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What To Do If You Find A Stray Dog

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It’s happened to many of us, we see a dog running around the neighborhood looking lost and afraid and we want to help.  So what should you do to help reunite lost dog and owner?

First, check to see if the dog is wearing a tag that has the owner’s contact information on it.  If the dog isn’t wearing a tag with contact information, is he wearing an up-to-date rabies tag with vet information on it?  If so, contact the vet’s office to see if they may have information on the owner.

If you strike out on both of those, the next step would be to take the dog to a vet or shelter to see if the dog is microchipped.  If the dog is microchipped, the contact information for the owner should be available and hopefully up-to-date.

If none of these steps works, you should check on possible shelters in your area that would accept the dog. Another option is contacting your city Animal Control office.  If you do contact Animal Control, ask questions about what would happen to the dog if picked up.  In the city where I live, the city’s Animal Control office has an arrangement with a local no-kill shelter to accept all stray animals picked up.  The shelter then works to reunite pet and owner.  Some cities also have a lost pet registry, so it’s a good idea to check that out too.

Leaning toward keeping the dog with you while trying to find his owner?  If so, create a lost pet flyer and post them around the area where you found the dog.  Be sure to include a picture of the dog, your contact information,  and when and where he was found.

If you have pets, be sure to keep the stray dog separated from the others.  The stray could be infested with fleas, have behavioral issues, or disease that could be passed along to your pets.

It can be frustrating trying to find a lost dog’s owner, but very rewarding if you’re successful.  Last year, I spent hours trying to find a stray dog’s owner.  As it turned out, the dog lived a couple of doors down from me, but I didn’t know it because he wasn’t wearing up-to-date tags and wasn’t microchipped.

There are many ways to help those that may be trying to reunite you with your lost pet.  If microchipping isn’t for you, check out the ID collars that can have contact information stitched on it, or the wide variety of tags that can be engraved with your pet’s name and your contact information.


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