Dog Found: What To Do When You Find A Dog [behaviorist tips
The dog was found
Imagine the following situation - you are going for a quiet walk in the forest or you are sitting in a restaurant having a coffee and suddenly a stranger dog runs up to you. He's confused, dirty and has a bit of a leash hanging from his collar, so he probably broke off someone and rushed forward. But there can be many reasons. The dog may have been thrown out of the car (unfortunately this still happens during the holiday season!) or bitten by another dog and escaped from the property under stress and is unable to return. Possibly, the owner left the dog in front of the shop (this is not responsible behavior) and the dog walked away because something interested him and now he does not know where to return.
In my neighborhood, I often find stray dogs after a storm, when terrified they run out of their yards or break off their leashes and run blindly to hide from lightning. Should they be outside in a storm? Of course not, but that is another matter.
As people sensitive to harm to animals, we usually do not go indifferently to such situations, but many questions also arise immediately, how to help the dog?
Of course, everything is very individual and depends on the situation we are in with the dog. Our target task is to find the owner of the dog, but where to look for it. And, of course, on the basis of the condition of the dog, we judge whether the owner correctly fulfilled his tasks, because if not, then you should intervene with the appropriate services such as the police, OTOZ, foundations dealing with interventions and collecting dogs from bad living conditions, etc. In such a situation, when the dog is starved, has traces of violence, it is necessary to very carefully and carefully analyze his situation. But let's assume the optimistic scenario that the dog is well-groomed and simply got lost as a result of an unfortunate coincidence.
- Secure the found dog
- Let's look for the addressee and the chip in the found dog
- Relevant services
- Ads with a photo of a found dog
- Finding a new home for a found dog
Secure the found dogSecure the found dog
The first, most important step is to secure the dog so that it does not run blindly on, run into a car or lose its trail completely, moving away from the place where its owner was.
Of course, we usually do not have a leash with us so that the dog can be attached (well, unless we have our own dog and a spare leash in the trunk), but then let's improvise. Maybe we have a scarf that can be gently tied to the collar, or a rope that can be attached? We can also use a treat to lure the dog to our car (if, for example, it runs on the road) so that it is safe in the cabin. These are, of course, solutions that we can take if the dog is calm, does not show aggressive behavior and we see that it wants to interact with us. Otherwise, the appropriate services should be called. But more on that later.
Once the dog is safe, let's take a look around. In built-up areas, in the middle of the city, it usually turns out that the owner has not moved away too much and he is looking for his dog very nervous. Therefore, let's take a walk around, ask passers-by whether they have seen someone looking for a dog. Let's try to apply ourselves to this task and check as much area as possible (ask friends or even other passers-by for help) to make sure that we do not take a dog whose owner has only left for a moment and after returning he is very surprised by the absence of a dog ( this is of course also another topic that dogs should not be left unattended, but in practice it unfortunately happens).
However, if it is an undeveloped area, where there are no houses nearby, we can unfortunately assume that the dog traveled many kilometers from an unknown direction before it reached us.
Let's look for the addressee and the chip in the found dog
The addressee at the collar or harness and the chip is the basic help when we lose the dog. That is why it is so important that we, as owners, remember about it! It is best if the dog has both protections, because it may happen that it will break off the collar at which the addressee is located and run forward, and then the only clue for the person who finds the dog is gone.
But if the dog has a chip under the skin (the procedure is very quick and simple, and sometimes even sponsored by the local municipality), we can go to the nearest veterinarian or shelter, which, with the help of a special reader, will check the owner's data, which are encoded on the chip. Thanks to this, we will be able to contact him and arrange the collection of the dog.
In addition, if the dog has no problems with the touch of a human hand (many dogs are stressed and anxious, so you should approach them very delicately, do not look them in the eyes and speak in a soft, low tone), we can see whether in the groin, the inside of the ear or on the there is no tattoo from breeding in the lower abdomen, then you can contact the Kennel Club and try to find out the owner's details.
What to do with the dog when the chip is missing and we cannot find its owner in the area? In such a situation, we usually have two options. Either we take the dog with us, if we have the conditions for it and the dog wants to come with us and from there we will announce the rescue operation or call for special local services appointed by the commune office, for example the police or municipal police (ekopatrole), which will take care of catching the dog (even the aggressive ones), securing it and taking it to the shelter for quarantine. If we accept this option and have the option, let the dog wait for the arrival of the ecopatrol, provide the dog with water and food for the dog, if it looks hungry, and secure the space in which the dog is located to facilitate its later catch. Alternatively, if it is safe, take the dog (after prior telephone contact) to the nearest shelter. If, of course, we know that this is not a random place, because not all shelters have the right conditions. But even if we hand over the dog to trained services, we can still help find the owner! Let's find out exactly where the dog will be taken so that the announcement includes this key information for the rightful owners of the dog. And let's make some good, clear photos for the announcement.
Ads with a photo of a found dog
The announcement stage is very important. It is thanks to him that we are able to reach the owners. I always make two types of ads - standard, paper with a color photo of the dog and posts on Facebook, ads on forums of local residents and on special groups for dog breeders.
Standard ads make sense because, for example, older people do not use social media, and dogs run away quite often, because such people sometimes do not have enough physical fitness to run after a dog.
It is worth placing the advertisements in the area where we found the dog, because there is a good chance that his guardian lives there. Advertisements should be placed on poles, in places with a high concentration of people, in grocery stores and pet stores and in nearby veterinary clinics, because stressed dog owners often run there. If we cannot suspend the advertisement in the veterinary clinic, let us at least leave a reference to ourselves.
In the advertisement, include information (apart from the photo) when and where exactly we found the dog and provide information about yourself or the shelter to which the dog was taken.
In the case of posting a dog on Facebook, let's find groups that are dedicated to such ads, because the owner will probably also look there. Let's ask people to share the post, word of mouth can work wonders, more than once I managed to find caregivers even from a distance!
Finding a new home for a found dog
If the dog is at our house and we use all possible means to find guardians and it will not help, and the dog cannot stay with us for various reasons, then let's try as a temporary home to find the pooch's new target home as soon as possible, that he would not suffer when leaving us.
We add a post about the dog on social media with photos and information about what we have noticed about the dog (does the dog like children, can the dog stay home alone, does the dog have health problems or get along with other dogs - any information about the dog) looking for a new home is valuable). Let's ask friends to help us in looking for a home, this way it's easier to find a trusted home if we already know someone.
If none of our friends can take the dog under their roof, and someone from the Internet reports, let us conduct a thorough interview (if we do not know how to do it, ask volunteers working in shelters, they have extensive experience in conducting adoption meetings!) with that person. Let's learn as much as possible about her approach, why she wants a dog, what conditions the dog will live in, whether the person is able to bear the costs of veterinary care, whether it will be a family dog living at home or someone is looking for a free guardian for an abandoned plot (unfortunately such cases also take place). The more we learn and realistically meet the potential adopter, the better for the dog.
Of course, there is always a chance that the rightful owner will contact you after a long time and you should also inform about this during the conversation with a possible new home.
Finally, an important, though often marginalized problem. If we find a dog and the owner responds to our advertisement, let's check if he is actually the owner! It sometimes happens that people try to trick people to take a dog that is, for example, purebred and would have to pay dearly for it in breeding, and here they have it for free. So they take risks, even at the expense of fraud.
Therefore, you should be very vigilant in such situations. Let's arrange to pick up the dog in a neutral place, ask the guardian to have the dog's health book with him and joint photos and tell us before the meeting what collar the dog had when he escaped. Let's also ask for the dog's name and check if the dog actually reacts to it. Let's also watch the first meeting carefully - if the dog jumps out happy and starts wagging its tail so that it almost comes off and reacts to its name, and the owner is able to show us that they share a bond, it will probably be okay. But even in such a situation, it is worth to talk delicately with the guardian and convince him that the chip and addressee as well as proper care for the dog, preventing him from escaping, is an absolute must, in order to avoid the stress of separation.
Where can I check if my dog has a chip??
To check if the dog has a chip, go to a veterinary clinic or shelter.
What should be on the dog's tag?
The data tag should include the owner's name and surname, as well as contact details, such as the guardian's phone number.
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