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Hello, We're dogsitting a rat terrier for a friend, and he ranaway. We lost him in a mountainous area (Santa Cruz Mountains in Calif.) that features vineyards, forest, and occasional subdivisions. I don't know too much about this breed's behavior and have little experience with dogs myself. The weather is sunny, relatively warm, but chilly at night. He was last seen in a subdivision at the bottom of a valley where there is a creek. Does anyone have any tips on where a Rat Terrier might go if he were lost? Will he stay on the move, or is he more likely to stay in one place. One person in the subdivision gave him water and food, but he ran off again. We have already placed craiglist ads, put up posters, and called animal control.
 

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Keep putting up posters, craigslist ads and call all shelters within 50 miles. Go door to door in the neighborhood he was last seen.

I really hope you alerted your friend...
 

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Look up and call every shelter in the area. There's no guarantee that he'd be taken to the nearest AC. The more places you call and file lost dog reports the better. You also want to fax or email them a copy of the posters you're putting up with a nice, clear picture of the whole dog.
Are you dogsitting him at his home, or at yours? Where he goes, could depend on whether he's familiar with the area. A dog who was lost near home is more likely to come back of its own accord. A dog who wasn't...that's a little tougher.

If your local shelters have facebook pages, copies of the poster on their "walls" can help too. Keep postering, searching and checking with the shelters daily. If you can, visit as many shelters as you can to actually look at the strays. Sometimes your description of the dog won't match up with the intake worker's description of the dog.

Does the dog have a microchip? An ID tag? A municipal license? A tattoo? It could help to get ahold of the numbers associated with those to help a shelter identify the dog.
If the dog has a microchip and you're dogsitting at your home, not theirs, then the home phone could be ringing...you may need to find a way to work around that.
 

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Also, go to as many shelters as possible as often as possible to LOOK for yourself--you can't depend on shelter workers to properly identify the dog.

Most dogs stay pretty close to home (if that's where he left from. . .if you lost him somewhere else the poor guy is probably terribly confused). And since a neighbor saw him it seems like he's still around. Put food and water outside for him, maybe his bed--or anything that smells familiar. If they have a fenced yard, leave the gate open.
 

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Thanks for the tips. He was lost about 10 miles away from home. A friend of ours took him to a vineyard where he works. It was fenced in, but apparently the fence had holes. The dog spends most of his time indoors and is usually only outside when he's being walked on a leash so I'm sure he's confused and panicking.
 

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I would also contact the local Rat Terrier rescue and let them know. You could always try a live animal trap as well, if you have people who are willing to check it several times a day.
 

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Most newspapers will allow you to place a free ad in the Lost and found section. See if you can put up flyers at the local vets' offices, grocery stores, post office, Home Depot, etc. Places that attract lots of business and the neighborhood that he lives in, as well as near the vineyard. The bigger the sign, the easier it will be for people to notice, especially if you are placing them on telephone poles or something along those lines.

It wouldn't hurt to place a call with the police department too. This way they have it on record, if needed, or if someone reports a found dog to the police in addition to, or instead of calling the shelter
 

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Thanks for the tips. He was lost about 10 miles away from home. A friend of ours took him to a vineyard where he works. It was fenced in, but apparently the fence had holes. The dog spends most of his time indoors and is usually only outside when he's being walked on a leash so I'm sure he's confused and panicking.
It's a little beyond the point now but, I'm curious, if this dog spends most of his time indoors and is only outside when leashed did your friends give permission for A) a third party to take the dog and B) the dog to be unleashed out in the open?

Also, did you notify the owners?
 
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