Your dog going missing is probably every Pet Parent’s worst nightmare, and we already know so much on how to keep our dogs safe and put in place dog theft prevention. But what do you do if you find a lost dog? What steps should you take to ensure that you can reunite a lost dog with their pet parent?
A Lost Dog Story
Recently, my neighbour’s dog went missing. He was putting out the bins when his partner’s dog snuck out and decided to go on an adventure – though it wasn’t much of an adventure for my neighbour. Que my neighbour driving around the estate hoping that he’d be able to spot his dog, his partner posting on Facebook to see if anyone had seen him and just hoping to find him safe and sound.
Luckily, someone in the estate found him and took him into their garden and posted to Facebook wanting to reunite the dog with their Pet Parent. My neighbour’s partner saw and messaged asking to come and get their dog back.
However, my neighbour’s partner received a strange request back, the person who had found their dog asked for them to send pictures of them with the dog to prove that he was theirs.
Of course, my neighbour had no qualms doing this and fired off 6 or 7 photographs of them with their dog, and they were invited to come and collect him. Upon arrival, they asked why the person asked for photos, only for them to reveal about ten other people had claimed the dog as theirs.
Scary right? Although this story had a happy ending, to think of the person who’d found him hadn’t asked for photos, then who knows what would have happened. This is why we wanted to share some helpful tips and tricks so that if you find a lost dog, you’ll know what to do to successfully reunite them with their Pet Parent.
What to Do If You Find a Lost Dog
- It seems obvious at first, but it’s something that can easily be forgotten about in the heat of the moment, checking if the dog has a collar and an ID tag. This is the best way to directly contact the dog’s pet parent and the quickest way to reunification. However, make sure to double-check doesn’t have a barrel ID tag instead as these can often be overlooked.
- Check the dog is alright. If the dog is comfortable with you checking them over, making sure they aren’t hurt or injured is important while taking them to a safe place such as a garden. Provide them with some water since you don’t know how long they may have gone without it, and they may be dehydrated.
- If you have a local vet or animal shelter nearby, it’s always a good idea to either give them a call or take the dog to them since they’ll be able to scan for a microchip. Since most dogs in the UK are now microchipped, it is likely that the vets or animal shelter will be able to get in touch with the Pet Parent and aid in the reunification.
- If you don’t have a local vet or animal shelter nearby, you can contact your local authority dog warden, who will be able to come and collect the dog and provide a safe place while they conduct searches for the pet parent.
- However, if you are part of a local community Facebook group, then posting a message to ask if anyone has lost their dog is a good place to start. But be careful with this message, try not to photograph the dog as anyone may claim it to be theirs. Instead, place a message up about finding a lost dog and ask whoever gets in touch to send a picture of them with their missing dog.