In one of our previous articles, we mentioned the Society for Stray Canine Birth Control (SSCBC) and the work it’s doing to reduce the number of stray dogs we have roaming around our streets. The reason we find this article relevant is that it’s believed that there are over 70 million stray dogs roaming the streets in America and less than a third of them will end up in shelters.
Most dog owners are always tempted to help out a stray dog but often have second thoughts owing to the fact that they can’t tell whether the dog is rabid or harmless. We are therefore going to share with you 3 ways you can help a stray dog should you come across it.
Reach out to your local animal control agency
Anytime you come across a stray dog and you are not sure whether or not it’s friendly, it’s advisable for you to reach out to your local animal control agency and request for their help in catching the dog as opposed to you trying to catch it on your own. Once they help you catch it and they verify that it’s not a threat, you have the option of adopting it or letting it be taken to the local shelter.
Verify whether the dog has a tag
Before you make a decision on whether you will adopt a stray dog or let it be taken to a shelter, you need to first verify whether it has a tag. The tag will often have contact info for its owner. If it does have a tag, you can get in touch with the owner and make arrangements on how the dog will be returned home to them. If it doesn’t have a tag and you are interested in keeping it, you can put up an ad for lost and found for a couple of days and if no one comes to claim it, you can keep it.
Take it to the vet
Before you take a stray dog home, ensure that you first pass by your local vet to give the dog a full screening to ensure that it’s in good health. This is meant for the wellbeing of the dog as well as you and your family. If the dog is sick, it will be treated and given a clean bill of health thereby making it safe for you and or your family to have it near them.
There are numerous stories of stray dogs that have been rehabilitated and gone on to perform really amazing feats in dog shows and other events, therefore whenever you come across one, never rule it out because it might just end up being your best friend and partner.
*Bonus tip: you can always provide strays with some food or treats like natural bully sticks to help keep them as healthy as possible.