By chance, on your way, you may have seen a dog wandering around in the wilderness and seeming lost. The risks for him are then numerous: running away, being hit by a vehicle… In order to quickly return him to his owner, here are the right gestures to adopt.
How to approach a stray dog?
This is the most delicate moment: approach the dog without him running away in fear or without him being hostile towards you by perceiving this approach as a danger.
Depending on where you are, be careful not to endanger yourself or the animal. A fearful animal may try to flee, but can potentially become aggressive if it feels trapped and hopeless.
If the dog is friendly, talk to it calmly to reassure it and gain its trust, it will either approach you spontaneously or you can go to it without fear.
On the contrary, if the dog is reluctant at first, does not approach and does not let himself approach, be careful. In order to calm his fear, talk to him, insist and wait to see his reaction. A fearful but non-threatening dog will eventually get caught.
Finally, if you feel that the animal is really aggressive and that intervening alone represents a potential danger, do not hesitate to call the competent people for its capture. There will then be no harm to you or the dog.
Who to contact next?
The dog finally approached, make a quick assessment of his state of health in order to see if he is not injured following a collision or an accident, and also to evaluate his general appearance: is it a healthy and well-maintained dog, therefore belonging to someone? Does the dog show a certain amount of leanness, suggesting that it has been raving for several days or has been abandoned?
First of all, check if the dog is wearing a tag around its neck with the details of its owner. It is then easy to contact him to report that you have found his dog!
If this is not the case, it is advisable to call the town hall of the commune where the dog was found. The commune is responsible for animals wandering on its territory. The animal will be picked up and taken care of by the commune, otherwise you can ask for the contact details of the nearest pound which will be responsible for identifying and temporarily housing the animal. If the dog is identified by microchip or tattoo, the owner’s details are then included in the I-CAD file, an organization that gathers the identification files of pets.
Please note: it is forbidden to take a dog found on the public highway home with you. In the vast majority of cases, the animal belongs to someone and your act could be considered theft. If the dog is found at night, an emergency number exists.
What can I do to help find the pet’s owner?
At the same time, you can absolutely report the discovery of the dog.
I-CAD, with its powerful data network, has created the Filalapat application. When you go to the “I found an animal” section and fill in the requested information, the application takes care of linking the information and searching its database for the owner’s contact details. Namely, it is also possible for owners to report the loss of their animal. If this is done on their side and the declaration is made on yours, you will be directly connected.
Also useful is the PetAlert website. This is a network of people whose vocation is to share and relay information concerning found or lost pets. For more efficiency, PetAlert disseminates information in a geolocalized way and on multiple media and social networks.
Finally, be aware that when the dog is taken in at the pound, but unfortunately could not be identified and/or has not been claimed by its owners, it will be proposed for adoption at a shelter 8 days later. If your encounter was unforgettable, then this is a unique opportunity for a warm reunion and a beautiful adoption story.