Help comes in many different forms, but whatever form it takes, it comes only from the kindest of hearts.
Humans by nature are kind and helpful beings and a lot of times, dogs, strays especially, have been recipients of such acts of kindness. Stray dogs need the utmost attention and care. Fortunately, a lot of people have since recognized this need and some have put up animal welfare groups where dog advocates, professionals, and volunteers come together to share their time, skills, and resources to help stray dogs. Thanks to their kind hearts, many missing dogs have been found and reunited with their owners. Some have been brought to animal shelters and are properly fed and cared for. The luckier ones found their way into a loving and nurturing forever home with their human families.
Have you had an opportunity to help stray dogs lately but didn’t for sheer lack of resources? Have you refused to get involved with adoption because of your work commitments? Bear in mind that there are a lot of ways of helping strays. You don’t have to put up an animal welfare group, adopt, or spend so much time and money. While it’s true that not everyone is capable of adopting a dog even temporarily, everyone including you can do simple acts of kindness for the love of strays.
Here are three small ways you can do now to help stray dogs:
Help find its owner
Stray dogs come from different backgrounds. They can be lost pets with owners looking for them, dogs abandoned by their owners, or dogs who are offspring of strays. When you find a stray dog, you must first assume that he could be just a missing dog with an owner. It cannot be helped that a wandering dog may be thought of as stray when actually he’s not. He may look shabby and unkempt but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have an owner. He could be simply lost for days and somewhere in the same neighborhood, there might be a frantic owner searching for that dog.
It’s a good thing if the dog you’ve found is calm and friendly. You can restrain him with care while you check his tag for identification. Once you get hold of his owner’s contact number, call the owner immediately and agree on how he can be reunited with his beloved pet. Some dogs may have special medical needs too. Don’t forget to ask the owner about his dog’s special needs, if any.
In case the owner fails to respond to your call within a reasonable time, you may opt to bring the dog to the nearest animal shelter. Choose a no-kill shelter if at all possible.
Report a stray dog
There are times though when a dog will run away when approached, making it impossible for you to check out his dog tag. Understand that stray dogs are like people too. When they’re lost, they’re scared. When they’re hungry, they’re upset. Don’t be disheartened when the dog you just found suddenly shies away from you and appear fearful and afraid. At this point, you can just focus on calling animal control to help you out. Give the exact location where you found the dog and describe him as best as you could. It would help a lot if you had gotten a picture of him just before he scurried off.
Spread the word
If you happen to find a stray dog right in your neighborhood, you can take a picture of the stray and make simple fliers. Post these in the same area where you found the dog. Seek the help of your neighbors in disseminating these fliers. Distribute as many as you can among local vets and animal shelters near you.
You may also spread the word through posting on PetFBI.com and other local lost and found pet websites. Websites of lost pets abound so you won’t have a hard time looking for one. You can also post the same info on your Facebook account and local lost and found pets Facebook groups.
These small acts of kindness can go a long way and can make a huge impact on a stray dog’s life. Just continue to help where help is needed. Soon, helping stray dogs may become an addiction. One that you won’t regret!