What To Do If You Find A Lost Dog

Did you know that around 10 million pets are lost or stolen each year? That’s the official estimate from the American Humane Association, and it’s pretty mind-boggling. While it’s important to focus on keeping your own pet safe, it’s also good to know what to do if you find a lost pet. A Marietta, GA vet goes over some of that information below.

Don’t Presume Neglect

Dogs are pretty resilient. While lost cats sometimes show up on someone’s porch, or just hole up in a barn or shed, stray dogs tend to get more wary. Our canine pals can survive on their own for quite a while before being found or caught. By this time, Fido may look very different than he would in any lost/found ads. But even if he’s skinny, flea-ridden, and in desperate need of a bath, that doesn’t mean he isn’t missed. If you check lost ads, you may need to go back quite a ways.

Play It Safe

Be very careful when approaching a lost dog. Fido could be scared, hungry, and/or injured, which all increase bite risk. Even if he’s friendly enough to approach you, he could still have diseases, such as rabies, which can be deadly to humans. If possible, call a rescue or animal control officer. If you do feel confident enough to take Fido home, keep him away from other pets.


So what if you fall in love with Fido and want to adopt him? Finders are not legally able to keep or rehome pets, even if abuse is suspected. To adopt your pooch, you need to go through proper channels. That means filing a found report. Keep in mind that, here in Georgia, the law is very clearly on the side of the owner. That doesn’t mean you can’t adopt a stray: you just need to do it legally. You can get more information from the shelter or animal control.


It’s also important for you to look for Fido’s humans. That means checking lost and found ads, making flyers, contacting local shelters, and posting on social media groups. You’ll also want to take Fido to a vet or animal clinic, so he can be checked for microchips.

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Marietta, GA pet clinic, today!

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