Skip to main content

What to Do if You Find a Stray Dog


Dogs are part of the family. The unique personalities and characteristics our dogs possess are irreplaceable, and it can be heart-breaking to lose their company. Stray dogs are a growing problem in the United States, and a majority of these strays are forced to wander the dangerous streets or begin a new life in an animal shelter. Learning how to properly bring a stray dog to safety is vital for your safety, as well as the stray’s safety.

When trying to care for a stray, safety is always first. It is easy to become swept up in emotions when you see a stray dog hurt or in a dangerous situation — like running in traffic.  Even if you have good intentions, it is important to consider all options before taking action to keep the situation from becoming even more hazardous.

There are numerous ways to encounter a stray dog, but the most common scenarios are on foot or in vehicular traffic. Remaining calm is the key to keeping a clear mind and deciding the best option for the stray’s safety. For instance, if you are driving and encounter a stray in traffic, try to pull over on the side of the road where it is safe. If you are unable to pull over or are a passenger of the car, take note of the animal, its health condition, and the exact location it was seen. The driver of the car can either turn back around to help the dog or report the situation to animal control. Whether you are on foot or in the car, analyzing the condition of the animal is important for your safety. The dog may be injured, sick, malnourished, or even rabid. If the stray dog appears to be defensive and could bite or attack, do not approach the dog. Instead, take note of the dog's location and give as much detail as possible to animal control.

A stray dog may also find its way into your yard, which can be potentially hazardous for your outside pets. “As with any pet that you do not know well, you must approach the stray carefully,” said Dr. James Barr, clinical assistant professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “If the stray is friendly, make sure that they do not have any substantial contact with your pets. The stray animal needs to be evaluated by a veterinarian for infectious disease and to ensure they are healthy. Strays are not likely vaccinated so they should be kept separate from other pets until they get an all clear from a veterinarian.”


If you are able to safely handle and collect the dog, the next step is to check for identification. Some stray dogs are lucky enough to remain identified through a collar and dog tag, while others are branded through a microchip. If the dog appears to have no identification, it is still important to take the dog to the veterinarian or local animal shelter to scan for a possible microchip. If the dog is marked with a microchip, the contact information of the owner will then be provided through the computer system.

Proper identification on dogs may make contacting the owners far easier than searching for the owner on your own. While searching for the owner, a trip to the veterinarian is essential to make sure the stray is not injured or sick. “The veterinarians will look for normal issues that occur in uncared for animals, but they are also adept at trying to find owners for these pets if you are unable to locate them yourself,” explained Barr. “Additionally, the animal control authorities will usually take these pets in if you are not able to take care of the pet that you found.”

While it can be heart-breaking to see a stray dog in a dangerous situation, it is important to thoroughly evaluate your options before letting your emotions get the best of you. Remember to remain calm and choose the safest option for both you and the stray dog, and never approach a dog that poses as a threat. It is best to save the number of your local animal control service in case you ever need to report a stray dog.

Read More:



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

10 Most Common Medical Conditions That Send Dogs to the Vet

No one likes going to the vet, especially our dogs. Like many others, my dogs can sense when they are going way before we get there. They get nervous and hyper. Some dogs whimper endlessly at the vet’s office while countless others have fear-induced accidents right in the office. While regular check-ups and vaccinations are a necessary evil, we can try our best to keep our pups in optimal health thus avoiding another dreaded trip. Veterinary Pet Insurance  compiled a list of the 10 most common medical conditions that send dogs to the vet. Some are unavoidable while others may be caught early on. Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM points out that many of the conditions that most regularly require vet visits “can be stopped early or successfully managed in partnership with a veterinarian. To prevent some of the discomfort that so many pets experience from common diseases, the place to start would be by checking them regularly for developing problems.” Check out the full list here at Babb

Keep Your Dog Safe With These Holiday Safety Tips!

    ‘Tis the season for putting up decorations and eating delicious holiday treats, but that also means pets could be getting into serious trouble! Trupanion , a leading provider of medical insurance for cats and dogs, sees a 10% increase in foreign body ingestion claims and a 24% increase in toxicity claims during the holiday months each year. But you can keep your pets safe this holiday season with the below tips from Dr. Sarah Nold:

10 Strangest Items Swallowed By Dogs

My mother’s Schnauzer mix, Sha Sha, eats just about anything.  I didn’t quite believe just how often she would quickly snap up everything in her sight until a few weeks ago when she swallowed a quarter and a nickel in the blink of an eye. The vet advised my mother to watch her for the next few days as the coins would likely pass. It’s a very common issue among dog owners and it doesn’t only happen with puppies. The majority of dogs do grow out of the need to eat inedible objects. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what a puppy would eat so it’s best to be vigilant about where you dog is allowed to freely roam. Many dogs and puppies have been known to swallow seemingly unsuitable items, which  you might not find in any way enticing or preferable, but they do. Check out this list of the strangest things swallowed by dogs as witnessed by the  ASPCA :