Beware: Common Lost Pet Scams and How to Avoid Them

Losing a pet is every pet owner’s nightmare. The sense of panic and desperation that comes with searching for your beloved friend can make you more susceptible to scams. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous individuals out there who prey on vulnerable pet owners during these distressing times. In this blog post, we’ll shed light on some common lost pet scams and provide tips on how to avoid falling victim to them.

  1. The Fake Reward Scam: One of the most common scams involves someone claiming to have found your pet and demanding a reward for its return. They may provide vague descriptions of your pet or refuse to send photos until you agree to pay up front. In some cases, they might even ask for an exorbitant sum of money, preying on your emotions to extort you.

    How to Avoid It: Always ask for clear, recent photos of your pet to confirm that the person claiming to have found them is genuine. Never agree to pay a reward unless you are comfortable doing so, and only after confirming that they indeed have your pet in their possession. If they refuse to provide proof or seem overly eager for payment, proceed with caution.

  2. The Google Code Scam: A common lost pet scam often begins with a heartfelt plea or advertisement claiming to have found your pet. Typically, the scammer will request communication through email or messaging apps, citing convenience. In their correspondence, they might ask for details about your pet to verify ownership. They’ll claim that for security purposes or to confirm ownership, you need to provide them with an authentication code sent to your phone. Unbeknownst to many, this code grants them access to your Google account, potentially compromising sensitive information stored within.

    How to Avoid It: Never give out authentication and security codes to another person, including anyone claiming to be a Google employee. There is no reason any well-meaning person would need verification codes sent to your phone or email.

  3. The Imposter Pet Recovery Service: Scammers sometimes pose as legitimate pet recovery or “pet detective” services, promising to reunite you with your lost pet for a fee. They will often have a newly established social media page such as Instagram for their fake business. They may use convincing language and claim to have a high success rate, but in reality, they have no intention of helping you find your pet.

    How to Avoid It: Research any pet recovery service thoroughly before engaging with them. Look for reviews from other pet owners and check if they have a legitimate online presence. Be wary of services that pressure you to pay large sums of money upfront or refuse to provide details about their methods.

  4. The Phony Pet Microchip Scam: Some scammers target pet owners by claiming that they’ve found their lost pet’s microchip and offer to reunite them for a fee. They may provide fake information about the pet’s whereabouts or demand payment for updating the microchip registry.

    How to Avoid It: Ensure that your pet’s microchip information is up to date with accurate contact details. If someone claims to have found your pet through its microchip, ask them to provide specific information about your pet that only the true finder would know. Additionally, contact the microchip registry directly to confirm any updates or changes to your pet’s information.

In conclusion, while losing a pet can be a heartbreaking experience, it’s essential to remain vigilant and cautious when dealing with potential scams. By being aware of common tactics used by scammers and taking proactive steps to verify the legitimacy of any claims or offers, you can protect yourself and increase the chances of being reunited with your beloved companion. Remember, genuine helpers and pet lovers are out there, but it’s crucial to discern between them and those looking to take advantage of a difficult situation.

Safeguarding Your Furry Friends on the 4th of July

The 4th of July is an exciting time to celebrate the spirit of independence with fireworks, barbecues, and quality time spent with family and friends. However, amidst the festivities, it’s important not to overlook the potential risks that this holiday poses for our beloved animal companions. Loud fireworks, crowded gatherings, and heightened activity can lead to stress and anxiety in pets, potentially causing them to flee in search of safety. To ensure the well-being and security of your furry friends, here are some essential tips to keep them safe and prevent them from getting lost on Independence Day.

Create a Safe Environment Indoors

It’s best to keep your pets indoors during fireworks displays and parties. Even if your pet is typically calm and well-behaved, the loud noises and commotion can startle them, causing them to bolt or exhibit unpredictable behavior. Designate a quiet and secure space within your home where your pets can feel safe and comfortable during the celebrations. Close all doors and windows to minimize noise and prevent escape. Create a peaceful sanctuary with their favorite toys, bedding, and familiar scents to help ease their anxiety. Consider using white noise or playing calming music to help drown out the sound of fireworks.

Provide Identification

Ensure your pets are wearing collars with updated identification tags that include your current contact information. Consider adding a temporary tag with your cell phone number for added precaution. Microchipping is also highly recommended as a permanent form of identification, which greatly increases the chances of reuniting with your pet in case they do get lost.

Maintain Vigilance

Even with all precautions taken, accidents can still happen. Keep a close eye on your pets throughout the day and evening, and never leave them unattended. If you’re hosting a gathering, inform your guests about your pets and remind them to be mindful of open doors or gates, minimizing the risk of accidental escapes.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Before the festivities begin, engage your pets in ample physical exercise and mental stimulation. A tired and content pet is less likely to feel anxious and more likely to rest peacefully during the loud celebrations. Consider taking them for a long walk or engaging in a vigorous play session to help expend their energy.

Consult a Veterinarian

If your pet experiences extreme anxiety during fireworks, consult your veterinarian about potential calming aids or medications that can help alleviate their stress. There are various natural remedies and anxiety wraps available that can provide additional comfort to your furry friends.

Consider a Professional Pet Sitter

If you anticipate being away from home or unable to give your pets the attention they need during the holiday, consider hiring a professional pet sitter. They can provide one-on-one care and ensure your pets remain safe and secure, reducing the risk of them becoming lost due to fear or confusion.

The 4th of July is a time for celebration, but it’s crucial not to overlook the safety and well-being of our four-legged family members. By following these preventative measures, you can minimize the risk of your pets getting lost or experiencing undue stress during the holiday festivities. Remember, a little extra care and attention can go a long way in keeping your beloved companions safe and sound throughout the Independence Day celebrations.

Wally – the Find a Paw Office Dog!

Wally the Bichon Frise

What better way to honor our office dog Wally than to write an article on his breed – the Bichon Frise. Wally lights our work space with his presence and is a daily reminder of our mission to reunite every lost pet with their owner! Thanks for all you do Wally. This one’s for you!

Free Close-Up Shot of a Bichon Frise Stock Photo

The Bichon Frise is a small breed of dog that is known for its friendly and playful nature. They are often referred to as “powder puffs” due to their fluffy, cotton ball-like appearance. Bichon Frises are affectionate, intelligent, and loyal, making them excellent family pets.



The Bichon Frise is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region, specifically in Spain. They are descendants of the Barbet, a French water dog, and were brought to Spain by sailors. In the 14th century, they were brought to Italy and became popular among the nobility. Eventually, they made their way to France, where they were favored by the French royalty and aristocracy.

The Bichon Frise was bred for companionship and was often used as lap dogs by wealthy families. During the Renaissance, they were used as circus dogs due to their ability to perform tricks and entertain crowds. They were also popular with organ grinders and street performers, as their playful nature and small size made them ideal for these roles.


Bichon Frises are small dogs, standing around 9-11 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 12-18 pounds. They have a white, curly coat that is hypoallergenic and does not shed, making them an ideal pet for people with allergies. Their round, dark eyes are one of their most endearing features and are often described as “sparkling.”

Free Man and Woman Reading Books with their Bichon Frise Dog Stock Photo


Bichon Frises are known for their cheerful, friendly, and playful nature. They love to be around people and are great with children. They are intelligent and easy to train, making them an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. However, they can be stubborn at times, so consistent training and positive reinforcement are essential.

Bichon Frises are social dogs and need plenty of interaction with their human family. They do not do well when left alone for long periods and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long. They are also good with other pets, including cats and other dogs.


Bichon Frises are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health problems include allergies, dental problems, and skin conditions. They are also prone to hip dysplasia and luxating patella, a condition where the kneecap moves out of place.

Proper nutrition, exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups can help prevent many of these health issues.


Free Close Up Photo of a Dog Stock PhotoConclusion

The Bichon Frise is a lovable, playful, and adorable companion that makes an excellent family pet. They are easy to train, great with children and other pets, and have a hypoallergenic coat that does not shed. However, they do require plenty of interaction with their human family and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

If you are looking for a small dog that is full of personality and makes a great companion, the Bichon Frise may be the perfect pet for you.

What’s Behind That Doggy Lick?


We’ve all seen them do it—dogs licking themselves. It can be an amusing sight, particularly when they find that sweet spot on their hindquarters. But why do dogs lick themselves in the first place? Let’s take a look at the various reasons behind this behavior.

Dogs Lick to Clean Themselves

One of the most obvious functions of a dog licking itself is for grooming purposes. Dogs have evolved to use their tongues to groom like cats do with their paws, so licking helps them keep clean by removing dirt, debris, sweat, and other substances that could irritate their skin or coat. Plus, if you think about it, licking is much more convenient than having to take regular baths! Additionally, saliva contains enzymes that help break down oils in fur when a dog is licking itself.

Free A Dog Licking It's Nose Stock Photo

Dogs Lick for Comfort

When dogs are feeling anxious or stressed out they may lick as a way of self-soothing. It can be similar to how humans might fidget with objects or bite their nails when they’re feeling nervous or overwhelmed. In addition, puppies will often lick their mothers before nursing as part of the bonding process—and later on in life they may continue this behavior as a way of showing affection towards their human family members. To make sure your pup isn’t licking too much because they feel anxious though, it’s important to watch for signs that something else might be going on. Has there been any change to their daily routine? Any new pets in the house? Licking is normally harmless, but you don’t want the dreaded hotspot.

Free stock photo of dog, french bulldog, house pets Stock Photo

Dogs Lick for Taste

Dogs have taste buds too—just not as many as we humans do! They may also lick something because it smells interesting; especially if there is food involved! If a dog finds something tasty (or even just interesting) on the ground, he might decide to give himself a quick sample by giving it a good lick first! This type of licking is usually harmless but keep an eye out for any potential hazards such as broken glass or sharp objects that could pose harm if ingested. This explains why owners often find their furry friends licking the carpet for seemingly no reason. Better safe than sorry!

Free Cute Dog with Collar Stock Photo

As you can see, there are numerous reasons why your pup might start giving themselves some love in the form of licks now and then. The next time you catch your furry friend cleaning up after himself with his tongue, remember—it’s all part of being a dog! As long as they’re not excessively licking themselves due to underlying anxiety issues, there’s no need to stop them from enjoying this natural behavior. After all—who doesn’t love a good self-grooming session now and then?

Pros and Cons of Dog Leashes

I live on acreage in the country and see dogs roaming free off-leash all of the time.

They chase my car as I drive by. Some just sit lethargically under a tree while others lie in the road and act like I’m in their way.

The owners of these dogs don’t seem to worry that they might get hit by a car, attacked by a coyote, or kidnapped by someone who wants to do them harm. They obviously trust that their dog is safe and can handle whatever bad things may come their way. They simply don’t worry.

I kind of envy these folks because I am the exact opposite type of dog owner.

It’s not that I don’t believe dogs should be allowed to run free, because I do. They deserve it. Even though we have the land, I still have him on a leash 95% of the time because I’m an overly protective dog owner.

The times I have let my dog off leash to run to his heart’s delight have not resulted in anything too bad happening minus the time he ate a dead rabbit and threw it up on the kitchen floor. Or the time my dog chased a deer into the woods and didn’t emerge from the forest for what seemed like hours. Or the time my dog got a tapeworm from eating who-knows-what.

Nevermind the coyotes that howl at night and sometimes during the day. They live close by and would love to have my dog for an evening snack. No thanks, I’ll keep him on a leash during our walks. I did, however, let him off-leash one time to see how he would do and he managed to get out of our front gate and run off down the road.

No amount of hollering his name and pleading for him to come back did any good. I went to get the car to track him down and he was sitting by the gate waiting for me. The little stinker nearly gave me a heart attack. Thank goodness my small dog wasn’t hit by a car or eaten by a coyote.

To be clear, I am not judging the people who let their dogs roam.

That is their business. I believe each dog owner has their own lifestyle and beliefs on how to train and raise a dog.  Some dog parents are more lenient and others, like me, are more strict.

I do occasionally let my dog off his leash if I am outside with him and there are no guests coming to the house. He will chase the car as they leave and who knows where he’ll go. We go on long walks (with a leash of course) every day and he gets his exercise and can sniff whatever he wants under my close supervision. It works for both of us and he’s a happy dog.

Contributed by R. Cristine

Do Dogs Really Love Their Owners?

Dogs: our best friends, companions, confidants, and everything in between.

There’s good reason for our unspoken connection to our furry friends, although many naysayers claim it’s mostly rooted in emotion and classical conditioning.

“Well of course your dog loves you. You’re the one who gives him food,” they say.

The problem with that logic is that it fails to acknowledge all the not-so-lovable characteristics dog owners (and humans in general) often have. Our beloved canines tend to turn a blind eye to our blatant and numerous shortcomings.

Who else would forgive you for being the slob you are when you drop your dinner crumbs on the floor for them to pick up? Who else could you trust to completely refrain from judgment when you spend an entire Saturday in bed binge watching the latest Netflix series instead of making good on your public Facebook commitment to attend a weekly yoga class?

Dogs. Anyone who has spent even a small amount of time with dogs knows that their love seems unconditional, but is there any hard data to back up that claim?

I mean, we already know our dogs love us regardless of what any literature might say, but for those of you that want some cold hard facts to legitimize your claim, this article is for you.

 Their behavior says it all

They say sometimes the truth is often right in front of your eyes. That couldn’t be any more correct as it pertains to dogs loving their owners.

Studies have shown that dogs do indeed respond to voices and expressions unique to their favorite human. Simply put,  your dog can interpret and empathize with the look on your face and the tone of your voice. You might observe true guilt when Fido notices the disappointed look on your face when you discover the destruction he inflicted on your favorite slippers.

And, as it turns out, that cute baby-talk voice we do with our pups can evoke certain positive canine behaviors and strengthen our bond. So next time your friends make fun of you for your enthusiastic and higher-pitched praise of your “goodest little puppy!”, tell them it’s scientifically backed, thank-you-very-much.

It’s all in the chemicals

It’s well known in the scientific community that human and animal brains work in a similar fashion when interpreting our environments.

Whether we are running from a potential predator or expressing love, our brains respond by producing certain chemicals. The chemical most associated with love and affection is called oxytocin. Oxytocin plays a huge role in social bonding in a variety of contexts — between parents and children, romantic partners, or, yes, dogs and their owners.

When examined under an MRI, dogs’ brains show increased levels of oxytocin  as they gaze into their owners’ eyes. Not only do dogs get a rush of this love-infused chemical when they admire us, but we do as well when we look back at them. But you already knew that.

Love Stinks

Dogs rely on their sophisticated sense of smell to do more than find your freshly worn socks or a weak spot in the pantry’s armor. They also use it to relish in their love for you!

When a dog gets a whiff of his owner, the part of the brain associated with reward and pleasure lights up. Researchers have observed differences in canines’ caudate nuclei when sniffing their own favorite humans versus a stranger or another dog. Turns out a dog’s brain lights up the most when presented with his or her owner’s scent.

So… does my dog love me?

We will keep this simple. Yes! You probably didn’t have to scour the internet to know that, but sometimes it’s nice to reinforce the simple truths.

Humans and dogs have had a long history of bonding, and even though the research shows our furry friends love us back, there is probably a lot more to the story than an MRI can show. Let’s just assume your dog will love you just as much as you love him or her. We all know that amount is endless!