How to rescue an abandoned pet

September 13, 2013

For most pet owners, the companionship and love felt for their animal is irreplaceable. Unfortunately, there are some who take their pets for granted, or worse, put them in serious danger. While some situations may cause beloved pets to go astray*, there are reckless people who knowingly risk their pet’s life for their own selfish reasons. This behavior results in worldwide pet abandonment statistics that are estimated to be around 600 million per year.  If you come across what you think may be an abandoned pet, DO SOMETHING.

*Before assuming a pet has been abandoned, make every effort you can to find its owner.

Has this pet been abandoned or is his owner just running errands? You may want to stick around to find out. via Jay Rivers.

Has this dog been abandoned or just momentarily separated from his owner? You may want to stick around to find out. From Jay Rivers.

Here are some guidelines to provide safe and effective help when you find an abandoned animal:

  • Call your local animal control facility immediately. You can report the animal, and if the owners are looking for the pet you found, ease their worries. If for some reason you are unable to stick around and make sure the animal is picked up, be as specific as you can about the location and the animal’s appearance. If possible, stay until help arrives.
  • Cautiously approach the animal. Consider both yours and the animal’s safety. This animal could be sick or injured, and is probably scared. If the animal is aggressive, remain at a distance and wait for animal control to arrive.
  • Try to check the animal for a collar with an ID tag. This will speed up the process of determining whether or not this pet was abandoned on purpose or accidentally lost.
  • If the animal is calm, or even friendly, try to lure him or her into your car. Keep the animal there until help arrives.
  • Reach out to your local shelter, vet clinic, or humane society. Police departments and rescue groups are also helpful resources when reporting an abandoned pet.
  • Have the animal checked for a microchip. If an animal has no collar or tags, a veterinarian or shelter can scan for an embedded microchip with the owner’s contact information.
  • Make “FOUND” flyers. The old fashioned way worked then and still works now! Make sure the type is large enough to read at a distance and includes a photo of the animal. Provide multiple ways for people to contact you. Distribute flyers in the area where you found the animal. Also, keep your eye out for “LOST” flyers featuring the pet you rescued.
  • Spread the word via social media. Just as you did on the flyer, include a picture and description of the pet you found. Ask as many of your friends, family, followers, and subscribers as possible to share, link to, or retweet your post.

If you decide to keep a pet whose owner cannot be located, that’s a wonderful and heroic thing to do. Around 2.7 million healthy dogs and cats are put down in U.S. shelters each year due to overpopulation, and euthanasia often occurs just days after the animal goes without being adopted. You will be providing that animal with a second chance at a safe, happy life.

Rescuing an abandoned pet could result in an unparalleled, loving bond. via Sheila Sund.

Rescuing an abandoned pet could result in an unparalleled, loving bond. via Sheila Sund.

There are a few steps to follow before taking on this responsibility:

  • Consult your local animal shelter to learn the appropriate amount of time to wait or the process to follow in order to adopt the rescued animal.
  • If you have other animals at home, keep the rescue animal isolated until he/she has been checked for diseases, fleas, or infection.
  • Prepare yourself and your family for the possibility of the original owner turning up. You may already be attached to the animal at this point, but realize the happiness and relief you have filled the owner with, and the fact that you saved an animal’s life.

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Category: Guard Dog Animals

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