Is the Dog Really Lost?
Sometimes you can easily tell a dog is lost. If he knows commands, is well groomed, or a purebred, chances are someone misses him. However, there are sadly many pets that are abandoned. For instance, my humans suspect that their cat, Kitty, was abandoned. A strange car drove down the dead end street, paused for a few moments, and then drove away. After that, Kitty showed up on the doorstep. If you suspect the dog has been dumped, still search for its owners. It could be that the ugly canine is some child’s best friend, or the shaggy pup an old lady’s beloved lapdog. Remember, it doesn’t take long for a dog to get dirty, matted, and have overgrown hair.
Remember, even friendly looking dogs can bite. Keep your distance at first until you know the dog is safe. Also, after petting any unknown dog, wash you hands to kill any germs. I suggest that you don’t let young children touch the dog as they often put their hands in their mouths.
Ask Your Neighbors
If you are able, take the dog with you to see the neighbors or take photos of it. Ask the neighbors if they recognize the dog. Also, ask the mailman. He runs into a lot a dogs on his route.
Take some quality pictures of the dog and put them on “found” posters, along with your contact information and any defining characteristics of the dog. Hang them in your neighborhood and others. Leave some on a library signboard, at the vet office, and the dog shelter.
Post on Social Media
Post about the found dog on Facebook, Instagram, etc. There are some Facebook groups made just for lost/found dogs.
Oftentimes, you will not find an owner. Either the dog is truly lost or its owners don’t really care. In this case, you can choose to either keep the dog or rehome it.
Keeping the dog can provide you with a free best friend! Also, you are giving the dog a good home. Be aware that the dog could have behavioral problems. Perhaps he doesn’t like other dogs or howls at night. However, with training, many of these problems can be fixed.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t want to keep the dog. It can easily be happy somewhere else. You can put out a newspaper ad, post on social media, or tell friends about the available pet. Take good pictures and even videos. Also, be honest about the dog’s problems. If he doesn’t like other pets or children, say so. You don’t want someone to end up with a heartbreak.
Leaving a dog at a shelter isn’t the worst thing to do in the world. It is not always like the hopeless shelter depicted in Lady and the Tramp. At a shelter near me, the dogs usually don’t stay there more than a couple of weeks. Volunteers come to walk them and give out treats, and they each get their own room and bed. True, aggressive dogs are euthanized. If you are worried about this for your stray, try leaving it with a no-kill shelter or rescue group.