Have you ever lost your dog? If yes, then you know very well how relieving it is to receive a call from a stranger who has dialed the phone number indicated on your dog’s collar or to see your pooch happily run to you at the community shelter. Without a doubt, critical in most of these reunions is a good samaritan who has found your missing pet and escorted him to a secure place.
What to do if you find a lost dog:
1. Stay calm. Bear in mind that once you set eyes on a stray dog, you have to first consider his safety, your safety and the safety of others. If you spot a dog in trouble, perhaps loose near traffic, it’s very easy to panic and cause an even more risky situation just because of a nervous reaction. That’s why, if you spot a stray dog while you are driving, try to respond as coolly as you can. Never slam your brakes as you wouldn’t want to get in any accident, or for the stray dog to be startled and run away or get into the stream of traffic. Just try coming back around and pulling over, or contact animal control and provide them with as much information as possible about the lost dog and where you spotted it.
2. Be alert. Whether you are on foot or inside your car, remember that sometimes the danger is not in the situation, but in the condition of the dog himself. The dog you found may be injured, scared, or ill. Never approach the dog if he shows aggression toward you or other people. Whenever possible, try staying at the scene until help arrives.
3. Assume responsibility. Now, if the lost dog seems friendly and approachable, and you feel that you can safely take him with you, try enticing him to come to you with treats or welcoming commands. If you decide to take the pooch to your home, visit your local animal shelter or veterinarian first. If the stray dog has no collar or ID tag, they can scan him for an implanted microchip which indicates the owner’s contact information. While you’re there, you can post “Found Dog” information or check to see if anyone has reported their pet missing.
4. Go the extra mile. If you keep the lost dog in your own care until his owner is found, immediately start posting flyers, or hitting the internet. Do whatever you can to get the information out to the dog’s family that he is safe and sound with you- and all set to come home again.
Think of how you would feel if your own dog was lost, and what you would wish others would do for you.