If you find a lost dog you must take all possible steps to locate the owner before concluding that this animal is a stray. The information below explains those steps, as well as your options for finding this dog a new home if you can’t locate the original owners.
If you do decide to find the dog a new home, you can list them as a referral on our facebook page.
- Keep the dog safe and secure
- Keep the dog inside, or in an enclosed area so you don’t lose him.
- Care for this dog as you would your own, providing food, water, shelter and kindness.
- Keep the dog separate from your own pets unless you are confident that it harbors no contagious conditions, such as parasites or mange. If you suspect the dog is unwell, take him to a vet immediately. Hopefully the owners will reimburse you if they are found, but don’t expect it. Local rescues may contribute to the cost if their funds permit.
- If you do allow the visitor to meet your own pets, introduce them slowly and carefully to avoid any jealousy.
- Place a ‘found dog’ ad in the local newspapers. These ads are usually free. Provide a basic description of the dog, then ask callers to give you more specific identifying characteristics to prove their ownership. There are unscrupulous people who will claim a ‘free’ dog is theirs, and then turn around and sell it as a laboratory animal, or as ‘bait’ for fighting dogs. There are also online ‘lost and found’ sites for posting advertisements nationally, such as Lost and Found.com.
- Post large, easily visible flyers in your neighborhood and along major streets in your town. Again, provide only a general description so that callers can give you enough specifics to prove that this is in fact their dog.
- Bring the dog to any veterinarian that can scan for a microchip. More and more dog owners are using microchip identification, since stray dogs may lose their collars, but they can’t lose an implanted microchip.
After advertising in the newspaper for 2 weeks with no success, you can legally assume this dog is a stray. The following are your options for finding this dog a new home:
- Adopt the Dog Yourself
- Finding good homes for stray dogs is a difficult task. You can take our word for that! There are simply far more wonderful stray dogs out there than there are loving homes. If this pup has charmed you to pieces, keep him or her! It is essential to have the dog spayed or neutered to lessen the chance of roaming and reduce pet overpopulation. It is also essential that you keep the dog inside or in a securely enclosed yard when you aren’t actively supervising it.
- Find the dog a suitable home
- Be picky! No matter how badly someone may want to adopt this dog, if they aren’t prepared to care for it properly for its whole life, this dog will wind up homeless again – and probably won’t be lucky enough to find a kind rescuer next time.
- If this dog is totally untrained, teach it the basics like ‘sit’ and ‘down’ and housebreaking. Good manners will make the dog infinitely more adoptable. We will soon have training advice available at this website to help you. If you live in the Athens area and can spend the time and money for training classes, we heartily recommend Pacesetter Training: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Advertise the dog in “Critter Magazine” or the local paper. Critter is a free booklet available at vet clinics and pet stores and its purpose is to find homes for needy pets. Your ad must ask for a minimal adoption fee to eliminate callers who are only looking for a ‘free’ dog to sell as a laboratory animal or as ‘bait’ for fighting dogs. We recommend at least a $40 fee.
- Contact a local rescue organization. You will find them listed in Critter Magazine. Be forewarned that because pet overpopulation is at crisis proportions, rescue organizations will likely be full.