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What To Do When You Find A Stray Dog

What to Do When You Find a Stray Dog

Assess the Situation from a Distance

It is best to keep your distance when you first notice a stray dog because you do not know what his temperament is like or what his health history may be. If you get a dog bite, you could be putting yourself at risk and scaring the dog at the same time. See if there is a collar or tag on the dog that you may be able to read, assuming you get close enough to do so.
If the dog seems too aggressive for comfort, contact a local animal shelter and keep track of where the animal moves throughout the neighborhood.

Approach the Dog Slowly and Calmly

If the dog is simply a pet who got loose, he may come right up to you. If he is timid though, you will need to approach him with caution. Speak in a calm, soft voice and tell the dog everything is going to be okay. Walk slowly toward the dog, and crouch down on his level. If you have dog treats handy, you may use those to reassure the dog that you are there to help him, not hurt him.

Look for Forms of Identification

If you are able to get close enough to the dog to pet him, try to see if there is any contact information on his collar or tag. If so, you can use this time to contact the owner and arrange a way to get the dog back to him. In the event that there is no contact information available, you will need to decide what to do with the dog.

Determine the Best Source of Care for the Dog

This is the hardest step in the process – figuring out what to do with the dog. Assuming you are able to get close to him, you could choose from one of the following options:

•Take the dog home and advertise him in lost and found pet listings
•Take the dog to a local animal shelter
•Contact a local animal shelter to have them pick up the dog where you are
•Take the dog to the nearest vet clinic to get read for a microchip

The actions you take after this will depend on the choice you make. If you keep the dog, advertise him, and do not get any response from potential owners, you could keep the dog as a pet or adopt him to a loving home. If you choose to turn the dog over to an animal shelter, you can call to check in on him to see if anyone has claimed him. Most shelters will set a time limit for how long owners have to claim their pets before they are put up for adoption. If you choose to adopt him from there, all you have to do is follow the steps outlined at the shelter.

With patience, calmness, and compassion, you can help a stray dog get into a great home. Follow the steps above to ensure strays in your area get where they need to be.

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