Many people have found themselves in the scenario where they find a lost dog out on the street, and the dog is clearly alone. As an animal lover, you find yourself wanting to help this creature in need, but you’re not sure about what should be done. How exactly does one help a lost dog? If you ever find yourself in this situation, it is important to remember these few points on what to do and how to do it.
Lost or stray dogs are stressed and anxious, so it is important to get them comfortable with your presence if you ever want to rescue them safely. Remember safety first at all times for both you and the dog. From a safe distance, check if the animal is injured, and slowly make your way closer. If possible, ready a leash or some sort of barrier between the two of you like a blanket and a carrier.
When moving toward the dog, speak calmly to reassure it. Make sure it can see you at all times as you approach. Try to entice it to come to you by offering any strong-smelling food or treats. The dog may or may not approach you, but be cautious of any sudden movements to prevent getting bitten.
If the stray is behaving aggressively, do not attempt to do the rescue on your own. Call the authorities and animal control, but make sure you still have your sight on the animal before the experts arrive. If the dog is injured, make sure that it is in a safe place. If the dog is in the middle of the road, signal any other drivers on the driveway to go around it to not cause more harm.
Once you’ve managed to capture the animal, it is imperative that you take it to a shelter immediately. If you were able to call animal control, then they will be able to bring it to the shelter. If you’re handling the transportation to the shelter, ensure that the animal is secure and in a comfortable position.
Call the shelter ahead to let them know that you are on your way, and give them a heads-up on the status of the dog. If it is injured, however, make sure to inform animal control that you will be bringing the stray to a veterinary hospital. Inform the hospital ahead that you are on your way as well. Be prepared to take financial responsibility for when you take the animal to the vet.
Lost dogs may or may not have an ID tag on them. When a dog has been successfully transported to an animal shelter, the personnel may scan for a microchip on it. This will help the dog get identified quickly since the shelter staff will be able to immediately look up the owner’s contact information by calling the microchip company or accessing the microchip database online.
If the dog does not have an ID or microchip, then you can choose to have the shelter take care of the dog and find a new owner for it or help to foster the dog. The important thing is that the dog gets back to feeling comfortable and trusting around humans again.
If you find yourself wanting to rescue lost and stray animals, it would be best to be prepared should a situation like this happen again. Here are some things to have in your car at all times:
1. Phone and phone numbers of local animal control, a shelter, and a twenty-four-hour emergency veterinary clinic
2. Pet carrier or cardboard box
3. Collars and strong leashes for dogs
4. Heavy blankets, water bowls, and water
5. Strong-smelling foods like liver and treats like bully sticks
6. An animal first-aid kit
If you are an animal lover, these situations can be heartbreaking, especially if you have a pet yourself. Remember to be mindful of how much you are willing to do for rescues, and take into account how much you are willing to spend for an animal that does not find its owner. Ultimately, rescuing any animals takes time and effort.