What To Do When You Find A Lost or Stray Pet? By Your Carmel Veterinarians

What To Do When You Find A Lost or Stray Pet?   By Your Carmel Veterinarians

Everyday we take calls from people who have either lost one of the beloved pets, or someone who has just found a stray dog or stray cat.  Each case should be handled on a individual basis, but as one of your Carmel veterinarians, I can give you some solid guidelines to use.

1. ¬†Be Careful and Approach with Caution. ¬†It’s better to assume that a lost or stray animal may be frightened enough to be aggressive. ¬†The best way to most animal’s heart is through their stomach. ¬†So offer some yummy canned food to entice them closer. ¬†Then you can slip a leash over the neck of the stray dog. ¬†For cats, place a big beach towel over the cat then gently lift the cat and place into to an easy access cat carrier that opens from the top. ¬†If the stray pet is showing any signs of aggression at all, do NOT attempt to touch the animal. ¬†Simply call Animal Control.

2. ¬†Take the pet to your local Carmel Veterinarians to scan for a pet microchip.¬†¬†If there is no external identification on the pet, the first thing that should be done is to scan for a pet microchip for a quick owner identification. ¬†Many pets will slip out the door or slip through their collars, but pet microchips can’t fall off. ¬†It is important for owners who move or get new cell phone numbers to go online and update their contact information. ¬†All pets should be microchipped when they are spay or neutered for peace of mind.

3.  With no identification, turn towards the internet to help locate pet owners.   I always recommend informing the neighbors around where the dog or cat was found to see if they might recognize the pet, but a much more effective way to reach thousands of people is through the internet.  Use services already in place such as which is free.  Post a picture and description on the websites and facebook pages of your local shelter, humane society, and your Carmel veterinarians.  These types of websites and social media is the best way to get in touch with a frantic pet owner. There are even pay for service sites such as that will help you look.

4. ¬†¬†If no owners can be found, you should relinquish the dog to the animal shelter humane society (or foster for them). ¬†Just think if you had lost your dog or cat. ¬†You would tell your neighbors, call your local Carmel veterinarians, and visit the local animal shelters. ¬†This protocol gives the best chance for a happy reunion. ¬†After the mandatory waiting period to allow an owner to claim their lost pet, the pet will come up for adoption. ¬†So if you were wanting to adopt the dog, this is the way to ensure you are not stealing someone’s beloved pet.

For more information on our Caring Hands Compassionate Hearts, click on the link to our Carmel Veterinarians.

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