According to the American Humane Association, over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year.  This equates to almost 1 in every 3 pets becoming lost at some point in their life. April 23, 2019 is National Lost Dog Awareness Day.  On this day, we aim to not only raise awareness for dogs that have gone missing but also to educate dog owners about prevention. At Eva’s Play pups, we believe that being prepared for any kind of situation is the first step to prevention.  Because of the proper training and guidance continually provided to our team members, the staff at Eva’s Play Pups can handle just about any situation that they may encounter while taking care of their campers.

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Recently, two staff members, Matt and Sarah, traveled to West Virginia, to participate in a seminar led by renowned dog handler and member of the board for the International Association of Canine Professionals, Nelson Hodges. Mr. Hodges has over 40 years of experience working with Animal Behavior and Rehabilitation, specializing in helping others understand the nature, intelligence, language and motivations of canines.  Mr. Hodges provides public and private group seminars and workshops that draw in people from the dog training community, rescue groups, municipal animal shelters, and other canine centered groups.

This particular seminar focused on the guidelines, tools, and procedures regarding when a dog becomes lost. From the initial moments after realizing a dog has gone missing, to the following hours, days, and in some extreme cases, weeks, Nelson went through the steps that are needed to take to help set up a center of communication, a search grid, and a chain of command. While finding the lost animal is important, to go out searching without any form of an idea or semi-concrete plan can be a major setback.

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The goal for Eva’s Play Pups was to strengthen our lost dog protocol, should the worst ever happen at camp and a dog jumped one of our 6-8ft tall fences.  Since Matt & sarah have returned home from Nelson's lost dog seminar, we have reviewed and improved upon our emergency response plan and lost dog procedures based on what we learned from Mr Hodges.

We would like to thank Nelson Hodges for putting together an amazing seminar and educating our staff members. You can find out more about Nelson Hodges and his work here: