If you’re unable to physically catch the dog (whether they’re too fast, too shy, or potentially aggressive), contact your local animal control for help. Your organization will vary depending on where you live, but they can assist in getting the dog to a local vet. If you do pick the dog up yourself, take them to a local vet or animal shelter to be scanned for a microchip. If they’re chipped, the owner will be contacted and likely reunited with their pet.
If they aren’t chipped, it’s still important to report the dog as found to your local animal shelters. Shelters are one of the first places owners check when searching for a lost pet and making sure the shelter knows about the found dog will help foster quicker reunions. Many shelters will allow you to keep the dog in your own home on a stray hold until the owner is found to keep space at the shelter free.
The first step when you find a stray cat is to determine if the cat has an owner or is part of a feral or community colony. Feral cats are often skittish around humans and aren’t big fans of being approached or picked up. Feral cats that have been spayed or neutered and are being taken care of in a colony can often be identified by a tipped ear. If the cat is feral and has no apparent injuries, they’re best left outside.
Once you determine if the cat likely has an owner, whether they have a collar or are friendly, you should report them to your local animal shelter and bring them in to be scanned for a microchip. Many shelters allow stray holds for cats as well.
If you’re located in the Roanoke Valley, the following numbers can be used to report any found animals:
- Roanoke City: 540-853-2211
- Roanoke County: 540-777-8606
- RCACP (also serves Vinton and Botetourt): 540-344-4922
Losing your pet can be a stressful situation that no owner wants to be in. By knowing what to do when you find a stray and making sure they’re reported to your local shelter, you can help reunite families with their furriest members!