Charity Center

What to do if you find a stray dog?
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Picture the scene: You’re driving along and see a stray dog by the side of the road.   What do you do? 
You couldn’t just leave it there – could you?

Be Prepared

As someone who cares about animals, be ready to rescue by carrying a few things in your car at all times: a phone; phone no. of R/SSPCA; 24hr emergency Vet; collar/strong lead/water bowl/water/strong smelling food.

Consider your safety and the safety of the animal.   A sick, frightened or injured dog can behave unpredictably.   Sudden movement may startle it and cause it to run off into traffic.

If you feel in danger, stay in your car and call for help.

When approaching the dog, walk slowly and speak calmly.   As you get nearer stop and see if you can get it to come to you by offering some strong smelling food.

If the dog runs off, have a look around for “dog missing” posters.   You could put up a notice in a local shop saying you have seen the dog.

Keep looking in the “Lost and Found” section of your local papers.

Look on the site for dogs lost in that area.

If you succeed in getting the dog into your car, put it into a restricted area or find some means of restraining it while you drive.   It may panic in a strange, confined space and it would not be a good idea to have a frantic dog bounding about while you drive, possibly causing injury to you both.

As soon as you can, report it to the police.   If you do not and keep the dog you are breaking the law.

Do not assume that the owner is irresponsible, or uncaring.   Accidents happen!   There are many frantic and heartbroken owners out there hoping to be reunited with their pets.

If you are unsure about whether to help that stray animal think:

What would I want you to do if that was my lost pet out there?
You wouldn’t just leave it there – would you?


With thanks to Denise MacGregor for writing this article for Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary.