Our dog bolted Saturday afternoon. Has not returned home. Any ideas for what we can do? Update! Abby’s home! See#110

Hi, all. We live in a small community just north of Rutherfordton, NC. Moved here a year and a half ago. We have two border collies, Abby and Nikki.

Our little Abby (five year old black /white bc, around 30 lbs) bolted from our property yesterday afternoon and has not returned home.

She’s been gone now for over 24 hours and my husband and I are devastated. And exhausted from yelling for her, walking through woods, driving roads and not sleeping last night.

We were out of town visiting friends on Saturday and asked our neighbors to let them (Abby and Nikki) out around 2:30 for a potty break.

Our older dog Nikki loves everyone and will immediately find her frisbee for playtime. She was no problem.

Abby, though, is very fearful of strangers and, although she knows our neighbors, is distrustful. So she bolted back behind our horse trailer and, most probably, into a nearby wooded area. That was the last they saw of her.

Neighbors texted me that she had run off. I texted back that we were almost home and that she would be back soon. We thought she would be up by our front steps as it was raining. But no dog.

It rained all night and we called and called. Neighbors feel so bad but not their fault. (They weren’t shooting guns or chasing her.)

We do have neighbors who shoot guns in the evening. But there was no thunder or gunshots going on.

Abby loves to run so we thought she would finally show up after she used up her energy. And wanting her dinner.

She is tagged with our ID information and is microchipped as well. She will not come to another person so we are sure no one will be able to catch her.

We have a post on Facebook on the page for lost dogs in the Rutherford county area. People are sharing our information this morning which is good to know.

I will call AnimalControl tomorrow and ask if there is anything else we can do. We are at wits end at this time and shedding tears.

Abby is a beautiful little dog and incredibly loving and smart. She has a heart murmur and has a cardio supplement everyday. We are so afraid her heart could have given out on her.

So, we continue to look for her, hoping she’s still alive. We and our neighbors are praying for an answer. I don’t know what else we can do.


I’m so sorry. Call your local police or sheriff and let them know. They could potentially sight her and report it, if they know she’s lost. Fingers crossed for you.

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Is there a lost and found group for your area? Or simply a FB group? Also, Next Door groups often have lost and found postings.


Sorry that your pup is missing. We had a dog that came from a huge rural farm that would wander all the time. She didn’t understand staying in the yard and would crawl through or over any hole in the fence. Call your animal control and let them know she is lost. If someone calls about her they will know to call you. Also agree that you should try posting in a community Facebook group. You can also put her bed or a blanket from your house in a dry place outside for her to find. I don’t recommend putting food out, you’ll just attract other animals.

Let us know when she comes home.

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Take some pieces of well worn clothing that hasn’t been laundered and place around edges of your property.


Oh, we hadn’t thought about calling the Sheriffs Office. We will do that for sure! I don’t know about a more local group website for a posting but will look into that for sure.

Our neighbors told us about the county Facebook page as they had lost a coonhound several years ago. It was not a good ending for them as they found their dog dead on a local road.

My DH has been out driving our roads several times now, yesterday evening until dark and this morning.

Thank you for your replies. Very good ideas!


Yes, we can put her bed (s) outside today and tonight. No rain predicted now. And clothes too. Very good ideas!

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We have neighbors who are building a cabin down into the far back woods at the end of our private road. He told DH he can get his memory stick from his trail camera and look through his footage. So we will do that.


Put her on the Craigslist lost and found, too. That’s how my sister got her dog back. Also, a good idea to contact the nearest vets, in case someone brings her in. My vet has a board to post lost pet notices.


I am so sorry. I feel your fear–having my border collie get loose is one of my greatest fears.

Can you make signs with pictures and post them up everywhere? Other than that, in my area our local Facebook Chat is the best option.

I would place an ad with Pawboost. They use geographically targeted Facebook ads to get the message in front of the relevant audience.



Is she wearing a collar that can get caught up in the underbrush? My Scout bolted after yanking the leash out of my hand, and ended up being gone longer than he usually is when he gets away from me. A day later he showed up with vines seriously tangled in his collar and trailing leash, and a sore on his neck where he (apparently) had been trying to get out of collar for some time. Thankfully he managed to get loose on his own, finally.

If this could be a possibility, I’d check out any areas of heavy undergrowth on foot, just to be sure.

Fingers crossed for you, that she is found soon!


I’ve had luck getting animals back in the house by going through the normal routine (like breakfast or dinner) LOUDLY, with the door open. If by chance she’s nearby, she might just waltz through the door.

Best of luck, I really hope she comes back. :heart::heart::heart: If this is a risk for her, maybe a tracking collar is a good investment? I use Tractive on my dog.

Dogs can cover a lot of ground when they run. If you are contacting people or putting up signs make sure you go far enough from your home–could be a few miles.

I once was out running, passed a woman who had lost a dog, told her I would be on the lookout. Found the dog (or the dog found me, she had had it) almost 4 miles from where she had been lost. Improvised a leash by tying a shirt sleeve to her collar and we ran back to her owner.

Hoping for the best for you and Abby.


I have no suggestions, but wish you good luck on your girl coming home. The thought of losing my girl Sadie, or my daughter’s Lilly breaks my heart.

Tap into local connections for sure and start thinking about where she might get water; she’s likely hunkered somewhere now but she will try to come out at night for water. I lost a dog years ago when she ran off chasing gophers and lost track of where she was; on the last day I went searching I went as far as I could where I remembered seeing her last, probably three miles or more from home, and I leaned on the car horn, whistled (I can whistle super loud, she knows that sound) and just SCREAMED her name, like ugly scream. I was out for an hour and never saw her and since this was about the 10th day I had been out I told myself I was going to have to give up… it was a rural area, no houses, lots of wildlife etc. I drove the long way home from where I was in order to cross the railroad tracks (yeah…) and by the time I got home that dog was in the house with my kids waiting on me. She must have heard me, got her bearings, and beat me home by going cross country. I terrified my kids by dropping down and crying I was so happy to see her!

So, expand your territory, be loud, put out the clothing and smelly things, take out your other dog and pay attention to her actions, think like a dog, look for tracks. Think of where she might go for water. Our local lost dog expert says they will almost always circle back to the general area they ran away if they can but they will be in survival mode. Even if you have a lot of people looking, ask them to tell you where they see her but not approach given her personality. These are two things our local dog person always recommends to people looking for a lost dog, especially a shy one.

I’ll cross my fingers for you, I’ll never forget that week or so that Gypsy was gone, horrible. But it turned out so don’t lose hope!


Find your local dog clubs and ask them about helping you look for your dog, maybe they can?

Our performance dog club has been called about lost dogs and members have helped.
Those with tracking trained dogs have helped look for them also.


Thank you all. Very helpful ideas. I have a post now on Paw Boost and we are working on a Craig’s list posting too. (Now done) My neighbor (who opened our door yesterday) is helping me with local community Facebook posts as well.

I have a poster done now that we can print off and take to vets office and other places.

Abby has a snug collar which hopefully will keep her from getting entangled with brush or vines. No leash was attached. She has an ID tag on her collar and is microchipped.

I climbed a hill yesterday sliding in red clay in the rain, calling her name. And used brush and vines to pull myself up. Never again! We have so much of that undergrowth.

I will be calling our local animal shelters tomorrow and the Sheriffs Dept.

She’s such a smart dog. I can’t believe she can’t find her way back home but she loves to run. We had lots of rain yesterday and we have ponds in the woods around our roads. So not too worried about her getting water.

Food. Yes. She’s not a hunting dog so hunger is a worry. She likes to chase our horses and the neighbors loose pigs but haven’t seen her after rabbits. We haven’t had many rabbits around.

Thank you all again.

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Nothing to add that someone hasn’t already… just jingles for Abby to stay safe and find her way back.

Thank you! So appreciated!