Author Topic: Advice for when you find a stray  (Read 6418 times)

Offline WhitNerd

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Advice for when you find a stray
« on: November 06, 2011, 07:31 pm »
I get a ton of PMs and emails from people that have found a stray, so I thought it might be helpful to start a thread on what to do when you find a stray. Other animal rescuers on the Buzz will probably have good advice to add as well. It might help to make this thread a sticky in the critters section so when someone finds a dog, they will have a resource. Here is my advice:

-The number of unwanted pets is the highest it's ever been. Most rescues are full right now, because of the poor economy and how many people are becoming backyard breeders to make a quick buck then they realize no one wants to buy puppies so they dump them at the shelter. This is especially true for pit bulls, which are the most common type of stray dog in this area and most parts of the US. If you find a rescue to take the dog, make sure you research them: https://www.facebook.com/notes/atlanta-bully-rescue/a-plea-to-the-rescue-community/571540589563290

-If you can't foster the pet you find, more than likely, you will have to take the pet to animal control. No one should ever feel guilty about taking a stray to the pound (https://www.facebook.com/notes/allison-berley-williams/why-when-there-is-no-other-choice-you-need-to-call-the-county-pound-even-if-it-i/10151596026726987). The most important thing is to get them off the streets where they could end up getting hit by a car, attacked by another stray, or getting picked up by a backyard breeder. We can't tell you how many backyard pit bull breeders we encounter though community outreach that tell us they picked up the dogs they are breeding as strays. You can read one of those stories here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/atlanta-bully-rescue/yes-a-dog-can-get-pregnant-at-6-months-old/571545122896170

-If you can foster the pet until a home can be found, it's so important that you spay/neuter the pet BEFORE rehoming. There are so many resources in Atlanta that there is really no excuse for not doing this. Spay/neuter contracts do NOT work. We can provide a crate and dog food and help with spay/neuter. Charge an adoption fee of at least $40, so the pet won't be collected for animal testing. Anyone is welcome to refer potential adopters to our adoption applications and we can forward anyone a generic adoption contract to use.

-If you find a pet that is unfixed and then find the owners, PLEASE PLEASE let them pick their pet up at animal control so they can pay a fine and both Dekalb and Fulton will go above and beyond to try and get them to fix their pet when they reclaim it. It's obvious, judging by all the found stray pets looking for homes that we have a severe issue in the area with unwanted pets. People that do not properly contain their unfixed pets are largely to blame, so just giving them back their pet is not helping the situation. They need to understand there are consequences which are why we stress turning unfixed pets into animal control if you find the owner. The more unfixed pets we have roaming the streets, the worse the cycle gets of our shelters overflowing with unwanted pets. In most cases, anyone in North America can get a pit bull fixed for free through the lowest cost option in their area by filling out this short application with PBRC: http://www.pbrc.net/training_nfl.html  Other great lowcost and free spay/neuter resources can be found by posting in this group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/291102700998191/

-The best ways to search for an owner are by first checking the collar for tags and some collars have phone numbers embroidered on them. If they don't have a collar with tags, get the stray scanned for a microchip, most vets will do this for free. Check local pet stores and vets for lost pet fliers. Put up found dog posters, but don't put too many details. The fliers should be placed in the area you found the dog and at animal control. I would put them in any shelter within 20 miles of where you found the pet. You can also file a found pet report with animal controls. According to the animal control rules, any owners that come forth should provide proof via vet bills and a photo. Unfortunately there are scammers that collect found dogs, so don't assume someone is the owner just because they say they are the owner.

What NOT to do if you find a stray:

-Don't get angry with rescues because they don't have enough room to take the dog you found. Nothing burns out rescue folks faster than these types of responses. In all honesty you are lucky they took the time out of their busy schedule of caring for the animals they've already taken in to respond to your request. You have to realize you are probably one of a dozen or more people that contacted them that day asking them to take in a dog. Also, be grateful that there are still responsible rescues out there that know when to say no. There are so many horrible places mascarading as "rescues" where animals are kept in hoarding conditions much worse than humane euthanasia.

-Don't leave the dog to roam thinking you'll try to find a rescue first. It's better to go ahead and get the dog safely off the streets even if it means going to animal control and then you can work on trying to find the dog a home.

-If the dog is aggressive, let animal control do their job and catch the dog. It is not worth the risk of getting hurt and catching strays can be tricky.

-Don't tamper with a trap animal control has set up. It is not only illegal, but traps are hard to replace and vital in saving scared strays. There is usual a waiting list. If you want to save the dog, you can adopt him/her from animal control once they have trapped the dog. Releasing them does not help the dog, this only means it will be more difficult to catch them.


If you want to share this info with someone not on the Buzz, you can give them this link: https://www.facebook.com/notes/atlanta-bully-rescue/what-to-do-if-you-find-a-stray/571537259563623
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 10:41 pm by WhitNerd »

Offline Dachshund Lady

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2011, 08:42 pm »
 :)%  <:)~  :)%

A true work of art and wisdom!

The only things I would add are:

If you find an unfixed dog, take it to Animal Control. (Whit actually said this, but I'm repeating it.). People need to feel the consequence of allowing an intact animal to roam.  If you cannot bear to do that, then call AC to report the dog found, post a vague description in AJC
(more on that below) and after 3 biz days get the dog fixed yourself. And be prepared to foster it until one of the rescue groups can take it. Most rescues will allow guest postings for fixed dogs on their websites (we will pretty much bend over backwards to help a dog, but foster space is always extremely limited).

The AJC will give Found dogs free postings. Make these vague to avoid people with nefarious purposes, and never say the dog is intact ( not neutered /spayed). Examples of nefarious things people want free dogs for: experimentation / lab work, breeding, bait for training fighting dogs. Yes, the human race is doomed. Leave out key details like gender or collar description. Something like "Found medium brown dog in East Atlanta area. Call 404 XXX-XXXX to describe and claim.

Same for Found Dog posters. Post 'em, but don't tell every detail. Make callers prove they know the dog. Otherwise, these problems will get worse (dear God!) and the dog you found will suffer.

Great resource, Whit!
Work: www.bridgeclarity.com and www.bridgeinnovate.com
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Offline Lynn

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2011, 08:59 am »
Village Vets of Decatur After Hours is also usually happy to check the chip for free; however, if emergencies are in house there may be a wait but they are open 24/7.

Offline hotlegshooligan

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 09:27 am »
great list!

i would also add

*post on craigslist (free) http://atlanta.craigslist.org/laf/
*post on Creative Loafing cleassifieds (free)  http://atlantaga.creativeloafing.com/LostAndFound
*post on Petfinder.org (although craigslist seems more widely read)
*Oliver Alert: http://www.oliveralert.com/lost-found/
*This "lost dog/cat" facebook page doesn't have a ton of fans but could help:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Missing-Cats-and-Dogs-of-Georgia/166204406800081

*post photo/description on online neighborhood message boards/listservs (and don't forget the next neighborhood over)

*I've had good luck e-mailing the flyer to nearby vet offices ---so they could print and post it--- when i didn't have time to go by and drop it off during business hours
*coffee shops and parks nearest the spot where you found the dog

Tracing thru the rabies tag seems almost impossible   >:(

I've never tried this (http://atlantaga.creativeloafing.com/LostAndFound/have-you-lost-your-pet/9476641) but looks interesting

Also, if you find a stray but cannot catch it, call animal control! Not 911 or the cops.


Edited to add good info from a newer thread:

In response to my posting on the New Spirit 4 Aussie-Ga chapter facebook page, I got some good suggestions:
  • Be sure to notify the 3 closest county animal shelters that you found him. First place an owner will look is the shelter. Also post this on craigslist- giving limited details about him and be sure they provide proof he belongs to them. Lots of scammers on there. Hope he finds his home.
  • Sometimes kennels and groomers use that tape on the dogs to identify them while they are staying with them. Maybe call around to any of those type business' that might be close to where you found him.

Also, I see a lot of lost & found dogs posted on Oliver Alert (https://www.facebook.com/OliverAlert?ref=ts) on facebook.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 12:05 am by hotlegshooligan »

Offline Flower Lady

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2011, 11:31 am »
this would be a great "fixed" thread in the critters section so that nobody would have to try and search for it!
chuffing charlie, the farting fox

Offline littlelizard

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2011, 01:58 pm »
I have a universal chip scanner that I'm happy to wave around after regular vet hours.
Gura féis ic faelaib do chorp, ocus gura fáilid fiach ármuige ós do bruinne.

Offline WhitNerd

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 10:15 pm »
Here is a story of stray pit bull being picked up off of the streets and used for breeding, which is a big reason I'd rather see a stray dog at animal control than left on the streets: http://www.animalrescueassistance.org/blog/2012/03/13/Yes-a-dog-can-get-pregnant-at-6-months-old.aspx

Offline anndr0id

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 09:29 pm »
For orphaned kittens, the process of nursing them to health is very complicated. If you find unweaned kittens who have no obvious mother (make sure you look, let the kittens meow for a bit if the mother isn't obviously dead/gone), Meows without Moms is a great organization who will take in orphaned cats. I have also worked in kitten rescue and in an emergency, feel free to contact me for help and to temporarily take them in until they are old enough to eat and get fixed and go to a shelter/home.

Offline torilla

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2013, 04:17 pm »
If you find an unfixed dog, take it to Animal Control. (Whit actually said this, but I'm repeating it.). People need to feel the consequence of allowing an intact animal to roam.  If you cannot bear to do that, then call AC to report the dog found, post a vague description in AJC (more on that below) and after 3 biz days get the dog fixed yourself.

So, a couple of things.

I called AC to report this missing dog, and they were only willing to allow me to bring a flyer if I did not want to drop her off. I don't think one can call in a report.

Also, I am not seeing a free option to report in the AJC. Subbed Craigslist.

Offline WhitNerd

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2013, 12:51 pm »
If you find an unfixed dog, take it to Animal Control. (Whit actually said this, but I'm repeating it.). People need to feel the consequence of allowing an intact animal to roam.  If you cannot bear to do that, then call AC to report the dog found, post a vague description in AJC (more on that below) and after 3 biz days get the dog fixed yourself.

So, a couple of things.

I called AC to report this missing dog, and they were only willing to allow me to bring a flyer if I did not want to drop her off. I don't think one can call in a report.

Also, I am not seeing a free option to report in the AJC. Subbed Craigslist.

Legally, you are suppose to bring the dog in, but some shelters are so overwhelmed that they will sometimes make exceptions for rescue groups they work with regularly and allow them to file a found dog report instead. They've also been known to deter people from bringing strays in even though it's the law. Our shelter system in GA is so frustrating. 

Offline SFPK

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2013, 02:29 pm »


So, a couple of things.

I called AC to report this missing dog, and they were only willing to allow me to bring a flyer if I did not want to drop her off. I don't think one can call in a report.


Strange,  when I  found  Clint ,  they  let  me  just  do a  report  over  the  phone  when I  said I  preferred  to  let  him  stay  with  me  rather  than  end  up  at AC.   it  was  Dekalb :(~

Offline WhitNerd

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2013, 10:21 pm »
I know sometimes folks struggle with calling animal control, but it's a much better option than leaving a dog on the streets. My friend posted this yesterday and I thought it was a powerful reminder as to why no one should feel guilty for calling animal control or taking a dog there: https://www.facebook.com/notes/allison-berley-williams/why-when-there-is-no-other-choice-you-need-to-call-the-county-pound-even-if-it-i/10151596026726987

Offline hotlegshooligan

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2013, 12:31 am »
FWIW, here is another lost/found site that I've been seeing lately

http://petkey.org/pet-recovery/lostfoundhome.aspx

Offline luzeav

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2014, 10:12 am »
Thank you all for this great information. It was very helpful as we found a stray dog in Brownwood Park on Tuesday and weren't sure what to do.
Thanks again!

Offline hotlegshooligan

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Re: Advice for when you find a stray
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2014, 09:01 pm »
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 11:58 pm by hotlegshooligan »