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I Found A Stray Dog. Now What?

A recent adoption success story, along with a few tips when you find a stray dog.

I dread it. I keep quiet, and I always feel a tinge of guilt, but I still dread it. We’re driving along, totally minding our own business, and then we see a loose dog, obviously not street smart, haphazardly sniffing his or her way through an unfamiliar neighborhood. I secretly hope my wife won’t see the critter.

But she does. And I oblige, since I’m also worried about the dog even though we’re late – we’re always late – for wherever we’re heading, and stopping to find this pup’s home certainly isn’t going to help.

It certainly beats returning later and seeing that same animal flattened on the pavement – hey, it’s happened. So you see a stray and want to help. What do you do? Pretty simple:

  1. See if the dog will come to you. If it runs, don’t chase it. That can make things worse. There’s not a lot you can do at that point.
  2. If the dog has a collar, look for a phone number. Call the owner.
  3. If the dog does NOT have a collar, this means whoever “owned” him or her didn’t deserve to have a dog anyway. One option is to take it to the local shelter (something we’ve never done.) You can also contact your local vet. If the dog is chipped, the vet likely has a scanner and they can read the chip to see if the dog has a registered owner.

Option #3 happened recently. A huge wad of stray puppy (four-month old Bullmastiff mix) ended up at the East Lake Animal Clinic. No chip, so they contacted us via Animal Friends Rescue Project. (We foster dogs for them).

We dubbed the dog "Banjo", because when you foster, you can name it whatever you want since the new owners will likely change its name anyway. This one went particularly fast: I posted a pic on Facebook and she had a prospective owner literally in about an hour. After a quick trip to the vet (for spaying and chipping) and one standard yardcheck at Nicole and her husband's place in Morgan Hill, and we had a perfect home lined up.

We dropped off “JoJo” (her new name) on my way to a gig at Trail Dust BBQ in Morgan Hill the next weekend. Seriously, it could not have worked out better. Nicole and her husband were waiting with a pile of dog toys, a huge yard, and a collar with JoJo’s name already on it. Sometimes – more often than not, actually – things work out just like they’re intended.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jennifer Squires February 21, 2012 at 04:28 PM
A friend found a stray dog at a school field in Pajaro and, when its home couldn't be found, she adopted it. It's been an unlikely but great match between a grumpy Chihuahua and my hiking and beach running-loving friend.

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