MY SAKSOOKA WAS TAKEN & THE PEOPLE SAVED US BOTH
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR DOGS GOES MISSING
On Oct 19th at 4 PM I discovered that my precious dog Saksooka was missing and only one thing got her back… THE PEOPLE.
This is a guide that sums up all the advice, instructions, experiences and anything that can help you find your dog.. With over 200 shares and gazillion comments, here is all the input that I received and the things I tried.
Please note that this is based on a personal experience so may or may not work for everyone so my advice is pick what makes you feel comfortable.
What to do if your dog disappears? (The first 48 hours are crucial)
1. House check is a MUST! — Go over the exits and entrances; try to know early on if it is most probably a kidnap or if your pet wandered off.
2. Create a visual with a number — quickly dig up a picture, put your number on it, share it on both face book and Instagram. Do not forget to make your post public. Call up your best friend and ask her/him to start tagging people that live in the area and keeping an eye on every update. You may feel like you have to go looking straight away but let others help you from the very start.
3. Split into groups and quickly scan the area — check the nearby bushes, the neighboring houses, the abandoned gardens, the accessible garages around you and keep calling out her/his name. Do not go on foot only or by car only, do a mix of both.
4. Check the dodgy areas nearest to you — Ask your janitor about the dodgiest areas nearest your house and have someone check it out in parallel. The takers may try to sell your pet as soon as they get her/him. Check around little markets (not super markets), gas stations, schools and leave the word out that there is a reward.
5. Go to your nearest Pet Stores & Vets — If pet was still missing, visit all the pet stores in your area, show them the picture, leave your number and take theirs. (promise a reward but do not specify)
6. Decide on the reward — this is tricky and depends on each and every person. Here are your options:
- Very High: helpful in making everyone proactively seeking your dog but makes you a victim to cons, provoked individuals and makes you a mark to thieves in general. Stronger motive for the thief to return your dog if stolen.
- Normal: less people will proactively seek finding your dog but puts you in a safer position.
7. Create a visual with your dog’s pic + your number + Reward + Pet’s name.
Make it in Arabic and English.
If you have quick access to a number that you can give up later but with you at all times then it is more recommended.
a. Print Big Posters — half with the exact reward money and half saying it’s a big reward.
b. Use the one with reward on Face book and Instagram. This is crucial at the very first few hours.
8. Start checking the following areas and give them the posters:
a. Gesr El suez stores
b. El Rehab
c. Kasr el Einy store
d. Pet store in Shehab
e. Pet stores in seven stars mall area
there definitely will be a lot more but focus on the ones closest to where your dog was taken.
MOST IMPORTANT ACTION!
9. POST, POST AND POST — Ask your friends, their friends, pet groups, community groups, lost pets in Egypt, dogs for sale, ESMA, THE ZOO, THE CART and any group or page that makes sense. Use the words Dog, animal sales, rescue, pets and lost.
Keep asking people to share every day and give updates.If you can’t post directly to a page message the page itself to post.
10. Souq El Gomaa and Souq Embaba — If you are a female, do not go there yourself but have someone very trusted visit both (Souq El Gomaa is more likely for smaller dogs). Go there at 6 AM and get to know the big guys of the souq and prepare to stay till the end. The smaller dogs start appearing at 8 AM.
IMP: Do not say that your pet is stolen, pretend you are looking for a mate for your pet for breeding. These markets are on Friday and Sunday only and prepare yourself to go more than once, as the pets may be kept hidden for a while.
11. Check the neighborhood newspaper guy and ask him to give out the posters with the reward to the Bawabeen of the area.
12. Start hanging posters around where your dog was first taken — keep an eye out for any tips.
13. File a police report.
14. If you have access to Sales Reps that go around the city, give them the posters with the reward to check.
15. Follow every single lead — do not think an area is too far or impossible, you never know the information it can get you.
16. Revisit places and ask again- sometimes more information comes up every time.
17. If you have access to the dodgy areas nearby — leave them a poster with the reward.
18. Give copies of the reward to the garbage collectors, surrounding schools, student centers, supermarkets, malls, famous cafe's or restaurants and pharmacies.
19. Divide pet stores and vets by area — make sure they are covered by all your helpers (give them printed reward copies too).
20. Check if there are cameras in any nearby areas- banks, schools , office buildings etc..
21. Keep FB updated - People can help more when they know the updates to avoid duplication of advice.
22. Keep the reward always ready- you never know when they can call and if you get the call DO NOT WAIT. This may scare the people away.
23. Read every single comment and Message on Face book — Check the hidden messages on Face book they will have the messages from those NOT on your friends list (Message Requests).
24. Keep checking groups that sell dogs on face book and Dubizzle or Olx.com.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU RECEIVE A CALL, A TIP OR YOU FOUND YOUR DOG:
1. Always ask for a picture — if someone says they found your dog ask them to send a picture first.
2. Never meet the person that found your dog in a private place or near your home — go further and make it in a public place & more importantly DO NOT GO ALONE.
3. Always check on your caller via Tru Caller and save their number as soon as they call. Check their whats app photo and if possible, their face book profile. It may be a big possibility that they are the thieves.
4. Inform others of where you are going — you are dealing with theft, you never know what might come your way.
5. If you find a big group waiting for you, ask your caller to approach alone and without his company — It is preferable that you stay in your car.
6. If you have any suspicion, do not show it — Pretend that you believe they found your pet by coincidence.
7. If you find your pet, do not try to accuse the taker — Offer to buy your pet back if they do not know who you are.
The most important things
- Be Patient — Many takers keep the dog under the radar for a few days.
- Keep Praying — whatever your belief is, it is important to resort to it at this time for strength.
- Do not give up — there will be times when you feel your dog will not come back but it really is the power of positive thinking.
- Believe in the power of the people — those around you will help you with all of the above.
I hope no one ever goes through this but if you do, be strong and remember that others found their beloved dogs so wish for your happy ending.