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When we first spot a stray, for most of us, it will pull at our heartstrings and we wonder what can be done to help.
Here are some ideas how we can make difference to the life of a stray animal:
HELPING A STRAY
1. Catching A Stray If the animal looks friendly and approachable, attempt to catch and safely secure it. If unable to catch call shelter or animal control with location and description of animal. If you are able to secure it check the collar for the owner’s information. It could just take a quick phone call to inform owners their pet has been found.
2. Calling Animal Control If you are not able to restrain the animal call the local animal control agency. In a rural area with no animal control, call the local police.
3. Finding the Owner If the animal was able to be secured and you are able to temporarily keep the animal (this is the most favorable scenario) take it to either a veterinarian clinic or animal shelter to see if chipped. This could speed the process up considerable in finding the owner.
Another option to find the owner is by sharing on Facebook or other social media sites with a photo. Also, you can distribute and hang flyers locally. Be sure to contact the local shelters and animal control agencies with the animal’s photo and information as the owner might try these agencies first.
4. Rightful owner of Stray If you decide to take the animal home, you are not the rightful owner yet. Each state has a State Holding Law https://www.animallaw.info/topic/state-holding-period-laws-impounded-animals, and each state has a different holding time period, usually from a few days to a few weeks.
5. Keep? Animal Shelter? or Rehome? If unsuccessful in finding the owner, you can try to rehome it by finding a foster home, or someone to adopt, before taking it to the shelter. Many shelters are “kill shelters” and older animals are not so adoptable, therefore the last to be adopted and first to be Euthanized. Please read the Rehoming a Pet/Stray article. Shelters and animal care and control agencies have limitations, so hard-to-adopt animals are euthanized to relieve their suffering.
6. Veterinarian Treatment Before taking an injured stray animal to a private veterinary hospital, be willing to assume financial responsibility for the animal’s treatment. To recoup some of your veterinarian expenditures, start a Go-Fund-Me or something similar. But most veterinarian clinics require payment at time of service