We help families bring their missing dog home and ensure the safety of stray dogs.

A very Happy Holidays to you and your families! We’re excited to take this moment to launch and share our Team Newsletter with you. News, highlights, volunteer opportunities, and other ways you can support our mission will all be included below. Our work is not possible without the countless hours of our team members and the financial support of the Retrievers community to push forward our mission of reuniting lost dogs with their families. Thank you to all of you in advance for taking moment to read through this newsletter, learn more about our processes, and make your year-end gift to the Retrievers. Here we go!

Molly: Saved by Apples

When the Request for Assistance (RA) comes in, our First Responder (FR) Team is fast to act. Contacting families, assessing the circumstance, and helping navigate the early thoughts of “what do I do next?” The initial moments of a lost loved one are filled with stress, anxiety, and worry.

Once the request is submitted, and our First Responders make family contact, a message goes out to the Retrievers Team. Local Case Managers (CM) (sometimes near and sometimes far) jump in and further connect with families for hands on help. Flyers are posted by our design team across the social media platforms and pages, sign inserts are printed, and “Lost Dog” signs are constructed and placed in high traffic locations to immediately activate area awareness.

The response is swift.

In the case of Molly, a one year old Pit Bull Terrier, a friendly, but very scared dog broke through the screen door after being let out of her crate. Our FR made contact with the family, advised the family to leave scent items and “stinky food” outside in an effort to welcome her back. But the area was unknown to her. Molly was visiting family while her parents were out of town. Nonetheless, scent items, food, and awareness signs were high priority.

Case Managers Courtney and Diane launched into action. Connecting more with the parents and canvassing the area with intersection/awareness signs.

Did you know: the single most effective means of locating and bringing a lost dog/pet home are awareness signs? If you or anyone you know loses their pet, one of the best things to do is post awareness signs (with a picture and contact phone number) in the area your pet has gone missing. Chasing, driving the area, whistling, and calling out the dog’s name are the least effective and can be the most tragic.

Case Managers and First Responders carry the emotional weight and urgency of lost dogs. Their tactics are proven methods of success, but every lost dog is different. Every neighborhood is different. The urgency remains the same. The goal is the same: get the dog home safely as soon as possible.

Courtney and Diane canvassed the area. Received sighting calls and tips. Strategized with the family, who had seen Molly, but were unable to approach her before she ran off again. Deployed feed stations and trail cameras. And in this case, hiked wooded, weedy, and hilly terrain where Molly was thought to be hiding.

Once a lost dog appears at a feed station and on camera, often the next step is to deploy a humane live trap in which to capture the dog (in cases of dogs that are unable to be hand caught).

But this wouldn’t be necessary for Molly.

On July 1st, Courtney and a fellow team member traveled down the bluff, toward the river, of Shepard St. in St. Paul to meet with Molly’s parents. They strategized the location of the feed station, camera, and possible trapping spot. Once the plan was in place, the crew separated. As the minutes moved by a call was received that Molly was in a nearby backyard. Just 0.5 miles to be exact! The team hauled to the address, Courtney tore out of her truck and quickly creeped into the backyard. There she was – Molly!

Tired and exhausted, Molly wandered into a nearby backyard of an unknowing homeowner. As she described later, “I saw her throughout the day eating apples that had fallen from my tree. I thought she was a local dog passing by.”

A visiting family member noticed the dog in the backyard. Earlier that day he had seen an awareness sign and knew in that moment, when he saw the dog out the back window, that he had to make a call. And he did.

Courtney secured a docile and sweet Molly with a slip-lead (pictured above). The chase, the run, the adventure was over. Molly’s parents soon joined the small gathering and were reunited with their lost love.

Seven days, countless worry, tedious strategy, and a few apples later, Molly was home.

Case closed: July 1, 2023.

Support Cases Like Molly Here

Fast Facts

  • More than 950 cases so far this year

  • The Retriever’s hands-on service area is roughly one hour’s drive from the nearest Case Manager

  • The Retrievers cover most of Minnesota and edges of neighboring states

  • Phone consultation is available for lost dogs nationwide

  • Dogs are largely retrieved within 3-7 days of missing report (some less than an hour and some as long as 6+ months)

With a Year End Gift, You Support

The four areas of highest funding priority are:

  1. Equipment & Data – $30,825

  2. Storage – $3,418

  3. Dues & Subscriptions – $1,097

  4. Awareness Materials – $1,078

Your Gift Matters

Success stories like Molly’s are the reason we continue to push forward in doing everything we can to reunite lost dogs with their families. The work of our team and the resources available to us because of your financial generosity fuel our efforts. So during this holiday season and as we wrap up this 2023 year of giving, please consider making a gift to the Retrievers. As you can see, we are entirely funded by you, the Retrievers community, to continue this great work.

Every gift makes a difference. Every gift impacts a dog’s life. Every gift greatly increases the likelihood of making a family whole again.

Thank you! And Happy Holidays!

Make Your Gift Here

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