A dog is found in every country

Dog found: what to do?

Found a dog that may have run away or been abandoned? In such a case, the right behavior is crucial. Read the following guide from our Purina® experts on how to act correctly when you run into a dog.

Found an abandoned dog: never just take it with you!

If you've run into a dog or discover an abandoned animal that may have been abandoned, that is The most important rule of conduct: never take it home with you without first reporting the find to the responsible authorities. In doing so, you are breaking the law and making yourself liable to prosecution. Runaway dogs, like other pets, are subject to registration. The notification occurs automatically when you bring the animal to a suitable contact point. You are now asking yourself: "Hand in the dog, but where to?" When you have found a dog, the best thing to do is to contact the nearest animal shelter. If there is a lost and found office in your community, you can also report lost dogs there. In such an unexpected situation, however, those affected often do not know where the nearest animal shelter or lost property office is. The police are the right contact in this case. A runaway dog ​​is registered by the police and then handed over to the animal shelter or animal welfare association. Ideally, the owner has missed his runaway dog ​​and has already contacted the police.

Dog ran up - straight to the vet?

Alternatively, you have the option of taking runaway dogs to a veterinarian. Like the staff at the shelter, the veterinarian can examine a dog that has been found and does not have a neck tag for identification. This can be a microchip or a tattoo, for example. Such markings provide information about the origin of a registered animal. This makes it quick and easy to find the owner who has already missed the dog. However, keep in mind that if the owner is or remains unknown, you will have to pay for the veterinary costs yourself.

Dog found: what to do? Correct handling of the animal

A runaway dog ​​or an apparently abandoned animal is often exposed to enormous stress. Therefore, the right behavior towards the dog is particularly important to calm him down. First keep a distance of several meters. Approach the dog slowly and speak to him in a soft voice. Abandoned or runaway dogs are often frightened, starved, or in physical pain. Therefore, do not touch the animal immediately. An unfamiliar hand can mean additional stress for the dog in this stressful situation. If a dog panics, it is quite possible that it will bite. Take the time to observe the dog for a while and thereby better assess its condition before you take any further action. Only when you have gained the dog's trust or are friendly to you can you examine his collar to get clues as to his origin. Are you unfamiliar with dogs and may not be able to correctly interpret their behavior? You will find a lot of information about the in our expert guide Dog body language.

Important support measures for abandoned or runaway dogs

It doesn't matter whether the dog ran up to you or was tied to a tree, it may not have eaten or drunk in a while. On hot days, a lack of water in particular poses a significant health risk to runaway dogs. If you have found a dog in the summer, you should therefore try to provide it with water as soon as possible. Ideally, you are not alone in this situation and can organize dog food as well. This is especially important if you discover that the dog is already emaciated. If you are unable to take the animal to the shelter or vet yourself, you should stay by its side until the police arrive and take care of it.

Runaway dog ​​in your care

If you have properly reported the find, you are entitled to look after a runaway dog ​​until the owner has contacted you. However, think carefully about whether you dare to do this and whether you can take full care of a runaway dog ​​despite its daily challenges. If you choose to do so, you will save the dog additional stress that always arises from staying in an animal shelter. At the same time, however, you should keep in mind that during the period of grooming you will develop a relationship with the dog. If the dog is missing and picked up by the owner, it may mean a painful separation for you. Only in the event that the owner has not contacted you after six months, you can officially keep the animal and call it your own.

Tips for Finding the Real Owner

Regardless of whether you are developing a relationship with the dog you found and care for, finding the actual owner should be your top priority. This is a best practice Hanging up information leaflets on trees and street lamps as well as at bus stations, shops and supermarkets in the vicinity of the site. The owner can often be found by hanging up the information leaflets along popular walking routes in the surrounding green spaces. Maybe another dog owner recognizes the animal in the photo and can contact you. Advertisements in local newspapers also increase your chances of finding the owner. At the same time, you should pay special attention to information leaflets and advertisements with the title "Dog missing". Also, check regularly with the police for reports of "dog missing". In many cases, these measures help to shorten the waiting time of a desperate dog owner and to bring him back together with his beloved four-legged friend.

Dog found and responded correctly

Once you have found a dog, you should act with caution and not rush to deal with the animal. In the event that you want to hand over the dog, think carefully about where you want to turn. After reporting the find, you can have a significantly positive effect on the situation for the dog by temporarily taking him in before the owner is found. Also, read now what to do if you run into a cat.