When a dog ends up missing or lost, their owners will do whatever they can to find their beloved fur baby. Pet owners spend a lot of money on flyers, advertisements and gas to drive around and search. Often times the flyers and ads will have a reward amount offered for the safe return of their missing dog. Is this really a good idea?
Pet Groups Disagree
Pet experts and rescue groups disagree as to whether offering a reward for a missing dog is a good idea. Of course you want to do all you can to get your dog back, but that very reward may end up causing the dog harm. Some people will try to find the dog just to be able to collect the reward money.
They may terrorize the dog even more than he is by yelling and chasing. When a stranger yells and chases after a dog, especially a lost dog, the natural instinct is to go into flight mode and run. The dog will run in a blind panic and may run right into a dangerous situation such as a busy highway.
Chasing a lost scared dog will only intensify his fear of strangers and he may even get to the point where he won’t even come to his owner if he is spotted. This is why a lot of flyers caution people not to chase the dog but to contact the owner. Unfortunately, if they are only interested in collecting a reward, they may chase the dog anyway.
If someone finds your dog and sees that you have posted a reward, they may wait to contact you in hopes that the reward will be increased. This is basically the same as holding your dog for ransom and they may not receive the best care while whoever has them waits to see if the reward amount will be raised.
On the other hand, a reward may be just what is needed to encourage someone to return the dog if they have found him and had intentions of keeping him. They may have thought that he was a stray and it was okay to just bring him into their own family. Posting a reward will let that person know that you do indeed want your dog back and are willing to pay for his return.
Posting a reward may also encourage friends and family members to speak to the person that has your dog. They will worry that you do not intend to give up the search and that their friend who is refusing to give up the dog could eventually find their self in trouble.
A friend or family member may suspect that the dog might be the one in all of the flyers, but they may not want to get involved unless they see how serious you are about continuing the search. A reward lets them know you are very serious.
Offering a reward or not is pretty much up to the person who has lost their pet. Just remember that offering or not offering has its pros and cons. We all want our dogs back when they are missing and will do whatever we can to insure their safe return, even borrowing money to offer a reward. Weigh the pros and cons of offering a reward and do what you decide is best to get your missing dog returned safely.