When you see a dog or cat taking a stroll around town on its own, don’t assume its owner is watching from a distance. Because that's not always the case. Stray animals could be on the street for days, weeks or even months. Without food and protection, strays run the risk of getting seriously hurt. Next time you see an animal roaming the streets alone remember these easy steps for getting them rescued.
- Be Careful. Running up to a stray animal puts both you and the animal in danger. Slowly approach the animal so that he or she doesn’t run into traffic or bite you in fear.
- Don’t lose the animal. If the animal seems like it will hurt you or that it may have a disease such as rabies, don’t stay too close to the animal. Try to create a barrier so the animal doesn't run away. You could also try to give it treats so it stays.
- Call a shelter. Call your local animal shelter to pick the animal up if you don’t feel comfortable taking it yourself. Just make sure to stay with the animal until workers from the shelter arrive.
- Or bring it to a shelter. If the animal seems friendly enough to take with you, make sure to bring him or her to a shelter first, even if you want to keep it. The shelter can see if the animal has been reported missing from its family. Just because it may not have a collar, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a family.
- Get the animal checked. If you want to keep the animal until the family is found, bring it to a veterinarian first. The animal could be malnourished, injured or sick.
- Spread awareness. Put ads in your local newspaper about the found animal or post about it on Facebook. You could also post flyers around your community with a picture and description of the animal.
- Give it a home. Keep the animal or find someone who will want to adopt it if no owners come forward.