What To Do When You Come Across An Abandoned Dog?

Dogs are excellent companions for human beings! Unfortunately, there are many cases where they are abandoned. The reasons are varied: it is possible that the dog barks more than expected, that it is too active, or that it is no longer so adorable in the eyes of its “owner” when it grows up. Unfortunately, many people buy or adopt dogs without first learning about the characteristics of the breed or the particular dog, and over time they come across “surprises.” Dogs are living beings, and they have needs that their owner must satisfy. But the world is full of cruel people, and it is a fact that many dogs are abandoned, forced to roam the streets, and try to survive. In this case, you should know that there are non-profit associations that work every day to try to give these animals a second chance. If you find a dog in this state, you could become their new family or, at least, you should help them by contacting a protector to get them off the street.

However, if you see a dog alone on the street, although it may be an abandoned dog, it could also be that it has been lost or escaped, so you will have to try to locate it once you manage to get close to its owner. The approach can be difficult because the dog may be scared, hungry or thirsty, cold, run away again, and run the risk of being run over or causing an accident. Therefore, you must try to earn their trust and help them.

How Does an Abandoned Dog Feel?

What to do if you find an abandoned dog? - Bravery Pet Food

Abandonment is always a traumatic experience. When a dog has been abandoned or abused, it drags a series of psychological consequences that will appear when it reaches its new home. Like us, you have been subjected to a situation in which the beings you trusted the most had abandoned you, so your emotions will be altered, and it may take some time to gain your trust. At first, they may be skittish, seek shelter in a corner, or be nervous when leaving the house. You may be afraid of traveling by car, other animals, people. They may be aggressive or seek refuge in you, and it is not advisable to release them outdoors until they feel like part of the family.

If you take them home, they can show signs of anxiety and nibble on furniture and cushions or relieve themself anywhere until the time comes when they feel comfortable and safe. However, as they gain confidence, they become a cheerful and grateful dog who will show you infinite loyalty. How long this takes to happen depends on each dog.

What Steps Do I Have to Take if I Come Across an Abandoned Dog?

A case for India's stray dogs

  • Remember that not all dogs that walk alone are abandoned, especially in urbanizations or towns, where dogs are used to moving freely in the area. In that case, knock on the door of a house and ask if they know the dog.

  • Try to capture the dog and prevent it from leaving: Approach the pooch carefully, without making sudden movements, speaking in a calm and soft voice. Remember that it is possible that the dog is scared and disoriented and could show an aggressive attitude. You can use food to get them closer to you. Place the food away from you, a meter away, and sit and wait. It is important that you sit or stay in a crouched position, never standing or trying to get close, as it is easy for the dog to get scared. If the dog is afraid, keep quiet. As you gain confidence, the dog may get closer. At that time, you can try putting food in your hand to see if it gets close. If it’s hot, you can also offer water.

  • When they’re next to you, continue to speak gently, try stroking them if possible, until you can hug and contain them. If it has a necklace, you can either tie a string or hold it by grabbing the chain. Otherwise, you can use a rope, knotting one end around their neck, with great care and respect. Take it home or temporarily to your car, as long as it is well ventilated and not too hot.

  • If you can’t get them to get close and the dog leaves, follow them at a distance, without frightening them, so as not to lose them of sight. 

  • Get in touch with the authorities or a protector: If the dog runs away or is belligerent, don’t try to capture it. Call the police or a protector and tell them where the dog was last seen. In case you need first aid, if you know how to handle it, do it. If not, wait until you can take them to a vet.

  • Look for identification: If you have managed to restrain the dog, check if it has an identification tag. In that case, try to contact the owner to inform them that their dog has been located and is safe in your home, arranging a meeting place to return it. If you do not have an identification tag, go to any veterinary clinic to check if you have a microchip. If so, they will contact the owner, who can pick up the dog at the clinic or at the place you agree.

  • If it does not have a microchip, you can take it to an animal shelter, since if the owner is looking for it, they may go to them. The fact that a dog does not have a microchip does not necessarily indicate that it is abandoned. Still, it reduces the chances of finding its owner, so the dog is considered abandoned after a reasonable time. If you hand them to the authorities and the police take them to a municipal kennel, the dog may be euthanized, after a reasonable time, if no one has come looking for it. If you give the dog to a protector, it will be safe since it will not be euthanized, and it will live in its outbuildings until an owner is found for it. You can also adopt them if you want.

  • Place ads: If you decide to take the dog to your home on a foster basis, you can also make it easier to locate the owner by taking a photo of the dog and posting notices in the area where you found it. Also, distribute these flyers to the local veterinary clinics, advertise them on social media and ask people to share the ad to increase the chance that someone knows the dog or owner and can get in touch with you.

  • If you decide to keep it, once a reasonable time has passed to allow its possible owner to appear, go to a veterinarian for a check-up if it has an infection or disease that needs to be treated. In the clinic, they will collect your data and prepare a passport and a booklet for the dog, stating that you are the owner. Next, go to your town hall to register it.

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