From detecting the faint barking of pups stuck in quarries to finding spooked dogs who’ve bolted through fireworks, this team of dog rescuers rarely has a dull day. Missing Dogs Team Wales has helped hundreds of pets during the pandemic.https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-55544536
Jill, who works in a team of about nine volunteers, said it can be a 24/7 job.
“It’s that intense. There were more dogs last year than in seven, and already in January there are many stolen again.”
The team scans social media for posts about lost dogs, and contacts owners for details.
“The first thing we do is take the details and give advice about scenting, so putting unwashed laundry on the line for the dog to pick up that scent. Bedding, and especially pillow cases, is very effective.”
Nine times out of 10, Jill says, this approach works – even in coastal areas or up on mountains, the team finds dogs are able to find their way home from this simple action.
But if it doesn’t work, it’s time to check with the owner whether the dog has a microchip and ensure their contact information is up to date.
Then, it’s time for posters and social media – ideally all still within 24 hours of the dog going missing.
“We keep in touch with the owners throughout, and if it’s close to home for one of us we will join in the search, although that’s harder with Covid restrictions,”
They focus on areas where there have been sightings, and can set up cameras to see if the dog is still in that area.
“I go out with Swedish meatballs, no dog can resist that,” she added.