What to do if you find a stray pet
We often worry about what we will do if we lose our own pets. It can be a very scary situation! We have to rely on the kindness and knowledge of others to get them home. This means it’s a good idea for you to know what to do if you find a stray pet; you can make the difference in getting them home to their families safe and secure. They may have a collar with contact information that makes it easy, but not always. Here are our top 3 tips for helping lost pets get home.
- Use caution when catching the animal
A lost pet is likely very scared, and may be in a less than ideal location. If you notice a lost animal, make sure you are secure first – don’t stop in the middle of traffic or attempt to run across a highway. You will need to approach the animal slowly, and know when they are too scared or aggressive for you to handle alone. If you have treats with you, it may be possible to lure them to the safety of your vehicle or home. Be on the lookout for signs of illness and aggression, and keep yourself safe.
- Be prepared to assume financial responsibility
If the pet you find is injured, try getting them to a vet or animal hospital once you have safely collected them. However, don’t plan on free vet care or the owner paying you back. Depending on the animal’s situation, this may not be an option. Be prepared to pay for the vet care they need out of your own pocket.
- Contact the local shelter and animal control
As soon as possible, get in touch with your local shelter and animal control. There is a chance the owner is frantically looking for their pet, and has already contacted these organizations to ask for help. Even if they haven’t called yet, the authorities may know where the pet belongs. It’s also important to be in touch with in case you can’t keep the animal in your home; they will need a place to stay until they are reconnected with their owner. If these organizations haven’t heard from anyone, sites like Craigslist are great resources. Owners searching for pets will often post here looking for help, as well as hang signs in community centers.