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What to do if you find a stray dog?

Updated on July 8, 2009

What would you feel if you found a stray dog? If you are a dog lover you would certainly be delighted especially if the dog is a looker. Who could ever turn their backs on cuddly dogs with appealing expression on their eyes? At the same time you would pity the owner. Being a dog lover you would not want to experience the anguish an owner felt when the pet is lost. Some strays though would have an emaciated appearance. You would feel anger for the irresponsible behavior of the owner especially if you see that the dog is abandoned. A lot of dogs get lost everyday because these animals have the propensity to roam. This is why it is very necessary to let the dog wear a tag on its collar. Some owners would even go to the extent of having the pet micro chipped or tattooed as a precaution for being lost.

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When you happen to come across a stray dog, the best thing to do is to notify the animal control authorities. No matter how attractive and calm the dog appears to be, it would still be necessary to approach the stray with caution. The dog may have an aggressive nature. Approaching the animal hastily can be dangerous. The dog may think that it is being cornered and because of fear, the dog can bite.  Allow the dog to stay near you or in your yard for a while. You can approach the dog when it has settled and when it is not showing signs of aggression. Secure the animal and see if it has an identification tag. If none is found, you have two options to choose from. You can bring the dog to an animal shelter or you can let the dog stay with you while looking for its owners. You can post flyers and at the same time you can look for lost dog notifications in the local newspaper. A homeless stray would have a distinct look from a well cared for dog. An owned dog would have signs that it was recently cared for.  Indentation marks on the neck would signify that the dog has been wearing a collar for some time. The dog may have a bedraggled appearance but it would be obvious that the dog is kept well groomed. It is most likely that owners are looking for the pet. Newspapers ads are commonly posted by dog owners when the pet is lost. If all efforts to locate the dog owner failed you can call an animal shelter to pick up the dog or you can keep the dog for good.

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