The Stray Dog and Rescue Options

Many people contact rescue to ask them to take in a stray dog they have found, hoping to eliminate a trip to the animal shelter where the dog may be put to sleep if not reclaimed by the owner. 

Most rescues are unable to accept strays as a good-faith effort to locate the owner needs to be made for a minimum of 30 days before a dog can be adopted when not processed through  animal control.     Here are some important steps for those who have found a stray:

1) Post flyers throughout the area where the dog was found.
2) Talk to neighbors to see if anyone knows where the dog lives.
3) Take the dog to a veterinarian or animal shelter and ask to have him/her scanned for a microchip. The microchip will provide the name and phone number of the owner if it was registered with the microchip company.
4) Place found ads in your local newspapers
5) File a "found dog" report with the local animal shelter.

If the finder has made a good faith effort to locate the owner by following the steps above and the owner does not reclaim the dog, most counties will consider the dog to be the property of the finder.  At that time the dog may be placed in a rescue group so that a new, adoptive home may be found.  If you have found a stray, be sure to keep copies of your newspaper ads, flyers and other details to prove a good faith effort to locate the dog's owner.

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