Tips & Resources

Protecting Pets From Predators

When exercising your dog, always use a leash, ideally in areas with high pedestrian traffic. Never allow cats or dogs to run free anytime, as they are easy prey for coyotes, hawks, owls, or eagles.

This is increasingly likely when we are experiencing very dry weather. Arid conditions tend to draw predators into our communities in search of food or water. When our once-safe back yard is no longer off-limits to predators, we need to take action to make our pets safe.

Keep small pets indoors or within enclosed kennels if outdoors.

Check your fencing. Can you add any height? If it fits your budget, consider Coyote Rollers,

Purchase some bird netting from Home Depot, and install it over the dog area. If the area is large, try to stop the bird from having a path to land and take off. Do not underestimate the power of a hawk. They can easily pick up your 15-pound dog. They may not get far, but they will get far enough to seriously injure them with their talons before they drop them.

@petitepennybg #friendsofnbgr
@petitepennybg #friendsofnbgr
National Brussels Griffon Rescue, Inc.

Discouraging predators

While coyote and bobcat sightings may be infrequent, the presence of these animals is not. They prefer to hunt from dusk overnight to dawn, and -- unless we do things that make them comfortable being around us -- they prefer to avoid humans.

For our welfare and the feral animals' welfare, it is best that they not cohabit our space. These techniques have proved very effective in eliminating coyote and bobcat sightings in residential neighborhoods:

  • Restricting access to food sources, bird feeders (whose spillage attracts rodents), and pet food left outdoors are magnets for coyotes and bobcats.
  • Restricting access to den sites by installing physical barriers; coyotes and bobcats love to den under decks and sheds.
  • Hazing, as seen in this video,

Lost Pets Action Plan

When your dog is missing, time is of the essence

Start searching immediately

  • Search places that might attract your dog: the routes you take for your walks, nearby friends, homes with other pets, parks, buildings with dumpsters, food establishments, etc.
  • Ask neighbors, family, and friends to help search on foot and in the car. Everyone should carry a collar, leash, and treats. (Human food is more tempting than dry biscuits, and the smellier, the better. Try cheeseburgers, KFC, liverwurst, etc.)
  • If you have another pet that your lost dog is close to or your dog likes the company of other dogs, it’s a good idea to take them along.
  • If your dog is attracted to squeaky toys or clickers, take them with you.
  • Search during the day and at night. Often small dogs move under cover of darkness. There is also less noise and commotion at night, so your dog may hear your voice more readily.
  • Use flashlights or night-vision binoculars to check under raised buildings and vehicles and in other dark areas.
  • Look under and behind everything. Small dogs can hide anywhere; even if you think space is too small, look anyway.
  • Searchers should call your dog's name in an upbeat manner, squeeze squeaky toys, and maybe try a loud whistle to get your dog's attention.
  • Make sure everyone understands not to chase the dog but to remain calm. It is probably best to recline or sit on the ground with treats to try to entice the dog to come.

While you are searching

  • Hang Lost Dog posters and distribute fliers.
  • Ask everyone you see and give him or her a flier or a number where you can be reached. Be cautious approaching children because “have you seen my lost dog” is often used by predators. Stress to everyone: Please do not chase!
  • Place your dog’s bed on your front porch along with water in case she/he comes back while you are away or at night. (Setting food out might be risky; it could attract predators or spark a fight if your dog returns to find another dog eating his/her food.)
  • Change the greeting on your voicemail to request information about your lost pet's sightings and the best number for you to contact the caller.

Walk the shelters

  • It’s very important that you not only speak with every person possible at the shelter but physically look every day for your dog.
  • Do not rely on the people who answer the phone. They may not be aware of recent intakes, and they may not know what a Brussels Griffon looks like.
  • Also, owners have been known to bypass their dogs in shelters because they look so different -- dirty, matted, frightened, and defeated. So please look closely.

Contact these operations

  • Local animal control officers, shelters, veterinarians, and 24-hour animal clinics -- Leave a message and a request for a call back if no one is there to take your call. You can obtain information regarding animal control/humane officers and shelters by calling the police department's non-emergency number.
  • Pet recovery service -- If your dog is microchipped, call your service so it can put out a blast email to the area. Make sure the service has your current contact information.

Keep a list

  • Keep track of everyone you notify about your lost dog. Start a dated contact list of police stations, animal control officers, shelters, vets, humane societies, rescue groups, and others of significance. Your list should include names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and other pertinent details.

For the most effective posters

  • Use stiff, bright poster boards and big-tip markers so that people driving by can see and read your message.
  • Put them at major intersections near where you lost your pet and in areas of sightings. Contact local authorities to ensure that you don’t violate any ordinances that regulate posting fliers or signs on utility poles.
  • Also, place a poster in your front yard if someone has found your dog and is looking for you.
  • Keep the message brief and to the point, e.g., REWARD - LOST DOG, and attach one of your fliers in a protective cover.

Making fliers

Distribute fliers to / at

  • Neighbors (not in mailboxes)
  • Animal control offices, shelters, veterinarians, humane societies, and rescue groups
  • Kennels, breeders, groomers, feed & grain stores, pet-sitting/walking services, and pet supply stores
  • Police and fire departments
  • Local schools
  • Local, state, and federal agencies that maintain roads and state highways
  • Local, state, and national parks
  • Utility companies - gas, electric, water, phone, and cable
  • Bus stations, salvage yards, gas stations, churches, airports, libraries, car dealers, and laundromats
  • U.S. Postal Service carriers and drivers for couriers such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL
  • Newspaper carrier, yard crews, restaurants that deliver
  • Garbage collectors, recycling stations, and landfills or dumps
  • Every place with a kitchen facility that cooks or serves food
  • Homeless shelters and local daycare centers

Use your vehicles to get the word out

Use public media

  • Post on Craig’s List in both the Lost & Found section and the Pets section. Renew these posts daily, so they don’t get buried. Since most people do not know the Brussels Griffon breed, say “terrier-like” or “looks like a Star Wars Wookiee” if your Griff is a rough coat. For a smooth coat, say “Pug-looking”.
  • Post on Facebook and Instagram
  • If your neighborhood association has email alerts, send the information to be blasted.
  • Place an ad in your local newspaper

Special Warning for Vacationers

A Griff without his or her family is like a fish out of water. They may seem fine, then slip out of a house or yard searching for their owner or their home and become lost or get injured. Please impress the need for super-vigilance upon your pet sitter or caregiver when you go on vacation.

After you get your pet back home

  • Remove all posters and collect all fliers from points of distribution.
  • And, of course, thank everyone on your list of contacts who helped to get the word out and aided in your search.

Most of the information above was gathered from the links below. You can review them for more information.

Breed and Rescue Guide Cover

Download the NBGR Breed & Rescue Guide