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What to do with a stray dog? Whether literally or figuratively, nobody enjoys the feeling of being lost. Being in unfamiliar places or not knowing where to go is enough to induce anxiety and fear in most people. The same thing goes for our furry friends. 

We may be unable to tell if they feel lost in a metaphorical sense. However, we’re certain that stray or lost pets don’t exactly feel like the luckiest animals on earth, just as wandering off the right or ideal path in life can drive some people mad. 

With National Lost Pet Prevention Month nearing, learning how to handle stray dogs in your neighborhood and reunite a lost pet with their rightful owner is crucial.

Operation Stray Dog Care: What To Do With a Stray Dog?

If you happen to be out walking or driving around and spot a stray or lost dog wandering aimlessly, you might wonder how you can help. Are there any recommended protocols for concerned citizens and good samaritans when encountering these unfortunately common circumstances?

Think of helping abandoned animals as akin to conducting first-aid. To those unfamiliar with it and have had no prior training, the fundamental steps are as follows:

  • Assess the immediate situation.
  • Create a plan of action based on your assessment.
  • Implement the necessary tasks while gathering more information from the victim.
  • Evaluate how effective your first-aid measures were.

Now, let's apply them to dealing with stray or lost dogs.

Phase 1: Assessing the Situation

First, analyze and examine the environment and situation when you locate a stray or lost pet. Doing so will allow you to determine any immediate dangers surrounding the stray animal and ensure your and its safety.

For instance, you can’t simply stop your vehicle in the middle of the road when you spot a stray dog on the roadside. Not only will you put yourself and the animal at risk, but you will also place the incoming cars and their passengers in danger.

By examining the animal’s initial surroundings, you can also determine if they have any siblings or parents nearby that you can rescue.

Besides assessing the environment, you must also observe the animal’s behavior. Abandoned animals living outdoors for a while can be aggressive and stray pets can be naturally defensive and frantic because of fear and anxiety

For these reasons, be careful when approaching and securing stray animals. It may take some time before the animal warms up to your presence, so it’s essential to be calm and patient when you move toward them.

Phase 2: Contacting Local Animal Control

Once you’ve ensured no dangers are nearby and the animal has relaxed, it’s time to plan your subsequent courses of action based on your assessment.

Determine whether or not the stray pet is injured or ill.Check for any open or bleeding wounds and other injuries (e.g., broken leg, tail, etc.) on the animal.
Research the animal controls or rescue organizations within your area.Gather the essential information and immediately contact the nearest animal shelter to notify animal control facilities.
Describe the animal’s condition as best as you can.The local shelter will inform these organizations about the situation and provide you with other instructions about what to do next.
You must also see whether the animal is a stray or a lost pet.Look for any identification tags or microchips on the abandoned animal. If you locate one, inform the owner of the situation to have their beloved pet returned immediately.

Phase 3: Visiting the Shelter and Spreading the Word

Take the animal to the local shelter if you fail to see any ID tags or microchips on them. Place them in a makeshift temporary shelter for easier transportation. Bundle the stray dog in blankets and provide food and water

If the animal is a lost pet, but no contact details link you to their owner, bringing the dog to the shelter or an animal rescue organization is advisable. Once you’ve successfully transferred the animal to the rightful authorities, you can rest assured that the stray animal is in good hands. 

If you want to help further, inform others about the animal’s situation. You can place “found dog” ads around the neighborhood or post digital ads on social media to alert the dog’s owner or inform anyone interested in adopting the animal.

Phase 4: Being Aware + Becoming an Advocate

After rescuing a stray dog and informing others about the situation, you may think the process ends here. But that’s not the case. 

Your chances of reencountering another stray animal are never zero.

With the number of dogs abandoned or taken to local animal shelters each year, it wouldn’t be surprising to find yourself in a similar situation soon. 

So always come well-prepared and aware of handling stray animals effectively. This includes evaluating your actions during the last rescue and identifying possible lapses. What could you have done differently?

🔎Read related resources about this pressing issue in the pet community. Familiarize yourself with the local animal shelters and rescue organizations within your neighborhood. If you can, volunteer in these shelters and organizations.
🎒Prepare yourself for future stray animal rescues by having the following supplies in your car, at home, or on hand:
Animal first-aid kitA leash or collar for securing the animalBlankets for warmthCanned dog or cat food and water
📣After educating yourself enough about the prevailing problem, it’s only natural to advocate against animal abandonment and promote responsible pet parenting to your friends, family, and acquaintances. 

As you would with pressing issues, spreading awareness about the growing problem of pet abandonment and homeless animals is crucial. Let others know how they can help solve the issue by sharing what you’ve learned and experienced.

What do you do when a stray dog won’t leave?

Suppose you’ve taken the dog to your local shelter, but the volunteers aren’t able to pry the dog away from you. The poor dog just can’t seem to leave you alone! In that case, the best action would be to adopt the animal. You can offer to temporarily foster the dog until a permanent adoption decision is made.

Afraid your precious pets will become stray dogs?

Being lost isn't the best feeling, but you can quickly solve this problem by asking the right people for directions. However, unlike humans, returning home won't be easy for a defenseless and cherished companion animal.

The safety of these homeless creatures will fall on the shoulders of concerned citizens, animal lovers, and pet owners like you. So always stay informed about how to handle stray animals effectively.

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Our lifelike animal plushies can give you an authentic pet ownership experience without the challenging responsibilities of being a pet parent, such as pet nutrition, veterinarian expenses, and more. Check out our collection, and get unlimited cuddles from Perfect Petzzz’s adorable animal plushies today!

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