A client called the other week saying she found stray dogs without identification tags on Nordhoff Street at Haskell Avenue in Northridge when heading home to Sherman Oaks. Having a big heart, she couldn’t leave them on the side of the road. Using a sample bag of dog food she had in her car to build trust and her long necklace to put around the male dog like a leash while the female followed, she took them home with her. She was on a mission to find their family or a safe place to bring them but wasn’t sure what to do next. She called me to see if I had any contacts with rescues or a way to help find the dogs’ family. Although I don’t have contacts with rescues for this specific situation, I gave her question some consideration.
Below are 5 suggestions on what to do if you find stray dogs to help find their family or a safe place to bring them.
- Take the dogs to a local veterinarian office to scan the dogs to see if they have a microchip to identify their family.
- Call all the local veterinarian offices in the vicinity where you found the stray dogs to see if the family contacted them about losing their dogs.
- Take pictures of the dogs and make posters to put up all over the neighborhood where you found the dogs with a phone number or email address where you can be contacted.
- Make a social media campaign to post on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ pages asking your friends and fans in your neighborhood to spread the word to see if they can help you find the family through a viral campaign.
- Google local rescues, non-kill shelters, and local retail pet stores whose business is solely to sell rescue dogs for donations to see if they can take the dogs or have suggestions on other ways to find the family.
Thankfully there was a happy ending for the two stray dogs and their family thanks to the efforts of my client and the Bill Foundation, the rescue group where she adopted her own dog. My client contacted the Executive Director, who had her bring the stray dogs directly to her. She scanned them and found that one of the two dogs had a microchip. Through contacting the microchip company they were able to locate the dog’s family. The owner wanted the dogs back. The Executive Director of the Bill Foundation stated the unfixed dog would need to be spayed and chipped and that both dogs needed to be bathed (their fur was matted) and checked out by a veterinarian before going home. Our client then brought the dogs to the veterinary hospital the Bill Foundation works with, Animal Wellness Center. The Executive Director also said the Bill Foundation would cover the veterinarian costs and have ID tags made for both dogs. Furthermore, she did a home check before returning the dogs, and she will help educate the owner on keeping identification on their dogs and perhaps other basic care issues.
To quote my client when all was said and done and she recapped what happened in an email, “Whew! What an afternoon/evening!”
Have you rescued a stray dog before? What did you do? Was there a happy ending?