by Adopt a Pet, | February 28, 2024
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In most cases, animal control will pick up a stray dog. Some will pick up the animal, while others may require that you bring the pup to their facility. Start by calling your local animal control to find out your area’s policies on strays.
Thank you for caring enough about a lost or stray dog to do something about it. If you can safely catch the dog without chasing him and are comfortable doing so (see safety tips on doing so here), take the dog to a veterinarian, some grooming salons, or your local shelter to check for a microchip. If the dog is chipped, his owner can be contacted. If the dog is not chipped, these organizations can help you with next steps.
You may not feel comfortable catching the dog and that’s okay! If this is the case, call animal control. You can dial 411 and ask for the closest agency. You can report the stray’s information and some agencies will come out immediately if you are on a cell phone and "tracking" the pet. Others will send an officer as soon as possible depending on the urgency of other calls. For more tips and tricks on what to do if you find a stray dog, click here.
Animal control is important to call for the following reasons:
If someone loses a pet, they usually turn to animal control in the hopes of finding him.
In most locations, it’s illegal to keep a found pet for more than 24 or 48 hours (the time varies by location) without notifying animal control.
If you’re interested in keeping the dog, let animal control know that when you turn him over. Typically, they are required to hold a found pet for up to two weeks to give the owner a chance to come forward. If that doesn’t happen, you may be able to have "first rights" and be first in line to adopt him.
You may find other groups who will pick up a stray dog, but animal control usually provides the best chance for a reunion with the pet’s owners.