Seeing a sad, lonely dog roaming the streets is heartbreaking. It is especially difficult when you find a senior, disabled or injured dog. While you may think you know the steps to take to help a lost dog, there are certain things you should do to protect yourself and the dog. The Old Dog House, a rescue organization dedicated to helping senior dogs in Jacksonville, Florida, explains what to do if you find a lost dog.
- Assess the Situation: Lost animals are often scared and if you make abrupt movements or scream loudly, you may scare them even more. Figure out if you can safely catch the animal without injuring yourself or the dog. Try using a crate, leash, harness or other material to get the dog in a safe place. If you cannot safely confine the dog, try to encourage the dog to stay near you while you call for help. Also, make sure to encourage others to avoid scaring the dog.
- Call the Authorities: Contact your local animal control facility for assistance. If you cannot safely catch the dog, they can advise you how best to handle the situation or come and rescue the dog. Make sure to give the animal control dispatcher or officer as much information about the dog and location as possible. Try to stay with the dog until help arrives.
- Take the Dog to Animal Control: Take the stray dog to your local animal control or humane society for assistance. They can scan the dog for a microchip to determine the dog’s identity and check the dog for illness or injury. Animal control agencies often serve as a centralized place for people to find missing pets, so it is vital you report a found dog to the authorities.
- Bring the Dog Home: While you should first contact your local animal control office, if it is after hours, you may need to bring the dog home or to a friend’s home for safety. Before taking the dog to your house, make sure to separate any of your own pets from the stray dog. Both your pets and the stray dog might be frightened, so it is best to keep them apart to avoid injury. Give the dog a comfortable place to stay but remember the animal could be sick or injured, so make sure to give him or her ample water and some food. Don’t overfeed the dog because he has been outside as this may cause stomach problems.
If you have find a lost dog, make sure to contact your local animal control or humane society right away. Not only can they give you assistance to help the lost pet, they might be able to help you reunite the dog and his family. If you find a lost senior dog, contact The Old Dog House for help.
The Old Dog House is Northeast Florida’s first nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to giving older and senior dogs a second chance at a new life. We rely solely on the generosity of the individuals in our community for assistance in furthering our mission to give older and senior dogs a second, sometimes third, chance at living out their lives in dignity.