What To Do If You Find a Stray Cat or Dog

Several weeks ago, we found a stray dog at a park near our neighborhood. It was a stressful experience for us because once we were able to contain him, we weren’t sure exactly what we should do.  Listen to our story here:



Safety first!

Rescuing is awesome but you need to ensure that you are looking out for their safety and for yours as well. Be very careful to keep the stray away from your own children and other animals as they may have contracted diseases, fleas, or ticks. Animals who are injured can be particularly aggressive if you try and approach them so it’s better to call animal control in this case to protect everyone including the animal.


Could this be a lost pet?

If you are able to safely approach the animal, check for tags that may have an address or give a clue about where this little guy or gal belongs. If the animal does not have a tag and you are able to safely take the animal to a local vet, they can scan for a microchip.


Scan for flyers in the neighborhood

Very often when people lose pets, they will post flyers in neighborhood parks, mailboxes, and telephone posts.  Check to see if you find any matching the description of the animal you found.


Social Media and Apps

While people very often still post flyers for lost/found pets, the modern day era has leaned more on technology and that’s a good thing because it allows for a much quicker chain of communication. With respect to Facebook, do a search for “Lost Pets” plus your city in the search field on Facebook and you will see several pages (depending on the size of the city you live in) with Lost Pet pages where people share information attempting to reunite lost furry family members. Be sure to take several pictures of the animal to post with any distinguishing characteristics that might help identify him/her. Some other apps that may help are:


  • You may also want to consider “liking” pages of local rescues so that you have these contacts already lined up in case you need them! Also, save the numbers for your local animal control and humane society in your phone should you need them quickly. It’s a good idea to make a note of their intake policies so you aren’t caught by surprise should they request a surrender fee from you (our humane society currently requests a $75 surrender fee assuming they have capacity).


  • Be prepared! If you live in a neighborhood where you encounter strays often, consider carrying a leash with adjustable collar, a blanket, and a collapsible cat carrier or cardboard box.


“If you’re uncertain about whether or not to help or keep an animal you see alongside the road, here’s a final word of advice: First, think of what you would want the finder of your animal to do if they happened to find them injured without their collar. You’d want them to take your pet to a veterinarian, and you’d want them to try to find you. At the same time, be reasonable about how much you can afford to do for that animal if no owner shows up.” (From the Humane Society of the US Website)


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Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

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