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The Right Way to Rescue a Stray

November 9, 2015

tank dogsI get this message almost daily, “I found a dog and rescued it, will you take him? If not you, what other rescue group can I take him to?” Hey, it’s great that you picked up a loose dog wanting to help, but there is more to rescuing than simply loading a dog into your car and expecting someone else to happily jump to your aid. But, I am getting ahead of myself… First things first, it’s important to know that not every loose dog is a homeless, unwanted stray. Even if the dog *looks* somehow abused or neglected, you really have no idea. He may be far from home and on the run for some time. He may have had some scraps with other dogs or other animals. Don’t jump to the conclusion that he has been dumped or has escaped use as a bait dog in a fighting ring.

But down to brass tacks… what do you do when you find a loose dog? The answer is pretty simple: you take him to the shelter. I can hear you gasping already – “but the shelter puts animals down!” Well, I will admit that is true, but do you know what else the shelter does? They offer medical attention, food, and a safe place for a dog to crash. They scan for microchips and reunite lost pets with their owners. They adopt out animals to new loving families. Yes, the shelter does all these things (and more) too.

So, the next time you find a loose dog and you truly want to help him, go ahead and load him up in your car… and take him directly to the animal shelter. There they will scan him for a microchip – if he has one, problem solved! If he doesn’t, he will likely be held for at least 72 hours to give an owner a chance to reclaim him. Ask for an intake number when you drop him off and use that time to begin searching for a foster or reaching out to rescues in the event no owner comes forward. I can assure you that others will be much more willing to help and network if you work with the system rather than against it.

**As an added note: please don’t take a dog you have found to your home and let him interact with your own pets. He may appear healthy, but you have no clue if the dog has been vaccinated, what he has been exposed to, or even if he has any dog aggressive issues. It’s better to just be safe, and keep your pets safe!

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From → Animal Welfare

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on PB&J Animal Rescue's Happenings and commented:
    We try to pass this information along to everyone that reaches out with a stray dog. Legally, we cannot take in a stray dog until it’s gone through its hold time at the shelter and legally all strays have to be turned into the shelter.

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