Dogs get lost for all sorts of reasons, often through no fault of their owners. Even the most obedient and well kept dogs can wander off occasionally, become lost or even be stolen and abandoned, which can cause great distress to the owner.
First, consider the safety of the dog and of yourself. A frightened and possibly sick or injured dog may behave unpredictably. A sudden move may spook him, causing him to bolt into traffic or even attack you. If the dog looks or acts threatening in any way, or if for any reason you feel uneasy about the situation, stay away from him or her and notify local animal control authorities. When approaching the dog, speak calmly and reassuringly to him. Make sure he can see you at all times as you approach, and perhaps entice him to come to you by offering a morsel of food.
Our rescue always recommends that if you find a dog, you keep it. It is the best option for the dog. However, we understand that often times we don't have that choice. If you are forced to give the dog up here are somethings to make sure you do: 1. Surrender the dog to the animal shelter closest to the place where you found the dog. This will give the dog it's best chance of being found by it's owners 2. Make sure you get information about the dog such as: when the dog will be available for adoption, how long the dog will be up for adoption, and what will happen if the dog doesn't find a home. It could be a good idea to give the shelter your contact information so that they can contact you if anything happens to the dog. 3. Post 'Found Dog' posters near the spot where you found the dog and a couple more at major intersections in that area. Include a picture of the dog with a brief description and the name of the Animal Shelter you have surrendered the dog to. Put them up in local vet offices, and pet supply stores.
If you already have to dog in you car or home, there are a few steps that you should follow to ensure the dog is returned to it's rightful owners. 1. If the dog is wearing a collar, check to see if it has tags. These tags will often have the name and phone number of the dog's owner. 2. Contact your local vet and ask them if they can scan the dog for a microchip. Microchips are tiny computer chips containing identification information that are injected under the skin of pets to provide permanent, positive identification. Most vets and animal shelters are equipped with the readers needed to detect and interpret microchips for no charge. 3. Check the area for any “LOST DOG” posters, however understand that the dog might have traveled quite far. You may need to drive around a bit in order to find anything. Also consider that the dog may have escaped in the last few hours and the posters haven’t gone up yet. Also check Craigslist for any lost dog ads. The person whose dog you have may have posted there looking for their pooch. 4. Post FOUND DOG posters near the spot where you found the dog and a couple more at major intersections in that area. Include a picture of the dog with a brief description and your contact information. Be sure to leave off certain details so all callers will be forced to identify the dog. Put them up in local vet offices, and pet supply stores. Most pet supply store chains offer lost-and-found bulletin boards in their stores, so be sure to take flyers there. Also call the local animal shelters and report the dog you've found.
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