Lost and found pets are a common occurrence. Do you know what to do when you find a pet? Dr. Coffin recommends using caution when approaching an animal that you do not know, especially if they are injured.
Items to keep on hand to help with lost and found pets:
- Slip leash – does not contain a metal clip. This product works best for dogs not wearing a collar
- Regular leash
- Collapsible pet bowl
- Pet emergency kit
Lost and found pets are scared and usually in unfamiliar territory and may bite out of fear so be cautious when approaching them. Go slow or sit down on the ground and toss the pet treats to get it to come to you. Chasing the pet or staring directly into the pet’s eyes is threatening to the pet. If the pet is injured, use a leash and wrap it around the pet’s muzzle to prevent it from biting when you move it. Dr. Coffin recommends transferring injured pets to a blanket and moving them using the blanket as a stretcher. Using this stretcher method is usually less painful and a safer way to move an injured animal.
Once you have the animal in a secure location, look for signs of permanent identification, which can include a pet identification tag, microchip tag, or a rabies tag.
- Rabies tags contain the veterinarian’s phone number and a rabies tag number. Call the phone number on the tag and give them the rabies tag number. The veterinary clinic will be able to help you return the pet to its owner.
- Microchip tags contain a phone number for the microchip registry and the pet’s microchip number. Call the phone number on the tag and give them the microchip number. They will assist in returning the pet to its owner.
- Pet identification tags typically contain the owner’s phone number and or address. This is the simplest of all tags and should be easy to return the pet to its home.
If there is no permanent identification on the pet, go to the nearest veterinary clinic or animal shelter. Ask a staff member from the facility to scan the pet for a microchip. If the pet has a microchip number, you can search the AAHA Universal Microchip Lookup Tool to identify which registry to call for owner contact.
Dr. Coffin recommends contacting local veterinary clinics, animal shelters and using social media for pets without any form of identification. Take photos of the pet and make flyers to post around the area where you found the pet.
Lost and found pets with serious injuries should be taken to a nearby veterinary clinic as soon as possible. Having a pet emergency kit on hand can assist with minor injuries. The American Red Cross and American Animal Hospital Association has an amazing Pet First Aid app. This app contains basic dog and cat first aid information. It also contains information on disaster preparedness and pet first aid kits along with a veterinary hospital locator.
During the month of May, Guthrie Pet Hospital is offering $5.00 off of microchipping. Also, bring in your emergency container, and we will help you fill it with essential items for $34.99.