weight: 5 lbs. Colors: Tan and white. Microchip: AVID 000-000-000. Tattoo: ďI.K.9.S.A.R. RULESĒ. Owners: Mrs. Thompson   Email:find-me-at@aol.com Home: 503-222-2222.

If the pet has been stolen, post a poster that states, ďReward for safe return of stolen petĒ No questions asked. Give them your telephone#.

I.K.9.S.A.R.S. is a professional K-9 SAR Dog team that uses professionally trained K-9 Search dog teams to track missing persons or pets.

Weíve been in business since 1986 and currently are the most documented successful search dog team in the world for tracking missing persons or missing pets.

The most often asked questions.

Q.  Can a search dog track a lost pet after two weeks? 
A. Yes we sure can.
 Weíve successfully tracked a lost cat one year after the date it was lost and found it alive one mile away in a horse barn at the Portland Horse Racing Track.

We also have the cat ownerís name and telephone number if you wish to verify this statement. We also have documented tracking a missing 16 year old in Canada. We tracked him a year after he disappeared and both search dogs found where he had committed suicide.

Q. Itís rained a lot recently, does this affect the scent?
A. No not at all
. Rain actually helps keep the scent moist and helps the dogís

    nasal passages keep moist so they can smell the scent trail.

Q. I have Multiple pets, I donít have anything specific that belongs just to the missing pet? 

A. Weíll introduce the search dog to all of your pets from a distance. One at a time. When the search dog smells each pet and then can smell the one they canít see, they know thatís the one they need to go search for.

Q. What does an average search costs?

A.  Depends on how far you live away from Longview, Wa. We charge $25.00 per hour travel time each way from Longview, Washington. I also charge for the cost of fuel, meals, and motel if we have to spend the Night. The actual search cost is $200.00 for the first hour. Then 50.00 per fifteen minutes of searching after that. Most searches last 1 hour or less. 

Example of a typical search in Portland, Ore. Driving time $25.00 per hour x 2 hours (round trip) = $50.00 Cost of fuel $35.00 Search time $200.00. Search lasted 1 hr. -$200.00 Total owed I.K.9.S.A.R.S. is $285.00. 

PAYMENT: We DO NOT TAKE CHECKS.   We do accept Credit Cards and US Cash.

TRAVEL. Please donít call and say, ďI live on the East coast, do you travel here to search? My response is ,ĒWeíre called International K9 Search and RescueĒ This means we travel the world. So the answer would be ďyes we travel to the east coast to do searchesĒ. Often I get called asking me for the phone #ís of other SAR Dog teams that do pet searches. Donít waste your phone call. I wonít give any other team phone #ís out.

We are the only professional K9 Search and Rescue team in the USA that looks for both missing persons and lost pets. There are pet detectives but we never ever recommend the use of those companies as often their search dogs arenít trained and tested. They donít supply their clients with contracts that protect the client. (We do). They supply after action reports. (We do). 
They donít testify in court on behalf of the client. (We do).

Note: We do not respond to Canada as they wonít allow American search dog teams in Canada to work as Canada has their own search dog teams. 
We also donít travel to Mexico do to the Drug Cartelís kidnapping and killing Americans.

Mr. Harry Oakes is an expert in the field of search and rescue. With 45 years of experience, he has been brought in by the FBI, City Police Departments, Sheriffís Office, National Parks, Embassy officials, other government agencies and private families to help solve missing persons and lost pet cases.

Since 1986, Mr. Oakes documented over 12,275 SAR call requests  around the world. Mr. Oakes has a documented 99% success rate of either finding the victim(s), or determining what really happened to them.

Runaways, suicides, homicides, accidental deaths, kidnappings, natural disasters, man made disasters such as bombings, transportation accidents, persons who are lost, missing, presumed dead. Missing children. These are the types of cases Mr. Oakes handleís every week.

Being an expert in his field, many attorneys as well as law enforcement agencies turn to Mr. Oakes for consulting advice. So do other SAR units.

Mr. Oakes helped developed the N.A.S.A.R. and F.E.M.A. K-9 SAR Standards as well as International SAR Standards.

Media often calls on Mr. Oakes to discuss current events, cases. Mr. Oakes has been featured in People Magazine, This week Magazine, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Nancy Grace, as well as cases discussed on Oprah and other shows.

If you need his assistance contact Mr. Harry Oakes at sardogk91@gmail.com Or through his office at 360-414-8093 or mobile 503-705-0258.

Order his book on "Search and Rescue" Harry discusses all aspects of Search and Rescue. Training the person for SAR, training a dog for SAR, the politics of SAR, case by case reviews, photos of his work around the world. He talks about missing children cases as well as many other cases he's been involved in.

There is a large section of his book dedicated to finding missing pets as well.

NOTE: If this Lost and Found Pet info. Helped you find your pet, please let us know. Also if you want to help us support our web site which cost $400.00 per year, feel free to send us a gift at www.k9sardog.com at our Paypal site.

Thank You

International K9 Search and Rescue Services.


Why should you update your microchip info?

From: RJ    @gmail.com> To: Sardogk91 <Sardogk91@aol.com>
Sent: Thu, Jul 21, 2016 9:15 pm Subject: Thanks for help, my dog is found

HI  I posted on craigslist today about my lost dog.  She got out the cat door again.  I was not home overnight, and my dog apparently go anxious waiting for me to come home and fought her way out the door.  My craigslist post is what found her.  We did some walking and drive arounds randomly which would not have worked at all.  She was found a few miles away actually, brought to the dog park and a lady ended up taking her home and read the craigslist post. 

I really appreciate the information you sent. I just can't imagine actually needing to put it all in play.  We did get a call from the humane society that she was scanned. The HS gave the lady my info and she left with my dog before the admissions side of the HS opened up for the day. 

Unfortunately, the info that the HS got from the chip keeper was not updated and had our fax number and not our cell numbers. I did not know that HS gave the lady this information, or I would have put a phone on the line.  I called the chip keeper and gave them my contact information as soon as she was reported missing, but this info did not go out to the HS because it was not an official update, just in the notes to the call taker if the chip was scanned. 

Several issues led to my dogs run away and subsequent unnecessary lengthy stay. ..all of which will be fixed. thanks again for taking the time to create this info and provide the service you do. 

See the following pages, for some of our hundredís of references.


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