Tip on What to Do if You Find a Dog


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Many people are reluctant to take a found dog to the humane society or local animal shelter when found for fear the dog won't be reunited with its owner and be euthanized.

What else can you do?

If you do take the dog to the humane society or animal shelter, you can leave your contact information with a note that if the owner is NOT found, to call you as you will consider adoption. From there, you can decide what you want to do.

Alternatively, here are some other things you can do to try to find the dog's owner.

  • Start by checking the dog for a tag or microchip. Tags should be obvious as they would be on a collar. Most humane societies or emergency clinics will have a scanner and will scan the dog to identify a microchip. If they find one, they will try to contact the owner.

  • Contact your local humane societies, animal shelter, local veterinarian's office, and local animal emergency clinic. Fax or take them a flyer to post on their bulletin board.

  • Create a flyer. Include information about where the dog was found, the date it was found, a description of the dog, a photo of the dog and your contact information.

  • Posting signs or flyers in the neighborhood where the dog was found (posting photos with the information on telephone poles, your local library community board, at the grocery store, ice cream parlor, etc).

  • Place an ad in your local paper or papers (since it is free!) Even if the owner doesn't read it - a friend of theirs might!

  • Walk to neighborhood. Take a walk and ask around if anyone lost a dog.

    An article that might be helpful to you is "What to do if your dog is lost". Although it is written for those that lost their dogs, it has helpful suggestions on where they might be looking to help guide your efforts. What To Do If Your Dog Is Lost.

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    About The Author

    debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

    Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.