What to do if You Find a Dog: Alternatives to Taking it to the Pound

by Connie on February 1, 2012

The majority of us have experienced finding a lost dog.  In some cases the owner is found and everyone lives happily ever after, while other times finding the dog’s home is impossible.  For those unsure about what to do if you find a dog, there are four essential steps you can take in properly going about the whole situation.

1.  Check for a Microchip

Today microchipping dogs is a common procedure; there is a good chance that the dog you found is microchipped.  The first thing you should do when you find a lost dog is to take it to the nearest facility to have it scanned for a microchip.  Animal shelters and veterinary clinics are two places that are guaranteed to have a microchip scanner.  There is no fee for getting a dog scanned; the process only takes a few seconds to determine if the dog has a microchip or not.  Fortunately, with a microchip the animal shelter or vet clinic can call the microchip service provider and acquire information for contacting the owner.

2.  Create Flyers

If a microchip is not detected then you can go on to the second step; creating and posting flyers near the area the dog was found.  A flyer should also be provided for the local animal shelter.  While at the pound, it is also important that you ask how long it has to be before the pet is considered “abandoned.”  Each city has its own laws regarding lost dogs; some only require that 10-14 days go by without finding the owner.  Once the time specified has gone by you have two options; keeping the dog or turning it into a rescue organization.

3.  Properly Care for the Dog While the Owner is Found

Caring for the lost dog may not seem like your responsibility, but you would want your pet to be cared for if he was to get lost.  Not to mention, that you were the one that decided to pick the lost dog up.  Taking the dog to your regular vet is a good idea; this way you can make sure that the dog does not need any special medical care.  Performing a dog bath and proper grooming is also nice to do…you’ll be surprised at how different the dog looks after it is clean!  And of course, feeding, dog walking, and giving the dog TLC is also important!

4.   Decide What to do With the Dog

If the amount of time specified by the animal shelter has gone by and you have not heard from an owner, you can either keep the dog or turn it into a dog rescue group.  Before considering a rescue organization it is helpful to try and find the dog a home.  Dog rescue groups are a better alternative to an animal shelter, but if the dog is not located within a time period it can be euthanized.

Deciding to acquire a dog is a choice that should be made carefully.  It is good to ask yourself if you’ll have the necessary time and financial stability to care for the dog.  If you decide to keep the dog then you’ll have a new member to add to the family!  Remember to keep up on yearly exams, routine vaccines, and flea/tick preventatives so that your pet will live happy and healthy!

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