What To Do When You Find A Lost Or Abandoned Animal

Posted on: 13 July 2016


Many people have come across a lost or abandoned animal at some point in their lives. You may be confused when it happens to you. Should you simply call animal control or try to catch the animal yourself? The answer, of course, depends on the circumstances. Before you act, evaluate the situation clearly and calmly.

On the Road 

The most dangerous situation occurs when the lost animal is on or near the highway. They are in immediate danger, and if you try to intervene, you could be as well. Experts caution you not to come to an abrupt stop, even if you see a puppy close to traffic. You don't want to cause a traffic accident by making dangerous driving choices. You should drive to a spot where you can safely turn around and then return to the animal. Your safety is paramount.

You should, of course, call animal control immediately, or the police if you don't have a number for animal control. Whether you approach the animal depends on whether they are sick, injured, or aggressive. If you get too close to a frightened animal, you could easily be hurt. If you can put treats in the back seat of your car, you may be able to get the animal safely restrained. Although you can try and drive the animal to a shelter by yourself, you are taking a chance on your safety. If you are in doubt, wait with the animal at a safe distance from you until help arrives. 

Keeping the Animal

You may be convinced that the animal has been abandoned or mistreated, but you still cannot take the animal and keep it. By law, you need to turn the animal over to the proper authorities and let them try and find the owners. Remember, the dog or cat may have been lost for some time and not neglected. If you rescue the dog or cat by taking it to your home, you may be depriving a family of their beloved pet. You can also post a lost pet listing on your social media accounts or in the local supermarkets to try and locate the owners after the animal is at the shelter. If the animal is not claimed, you can always adopt it later. 

Helping an animal in need is admirable, but if you don't use caution, you can get hurt and end up harming the animal. Always contact the authorities and don't assume that you know best. It takes a group of dedicated people to help the animal properly.