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I've found a lost dog! What do I do?

Dogs 29 - Ive found a lost dog
The information on this post might be very useful if you ever come across a stray dog or a lost dog in need of help. Please take the time to read it as it could help a less fortunate canine someday.

If the dog is just lost from its owners it is very likely to be carrying some sort of identification. Check the dog for a collar as it could have the owner's contact details. If there isn't a collar or the one on the dog does not have any details, take the dog to a local vet so they can scan it for a microchip. If the dog is chipped and if the registered details are up to date you will be able to reach the owner.

However, if you are not able to reunite the dog with its owner you must contact the local authority dog warden. This is extremely important because it is a legal requirement! You have to report that you have found the dog, describe the circumstances briefly, supply your contact details and arrange for the dog to be collected. If you do not follow this procedure you could be accused of theft of the animal you found.

Many people might think of taking the dog to a rehoming organisation but they can only take dogs in from the local authority dog warden or from the dog's rightful owner for rehoming.

Once the dog is collected by the dog warden it will be held for a seven day period. If the owner is not found during that period the dog will move on to the kennels where it will be available for adoption.

Once you are done with the legal requirements you can help with the search for the dog's owner. You can ask neighbours and people on the area if they recognise the dog, put up posters (with the dog's photo and your contact details) and you can also share the dog's picture in social media networks like Facebook. You can contact local vets, rescue centres and organisations such as RSPCA or Dogs Trust as they usually have lost and found pet lists. You can even spread the word further using websites designed to reunite lost pets with their owners such as Dog Lost.

If no owner is found and you decide you would like to adopt the dog you will be able to do so by going through the normal adoption procedure of the kennel.

We feel this an excellent opportunity to remind owners to please microchip their dogs! The chip will always be your dog's best chance to come home if he or she ever gets lost or stolen! 

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Published: 13 May 2015

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