I have found a Stray, now what?
What to Do if You Found a Stray
* Before you do anything else, Take him/her to your local vet / shelter to find out whether she has a micro chip (this is free of charge). If he/she has a micro-chip, the family can be contacted straight away.
If she does not have a micro chip or the owner cannot be contacted, you have two options:
* Keep the pet with you until the owners are found (fostering)
* Leave it with the vet or deliver it to a local shelter
Whatever you decide, ideally you should still:
*Put up posters in the area that you found her as well as place an ad in your local newspaper (not Gumtree, OLX or the like). Most local newspapers will print ads like that for free. Give only the minimum details, for example, Labrador type stray found in Midrand. It is imperative to not put any more details on the ad so that chancers cannot claim a stray that does not belong to them. Proof of identification is imperative and if people contact you regarding the stray, they will need to tell you whether the dog they lost is male or female, sterilised or intact, colouring and special features, date and place he/she went missing etc. This makes it impossible for people with ill intentions to claim a dog that is not theirs.
* Tie posters to lamp-posts or stop street poles at all the busy main entrances and exits to your area. Put it up on the notice boards at any of your local shops and malls that will allow you to do so, put it up at vets, pet shops, petrol stations, next to ATM’s, taxi ranks, pet parlours, bottle stores. Use neon coloured paper for your flyers if possible. People have become so desensitised to flyers that are white that they don’t even notice them anymore.
*FOSTERING: Should you decide to foster the pet until its owner is found you should be very careful before handing the dog over to anyone.
It is also advisable to have the stray checked out and vaccinated before exposing him / her to your own pets.
Here is a fool-proof way to establish the real owner of the dog
(Remember you can always contact a rescue organisation to assist you with this process if you feel uncomfortable handling it by yourself)
· Keep the dog around a corner, out of sight of the claimant who should then call the dog by his name.
· If the dog gets excited and strains to get to his owner, well, case closed.
· If the dog remains indifferent, then the claimant is not the owner. Period.
· If, however, the dog displays signs of fear, tail between leg or cowering, then you have a clear sign of abuse which perhaps caused the dog to run away in the first place. In this case you might want to lead the dog quietly away again without letting the owner see him and pretend that the dog didn’t display signs of recognition.
STEPS TO TAKE WHEN SPOTTING A STRAY
First of all try and ascertain whether the pet has a collar or any other identification on it by approaching it carefully and slowly. Pets that are lost will normally be very skittish so any quick movements are likely to scare them away. If the pet has identification obviously the proper action would be to call it’s owners and ideally keep her safe until they can collect her if possible. Should the pet not have any identification and it is friendly, you could try and coax her into the car with you.
Once you have her safely in the car you should take her to your local vet to find out whether she has a micro chip.
If you cannot approach the animal at all for any reason, then please phone an inspector at any of your local shelters to report seeing the animal. Someone might have reported it as missing and it might just be the dog that they are looking for!
It is best to stay with the animal until help arrives, this makes it a lot easier for the rescue organisations to find the stray once they arrive.
If you are unable to keep the animal, kindly let us know after the 10 day stray period has expired, and Barking Mad will assist with homing (contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org)