Stray animals are all too common. There’s not just one problem with this situation; but many problems that need to be addressed. One of those happens to be that people don’t always know what to do once they find a stray running around. So what do you do if you find a lost animal? Here’s five pieces of advice for those exact moment’s.
- Don’t risk your safety or others: Yes, I know that not all strays that one might find are on busy roads, but there are some cases where the person trying to help could do more damage because he/she was not paying attention to traffic. What good are we to an animal if we get hurt? Go back to kindergarten days when “look to both sides before crossing” was always in mind.
- Get on their level: All too often one might think that yelling, “Come here!” or whistling to a stray animal, especially dogs, is going to make them come towards him/her. Think about how that animal might feel: Is it scared? Is it sick or hurt? Is it hungry or cold? Unfortunately, most of these, if not all of them, are going to be true. Kneel down on the ground, don’t make eye-contact with the animal, and find something that makes a crinkling noise to pretend like you are eating yummy food. An animal is more likely to come towards someone if he/she has food.
- Check it out: If an animal approaches someone, that person should start checking the animal for ID tags, a chip, or any signs of ownership. Not all animals who have identification are going to have a home. Some people abandon their pet(s) or the owner has stopped looking for the animal. One phone call could save a life.
- Start Advertising: What happens if a family can’t keep a stray, but doesn’t want to take the animal to a shelter? Make an ad in the local newspaper. Make a post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media site. These help spread the word and even though the original owner may not be found, a new owner just might be an ad away. In the ads, include physical characteristics or a picture for people to see. Post flyers around town. Small businesses usually let people hang those up. Gas stations and fast food restaurants are also good places to go to.
- Worrying Never Killed Anybody: Being worried about an animal’s health and safety is okay. In fact, it might save the animal. Take the stray to a good, well-known, local veterinarian to be checked for any health issues. The vet will also be able to tell if there is a chip in the animal. There are some things to consider before going straight to the vet’s office. Since you are the one who brought the animal in, you might have to pay for the bill as well.
If you have any concerns, questions, or want to keep informing yourself about this issue, research the topic or a specific question, or read this final piece of advise.