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February 2024

Finding a Stray

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

lost dog
You’re in your car and you notice a stray dog on the side of the road. You will be able to tell because he’ll appear dejected and confused. Your heart stops. You know that you should do something. The first thing , don’t get into an accident. Pull over to the side of the road out of traffic. Consider the safety of the animal. A strange, frightened, and possibly sick or injured animal can behave unpredictably. A sudden move on your part, even opening your car door, can spook her and cause her to dash maybe even onto the highway into oncoming traffic. If possible, restrain the animal. If you have a carrier, try to lure her in. If not, use a  leash, piece of cloth, or length of rope to keep the animal from leaving the area.  Make sure that you signal approaching vehicles to slow down.  Use caution when approaching the animal. If she is afraid or injured, she may try to bite or scratch you.  If you’re sure that you can call someone to come and help you, try to lure the animal into your car with food. Close the door and wait for help.  It’s not a good idea to try to drive somewhere if the animal is in your car unrestrained. They may get frightened and freak out causing you to have an accident.  If you have the animal secure in a crate, then drive to your nearest animal shelter.  If you’re not able to safely restrain the animal, call the local animal control agency (in rural areas, call the police or sheriff). Do so whether or not the animal is injured, and whether or not she is wearing an identification tag. Leave your phone number with the dispatcher, and try to get an estimate of how long it may take someone to respond. If possible, stay on the scene to keep an eye on the dog or cat until help arrives. Make sure you report to authorities precisely where the animal is by using road names, mile markers or landmarks.

You may decide to take her home and try to find the owner yourself. Make sure that you call your local animal shelter or animal control office first. The owner may have already contacted them. Rest assured that you have done a wonderful thing and hopefully this lost pet will be reunited with it’s owner soon.

I would like to thank the Humane Society for providing some of this very helpful information.

Remember , your pets count!



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