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What To Do If You Find a Lost Pet

What To Do If You Find a Lost Dog or Cat
What To Do If You Find a Lost Dog or Cat

What To Do If You Find a Lost Dog or Cat

Have you ever been out and about and found a lost dog or cat? I’m sure if you have, your heart started to race thinking about how you would feel if your pet was lost. I just can’t imagine what I would do if Dexter the dog got out of the house and was missing. My heart would break and I know I would be beside myself. So, what do you do if you find a lost dog or cat? Here are a few ideas and considerations if you find a lost pet. If you are unable to stop and help for whatever reason, please notify your local animal control.

  1. Be careful. Of course we want all lost pets to find their humans, but a lost dog or cat is likely scared and may react negatively when approached. If you feel it’s an unsafe situation, call your local animal control for assistance.
  2. If you are in your car, grab a dog leash or pet towel from your car. If you don’t have one, make a list and prepare your car for this situation in the future. If you’re not in your car, skip this step.
  3. Approach slowly, with a happy face and soothing tone. At first, don’t move too closely to the pet, as this may startle the animal – you don’t want him to run off. Instead, squat down and try to talk to the pet in phrases they may be accustomed to, while tapping your leg encouraging him to come to you “Do you want to go for a walk, ride, eat a treat….” Or if it’s a cat, “Hey, kitty kitty. You are so pretty.” If you have any food, use it! If the lost pet does not approach, approach slowly and off to the side, not directly straight on.
  4. If the animal approaches or allows you to make contact try to secure him in some way—a leash, blanket, luring into your car, whatever might be around.
  5. Look for a pet ID tag with the pet parent’s number on and call them. If there is not an ID tag and you can secure the pet, take them to the closest animal hospital or shelter so they can scan the pet for a microchip. If you are not able to secure the animal, call your local animal control for assistance.
  6. If you are able to work with animal control, you can continue to help the lost pet by posting lost dog or cat posters, searching for lost pet hotlines and posting lost pet alerts on social media. Most cities have social media groups, particularly Facebook groups, for lost and found pets in the area.

Good luck and thank you for helping someone’s pet find its way home.

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