As a lost dog team, we share the heartache of owners whose dogs are never found. We know that dogs don’t simply vanish into thin air. Chances are high that many of our cold case dogs were picked up by well-meaning people—people who probably thought the dog had been abandoned, so they either kept the dog or gave it away, making little to no effort to find the dog’s original family.

Because of our passion for reuniting lost dogs with their owners, we have stringent requirements when we are asked to trap a stray dog. Please be sure you’re willing to fulfill these obligations before requesting our assistance.


You must make a good-faith effort for at least two weeks to find the dog’s owner. We don’t want to capture and remove a dog that is simply free-roaming in his own neighborhood. By “good-faith effort,” we mean:

1. Post a sighting or “Is This Your Dog?” report on the Lost Dog – MN page on Facebook.

2. Post a photo on your community’s Craigslist page and ask if anyone knows who the dog belongs to.

3. Put up “Is This Your Dog?” flyers and signs in the community where the dog is being seen.

4. Call your local authorities (shelter, animal control, police, sheriff, etc.) to report the stray and see if anyone has reported a lost dog.

5. Search various online lost-and-found pet sites to see if anyone has posted a lost dog matching the description of the dog you are seeing.

While you are searching for the owner, set out a feeding station and verify that the dog has returned to it at least three times.


Because we cannot in good conscience be party to another stray dog potentially going into a private home with no meaningful effort made to find its owner, we require that the dog be transferred immediately to a rescue or no-kill shelter.

You must notify local authorities of the found dog and continue to search for its owner during its state-mandated 5-day stray hold. If the owner is not found, the dog will remain in the custody of the rescue or no-kill shelter, where it will receive proper veterinary care and be spayed or neutered. If you then wish to keep the dog, you can simply apply to adopt it.

You are responsible for lining up the rescue or no-kill shelter in advance and securing its commitment to accept the dog when captured. The Retrievers cannot take custody of captured strays.

Remember that a successful capture can happen at any time of the day or night. Please make plans with someone from the rescue or shelter to be there when the dog is secured. You, the shelter volunteer and your case manager should have a clear, coordinated plan before the trap is armed.