What do you call a dog who has escaped an animal shelter?

I was thinking runaway dog?

I'm sure there is a better word.

  • 3
    A dog without an owner is a stray but it might not have escaped from a shelter. – Mynamite Jan 18 '15 at 12:09
  • Incidentally, the modifier runaway is more often used for something (gone) out of control. They are mysteriously injured in the tunnel by a runaway police horse ODO: oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/runaway – Kris Jan 18 '15 at 12:32
  • Loose: free from confinement or restraint; unfettered: loose dogs prowling around. – user66974 Jan 18 '15 at 12:37
  • 1
    .....expounded? – Edwin Ashworth Jan 18 '15 at 13:08
  • @Kris: can you substantiate your claim that runaway as a modifier is "more often used" to mean "out of control" or running amok, rather than "fleeing"? My ngram searches suggest the opposite, though I would agree that the out-of-control meaning is quite common. – TRomano Jan 18 '15 at 14:52

We often hear of "a runaway horse", "runaway children". Google Ngram shows "runaway children" on the rise, since the second half of the nineteenth century, peaking in the 1980's. "runaway horses" peaked much earlier, and "runaway dog" has been on the rise since 1960.

  • You are looking for a word that means "runaway dog". I'd say that "runaway dog" is the best phrase for "runaway dog".


Why not use (figuratively) the same word or phrase that you would apply to people - eg "fugitive" or "escapee"?


"Runaway dog" is fine and commonly used.

  • What's wrong with this one? – user103567 Jan 18 '15 at 12:25
  • I've heard this word five times or so. Often enough for this kind of thing. – user103567 Jan 18 '15 at 12:27
  • 2
    Nothing. The downvotes may be from before I deleted the extraneous editorializing. +1 – James McLeod Jan 18 '15 at 12:27
  • See my comment at OP. – Kris Jan 18 '15 at 12:33

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