Many stray dogs have been reunited because of Found Dog posters. Scan for a chip. Veterinary offices and shelters can scan the stray dog for a microchip. They should all have universal scanners, which detect chips by all common manufacturers. Microchips can migrate within the body of a dog, and end up in unexpected places. Then you can call that shelter or vet and possibly learn who the owner is. Place a craigslist ad right away. With most smart phones, you can place the ad moments after you find the dog, before you even leave the area.
Give some basic information about the dog, where he was found, the condition he is in, etc. Hold back some significant details so that anyone claiming to be the owner would have to tell you those details as proof of ownership. Many times, I have listed a found dog and had someone claim to be the owner without having any sort of proof. You would persist until you found a way to prove the dog was yours.
The scammers give up pretty quickly if you challenge them. If the person claiming the dog is calling from a blocked number, assume they are trying some sort of scam until they can prove they are trustworthy. You should renew a craigslist ad every seven days for a month. In addition to the craigslist ad, you can post on many Facebook pages dedicated to lost dogs of particular regions. Notify shelter s and pet businesses. You probably need to notify several shelters. A dog can pass through several jurisdictions just by wandering a few blocks in some cases. Also, the dog may have been transported.
Also, I would notify Adix, a boarding facility that serves as the shelter for Mountlake Terrace. When you are at the shelter filling out the Found Dog form, also check their book or listings for any reported lost dogs that might match the one you found. Shelter employees and volunteers won't necessarily take the time to look through the dogs reported lost and the dogs reported found to see if there are any matches.
You may want to turn the dog over to a shelter, which would probably work out okay in most cases. As noted above, the shelter you take the dog to might not be the one that has jurisdiction over the place the dog escaped from. Also, a shelter would only hold the dog for three days, and not actively look for the owner in most cases. Useless Bay Sanctuary has been able to reunite dogs that would have already been adopted out by a shelter if they had been surrendered. Besides local shelters, you should drop of Found Dog fliers at local pet food stores, veterinarians, doggie daycares, and groomers.
When a dog comes under my care, in most cases I will put two leashes on the dog. One leash will be attached to a Martingale collar, and the other leash will be attached to a harness. A dog can slip out of a collar or a harness, but not both. Put a note on the outside of the front door telling anyone who enters the house that there is a new, unfamiliar dog inside. Any new person entering the home needs to be properly introduced, probably using the calming signals discussed above. Either squeeze in through a barely-open door, or come in through the garage after the garage door is closed, or put the stray dog in the kitchen before opening the front door.
If you have a stray dog in your car, pull the car into the garage and close the garage door before opening the car door to let the dog out. Prepare for an escape. It is not unlikely that a dog found wandering escaped from somewhere and may try to escape again. Any stray dog under your care should have some sort of temporary ID with your contact information. I would stop at the pet store and have a tag engraved, but you can also just write your name and number on a piece of paper with a marking pen, and then attach it to the collar by wrapping it with clear packaging tape.
Take several clear pictures of the dog, from several angles, in good light, so you can tell someone what the dog looks like if he escapes. As an extra precaution, you can collect a scent article from the dog so that a search dog could track him if he ran off. There may be a search dog in your area that could track a lost dog, but only if you have a useable scent article.
Useless Bay Sanctuary often takes the extra step of putting a GPS collar on a found dog, so he can be found quickly if he escapes. We use Tagg brand collars. I know of hundreds of lost dogs that looked skinny, dirty, scraped, and matted when they were finally found. They looked abused even though their owners had been looking for them nonstop since they disappeared.
A dog that was friendly and happy might cower and cringe if he has been running away from people for days or weeks. A dog that is limping may have been living like a king in his previous home, and he might be limping because he was hit by a car after he escaped. Laws vary from place to place, and it can be difficult to find out what the law is in your area even if you ask an authority that is supposed to know. A shelter is treated differently under the law, and they can adopt a dog to a new family after 72 hours in most cases.
At Useless Bay Sanctuary, our current understanding of the law in most jurisdictions is that anyone besides a shelter is obligated to try to reunite the dog with the owner for 30 days. In practice, we often hold a dog for longer than 30 days because we want to have the dog spayed or neutered before going to a new home, and we want to assess the people applying to adopt a dog. Many of the dogs we have saved have been claimed by their owners after 72 hours but before 30 days.
If you surrender the found dog to a shelter, and then adopt the dog from a shelter if no owner claims him during the 72 hour stray hold, then the dog is yours, without a doubt. If you keep a dog for 30 days, actively search for the previous owner, and notify the shelter that you have this found dog, there is still a chance that an owner could come forward at some point in the future and ask for the dog back. Ownership of the dog might need to be decided in a court of law, which can be expensive no matter which way the decision goes. If the dog has a microchip, and you were unable to find the owner using that information, the owner who implanted the microchip could use that as proof of ownership to claim the dog even if you tried to find the owner for 30 days or more.
You would be wise to document your efforts to find the original owner, in case it might end up in court one day. Keep in mind, too, that the law does not consider whether or not you have the best intentions of the dog in mind. In the eyes of the law, a dog is property, like a car or a shoe. A dog's value, according to the law, depends on a human's ability to exploit the dog for a profit. If you consider a dog to be a priceless member of your family, the law may not really care. Some people think that if they keep a dog in their home or at a rescue for 72 hours and no one tries to claim the dog, then the dog becomes their property.
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The 72 hour stray hold only applies to shelters and humane societies recognized by local contracts with cities and counties as the animal control authority in their defined area of jurisdiction. Because this stray dog will come in contact with your own dogs or with other dogs on the street, be sure to vaccinate the dog soon. Useless Bay Sanctuary collects donations just for veterinary expenses, and we are prepared for these costs.
If you are not willing to pay for basic veterinary care, you need to surrender the dog to a shelter or work with a nonprofit like UBS. Do not neuter a dog before the end of a 30 day search period. Yes, almost all dogs should be spayed or neutered, but you can do that after the 30 days of searching for the owner.
You could be sued if, for example, you had a dog neutered and then the owners came forward and claimed you deprived them of income because they planned to breed the dog. Getting sued for thousands of dollars will not help you help lost pets. Require Proof of Ownership.
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This can be pictures of the person with the dog, or it could be veterinary records, adoption papers, or licensing documents. In some cases, a person might think it is really their dog when it just looks very similar. Proof of ownership might be faked. Even if someone has a picture of herself with the dog, it could just mean that she found the dog last month and claimed it as her own without looking for the owner. Or it could be a picture of a dog that happens to look very similar. Use your best judgment, and document everything. If you were shown convincing proof of ownership and you later learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that the person claiming the dog was not the owner, you would want some way to track that person down and make things right.
If you have proof a dog came from a situation of abuse or neglect. No one would want to return a dog to an owner who was abusing or neglecting a dog. By law you may have no choice. If abuse is clear, but you feel you have no legal recourse to prevent them from claiming the dog, do report it to your local animal control agency, with as much proof as you can gather. If you try to hide a dog from a suspected abusive owner, you may just make things worse for yourself and for the dog.
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Also, you could be wrong, and you might be breaking the law to protect a dog when in fact it is actually returning to a loving home in spite of appearances. A person suspected of animal abuse is innocent until proven guilty. If you are thinking of breaking the law to protect a dog, think twice. Every day I see posts advertising a found dog as being available to go to a new home. If I was on vacation and the people who were supposed to be watching my dog lost her, I would be heartbroken and enraged to come home and find that the person who found my dog gave her away.
If you would like to see the dog adopted by a new family that will treat her the way she deserves, be sure to go about everything in a proper and legal manner. If you are rehoming a dog after 30 days of searching for the original owner, be sure to take the time to get to know the potential adopter. Ideally, you want to see how they interact with dogs, to see if it would be a good fit. Take into consideration the personality of the dog. Some potential adopters would be great for one type of dog and wrong for another sort of dog.
Do not list a dog as free to a good home. If you have exhausted every means of finding the original owner, and you have been looking for 30 days, then you may be clear to find a new home for the dog. While a previous owner may not have lost all rights of ownership if they didn't find their dog within 30 days, if you spent 30 days actively trying to find the owner, it is less likely that you could be successfully sued at some point in the future.
I am not an attorney, and various authorities have given differing opinions on the issue of ownership of a stray dog. Please do your own research on this. Do not advertise her as free to a good home. Even though money is not your motive for rehoming the dog, you need to be charging something to ensure this dog is not going to an abusive situation.
People do collect dogs offered for free and then turn around and sell them for a profit. Sometimes people seeking bait dogs for fighting rings will have an accomplice pose as an upstanding citizen with a loving home. It may be a rare occurrence, but you can take reasonable precautions to avoid such a scam. In July, dog carcasses accumulated in Animal Control's freezer for more than days, because contractors hadn't been paid to remove them. In October, the department went without a legally required veterinarian on staff for three weeks when the city let the contract lapse.
Jen Clarkson is president of Dog Aide , a group of 70 volunteers that formed last year from several rescue organizations. Rescue organizations like hers fill in the gaps where city services are lacking. It's a common solution in Detroit, in which private companies, foundations and communities work to complement everything from public safety to transportation. Our mission is to assist families in the city however we can to help them hold onto their pets.
Just a couple of the other groups working for city pets include CHAINED , which provides education and assistance for families that tether their dogs, and Detroit Bully Corp , a rescue and rehabilitation nonprofit that specifically works with pit bull terriers, a breed that is particularly prone to abuse in Detroit.
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Detroit Dog Rescue also emphasizes education, owner assistance and spay-and-neuter programs. In the Dog Days of Winter campaign last year, they gave away dog houses, hay and about three tons of food to local residents. Detroit is filled with those people," Carlisle said. They don't want to have to choose between themselves and the dog If we can be that bridge for the community, we're glad to help.
Detroit Dog Rescue volunteers provide free food and supplies to pet owners in need during their Pet Pantry Project program. Both Carlisle and Clarkson say one of the most essential ways to change the abandoned dog problem is through spaying and neutering. We've done it ourselves, but low-cost doesn't mean people can afford it.
Carlisle and Clarkson would also like to take their mission to area schools, so children learn from an early age what it means to be a responsible pet owner. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. But animal lovers like Carlisle say exact numbers aren't the point.