Helping Hands: What To Do When You Find A Homeless Animal
Tips on how you can help a homeless animal find safety and shelter.
When most people think about homeless animals, they often picture a dirty city or town that is far from their own image of home. After all, it’s easier to think that dangerous, sad issues are not affecting the areas we live in and are instead a “far off” problem. However, the truth of the matter is, pet overpopulation is such a large problem in the United States that it is happening everywhere―even in our own backyards.
Therefore, how are you supposed to react if you come across a homeless animal when you are driving down the road or taking a walk through your local town? Of course, as animal lovers, most of our natural reactions are to always help lend a hand in any way that we can. However, after checking for tags or looking around for the pet’s owners, our next course of action can be a little unclear.
If you happen to come across a homeless animal in your local town or city, here are a four steps that you can take to help make sure the animal is okay, locate their family or even find help and shelter for them if they do not have an owner:
1. Exercise Precaution
Any time you come across an animal that is on its own or that is unfamiliar to you, it is important to be very cautious. You do not know this animal’s temperament or how they feel about strangers. Also, this animal does not know you and could be disoriented or upset due to being lost and far away from home. If you feel as though the animal is unfriendly or could be unsafe to approach, contact your local government office to get the number for animal control to come help.
2. Be Gentle With The Pet
Many people are often so eager to help out an animal in need that their excitement and approach often scares the pet away. Therefore, be very gentle in your approach to ensure that the pet does not run off or into traffic. For instance, try talking softly to the pet so that they know you are not a threat and be very patient in your approach. Sit still and let the animal come to you or if you have something to eat in your car, you can lure them with that. If you happen to have a leash or rope in your car, it may be helpful to leash the pet one you gain their trust that way you can begin looking for ID.
3. Check For Identification
Many animals that you find on the street are often family pets that have wandered away from home and can’t find their way back. Therefore, check them to see if they have any identification. If you do not see any type of tag or identification, take the animal to a vet hospital or local shelter. Most will have access to a chip scanner that can read an implanted microchip which stores the contact information of their owner.
4. Call Local Shelters or Animal Hospitals
If you cannot find any source of identification for an animal, there are still a few things that you can do to help. For instance, call the local veterinary hospitals or animal shelters to see if anyone has called to report a lost pet. You can also post information about the pet on local websites such as Craigslist or Patch to see if anyone calls confirming they know who the pet belongs to. If all else fails, your local no-kill shelter can help you take steps for finding a safe, loving home for the pet if their owner is not found.
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