So you found a stray dog or a cat, now what do you do?
Our first instinct as animal lovers is to try to help, and we should if we are able to. Keep in mind that it might not be that easy to get the frightened animal to trust you, and that’s the first thing you need to do. Remain calm, and follow these simple steps to contain the dog or cat as safely as possible for the both of you.
- If the dog appears to be aggressive, do not approach him. Call the police or animal control right away. Have these numbers programed into your phone.
- Do not chase the animal. Especially if you are near a busy road. Needless to say, do not bolt into traffic after the animal.
- In a calm voice, try to call the animal to you, this will probably not work for the cat, but you never know!
- Carry treats with you! And if you don’t have treats with you, act like you do! A little deception will be forgiven if you are able to save their life.
- Once the animal is close enough to you and is calm, you can try to secure them with a slip collar, which can be easily made by slipping a belt trough hoop or a leash. Again, this will not go over well with a cat, instead try to scruff the cat and get him into a box or pillowcase. This will keep little Freddy Krueger's nails from tearing you up.
- Once the dog or cat is contained, shelter them in either your garage or some room in the house that will not have access to small children or other pets. You have no way of knowing if this animal is infected with a contagious disease or parasites. Make sure the pet has food, and fresh water. Supply them with bedding and make sure the room's temperature is not too hot or cold.
- Now the detective work comes in. Hopefully the animal has some ID, and hopefully that ID is up to date. If so, call the owner right away. If the animal does not have ID, call your local animal shelters and give them all the detail you can about the pet. Breed, Sex, Distinguishing Marks, Where the pet was found. You can also bring the animal to your local shelter or veterinarian to have them scanned for a microchip.
- Social Media works wonders in finding and reporting lost pets. There are several Facebook Pages that post lost and found dog info non-stop all day. My favorite Facebook Page is Lost Dogs Illinois. They have a great success rate. There are similar sites all over the country. Get involved on their Facebook page. Forward info to friends and family that are in the area of the lost pet.
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