Dog owners frequently tend to notice lost dogs more often than non dog owners, but few dog owners know what they should do when they spot a lost dog. Today here at Leesville Animal Hospital we want to share a few tips with you on how to handle finding a lost dog.
When you spot a lost dog you should always consider your personal safety and the safety of your family and family pets first. Keep in mind that a lost dog could carry a number of parasites and illnesses that could be transferred to your family pets (and in very few instances, human family members.) While it is not common for lost family pets to be infected with these types of illness, you should always assume the worst when you find a lost dog and keep the animal quarantined from other family pets. You should also always ensure your personal safety by not directly approaching any animal that shows signs of sickness, aggression or fear as these things can result in injury.
If you feel that you are in harms way by trying to capture the animal then call animal control authorities and stay close by until someone shows up to capture the dog for you. Many dog lovers are hesitant to do this because they are afraid that the dog will end up in the shelter; however, as a dog owner you should know that one of the first places you would look for your lost dog is the local shelter or animal control facility.
If you can safely contain the dog using a leash, a crate or encouraging them in to a fenced in yard, you should do this. If you are able to approach the dog and they seem friendly look for a tagged collar that could give you an owners telephone number. If the dog does not have a collar you can take them to the local shelter or your veterinarian and have them scanned for a microchip which can also provide you with the owners information.
If you cannot find the owners information there are a couple of options available to you. Some dog lovers prefer to keep the dog with them (but also keep it quarantined from household pets) and make fliers to advertise a “Found Dog”. Posting these fliers around the neighborhood where the dog was lost will help the dog’s owners to locate them. If you prefer not to keep the dog in your home or are unable to do so, you can also contact your local animal shelter or animal control office and take the dog there. Even if you drop the dog off at one of these locations you can still take it upon yourself to create “Found Dog” fliers to help the dog’s owners to locate them.
Whatever you choose to do with the lost dog that you find, always keep in mind your personal safety and the safety of family members first.