Momo is like a child to us – as you know, one of our biggest fears is her getting lost. We’ve definitely taken precautions – she’s micro-chipped and we just got her an awesome PetHub collar. But what do you do if you find a dog roaming around on the street?

Today, on my drive home from the coffee shop I saw a lost dog running around – with my fear of losing my own dog, I couldn’t just let him (or her) run around on the street.Unfortunately, when I got out of my car to get a closer look, the pooch got spooked and ran away. After a depressing 15 minute search, I couldn’t find him. To ease my worry, I’m thinking (and really hoping) he ran home.

But here’s the question I post to you: What would you do if you found a lost dog?

Here are a few tips:

  • Approach the dog carefully and calmly. If you have food with you, now’s a good time to share. Remember, a frightened dog can act unpredictably and even bite or run. (Similar to my situation today…)
  • If you’re able to reach the pup, check to see if she has tags or tattoos (often in ears or inner legs).
  • If you’re not able to, call your local animal control agency to help.
  • Take the dog to your local shelter or pound. I know this is hard for many dog lovers (because we all fear the awful E word, “euthanize”) – however think about it. Where is the first place you would look for your dog? The shelter or pound.  If you’re like me, just fill out a found dog report and then take the pup home to foster while his owners are found.
  • Ask the shelter to check for a microchip. (What many owners don’t know is that once scanned, the microchip doesn’t provide any info – the scanner has to call the microchip company, who then tries to contact the owner.)
  • Make some FOUND DOG signs and post them while also looking for LOST DOG signs.
  • If someone calls you – ask them to describe the dog and any unique traits it may have (spot on ear, scar on leg, etc.)

Hopefully all of these steps will lead to a happy reunion! If the owner offers a reward, consider asking them to donate to local rescues or shelters.

Remember; don’t automatically assume the pet you found is a stray – assume that she is a loved family member waiting (and wanting) to go home.

Do you have any stories about finding a pup? We’d love to hear them – leave a comment below!