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Johnson County community bands together to find missing Dalmatian

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Posted at 12:17 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 17:19:36-05

FRANKLIN, Ind. -- It's amazing how one dog can bring a community together. Daisy the Dalmatian is doing just that down in Johnson County. 

The Dalmatian described as a just over 1 year old, with a heart-shaped nose and a half-blue eye is captivating the community on social media sites and the app Nextdoor. A Facebook group created this week called, "Daisy Sue we will find you" already has over 1,000 likes.

Daisy went missing on New Year's Eve night after being startled by fireworks near her home in Franklin. Since that day, she has been spotted at several locations around Johnson County including as far north as Fry Road in Greenwood -- but no one has been able to catch her. The reward is now set at $1,000. 

Here at RTV6, we don't typically report on missing pets because it is something that happens so frequently and we could not possibly report on every case. But Daisy is garnering an unusual and incredible amount of attention, so we talked to a professional about what to do if you dog goes missing and  what to do if you find a missing animal. These tips should help create the best possible scenario for the missing animals to return home:

We spoke with the Michelle Vickrey, the President of Indy Lost Pet Alert. The organization works to post information on missing and found animals with the hopes of reuniting the pets with their owners.

Vickrey said that Daisy's owner is doing everything right -- especially in when it comes to communicating with the community. 

We asked her first, as a pet owner -- what steps should you take when you realize your beloved pet has gone missing? Vickrey suggests:

  • Visit your local shelters and Humane Society as soon as possible as some shelters only have a 4 day hold on strays
  • Report your missing pet with a picture to IndyLostPetAlert.com and also your local animal control
  • Report the missing pet to a microchip company or update the microchip information immediately
  • Post flyers in a wide range of places such as local shelters, vet offices, grocery stores, local businesses, post offices, coffee shops, etc.
  • Take to the streets! Walk the area your pet may have taken and door knock to alert others in the area face-to-face
  • Share flyers on apps like NextDoor, Facebook, and neighborhood pages
  • Make large yard signs and place in a 2-mile radius of where the pet went missing
  • For cats, place their litter box and familiar clothing outside your home
  • Look under cars, bushes, in garages and sheds nearby 

How should an owner prepare for this situation BEFORE it happens?

  • Make sure you have current information on tags and microchips
  • Keep pets away from doors as people are coming and going especially at gatherings and parties
  • Keep pets tethered or on a leash when fireworks will happen, and keep an eye on them during those tense situations
  • Harnesses are more difficult for a pet to wiggle out of than a collar
  • Kep tags with your current phone number on your pet at all times when they go outside

Why do pets run away in most cases?

  • Spooked by loud noises like fireworks or storms 
  • Chasing "prey" like other animals
  • Checking out new smells
  • New to the area and are investigating

On the other end, what do you do if you see a stray pet running around?

  • Do NOT chase. Sit down and let the animal come to you.
  • Use smelly food or treats to entice them to come closer to you.
  • Contact a resource like animal control - they have more tools to capture stray animals and hopefully find the owner.
  • Post sighting to IndyLostPetAlert.com or similar sources
  • Try to contain the pet if possible so it can't run farther away. 
  • Look for missing pets on local websites, flyers and shelters 
  • Check to see if the pet is microchipped immediately, if possible.
  • Cover any collar or harness in any photos so you have a clue to identify their correct owner
  • Post flyers and signs in your nearby community - ask around with your neighbors 
  • Post the found pet's picture on social media and make calls to area vets
  • Keep in mind each county has different lengths for stray holds
  • If you live in Indianapolis, you can also go on the RequestIndy site and use that as a resource 

But while we're at it, if you have any information on Daisy's whereabouts, use the contact info in this flyer: