As the weather changes, many pets are getting cabin fever just like us. A quick browse through local pages on Facebook makes it appear there are more stray pets out roaming lately. So, what happens if you end up rescuing a stray pet?
First and foremost, make every effort to find the pet’s owner. Do not instantly assume that a straggly looking dog was abused or abandoned. Pets not used to life in the wild will become stressed and may appear worse for wear. Help calm the animal and attempt to keep them comfortable while you begin the search for their owner.
- Check for a tag with the owner’s name.
- Rabies tags can also help if you contact the vet listed on the tag.
- Ask around the area to see if anyone is missing their pet.
- Have a local vet scan the pet for a microchip, and check it over for injuries.
- Post flyers at local stores, on community groups on Facebook, and pages online like FindingRover.com.
- Ask anyone calling to provide a picture of themselves and the pet to ensure you have found the owner.
- Notify your local shelter that you found a stray, and decide if you will be handing the pet over to the shelter or housing it at your home.
On their website, Useless Bay Sanctuary notes that, “In Washington State, and in many other states, the default law says you need to actively search for the dog’s owner for 30 days before claiming the dog as your own or placing the dog in a new home.” If you cannot commit to a full 30-day search, then you will need to transfer the pet to a local shelter or rescue agency. After searching for the owner for 30 days, you can begin the process of rehoming the pet.
Once you make the commitment to keep the pet until a new home can be found, there are several resources available that can help you find a good home for the animal if you are not able to keep it. Adoptapet.com offers a rehoming registry on their website that will help match you with individuals looking to adopt a pet in four simple steps:
- Create a pet profile
- The pet’s profile will be posted on Adoptapet.com and will be searchable by area/region.
- Review applications
- You will receive information on individuals interested in adopting the pet.
- Meet adopters
- Finalize Adoption
- Rehome will help create an adoption contract to assist with the transfer of the pet.
There are also multiple shelters and rescues in the area that can help. Even if they cannot take the animal in, they will be able to guide you in rehoming it.
Finding the owner or rehoming a stray pet can be a challenging process, but when done right, it can also be extremely rewarding by giving you the opportunity to see the joy of a pet and an owner/adoptee when they are brought together!
Photo By Krista Mangulsone