stray dog.

It’s not uncommon for pets to become separated from their owners—which is why it is so important to have proper ID tags and microchips. Whether they hop the fence, dart out the front door, or simply run off in pursuit of prey, pets can quickly find themselves in unfamiliar territory. 

Fortunately, there are guardrails in place to help reunite pets with their people, such as local animal control, veterinary clinics, and good samaritans willing to return strays to their rightful owners. While this can create a sense of security for pet owners, knowing exactly what to do if you find a stray pet can be much more confusing. 

Safety First

Regardless of the circumstances, coming across an animal that appears alone can be alarming.  It’s hard to verify by sight alone whether or not they belong to someone, even if they have a collar on. 

Prioritize your safety above all. Strays can be friendly, but it’s impossible to know how they’re going to react to your approach. 

  • Move slowly while addressing them in a warm way. Do not chase the animal or try to trap them in a corner. 
  • If they display happy, relaxed body language, you may attempt to get ahold of the collar to glimpse their ID tags. 
  • Earn their trust with tasty treats
  • Once you are able to hold their collar or steer them with your voice, try to move them to your vehicle, backyard, or garage.
  • If they do have tags that display a name and phone number, contact their owner.
  • Sometimes, a rabies tag is the only thing attached to a collar. This tag should show the veterinary clinic that administered the vaccination and unique ID. Often, calling the vet hospital can connect a good samaritan with the pet’s rightful owner. 
  • If the animal is not open to making friends with you, and you cannot get close enough to read their tags or grab their collar, call Yuba City Animal Control Services or the Yuba City Police Department.  

What Else Can Happen?

If you’ve found a friendly pet with no collar/ID tags, we can try to scan them for a microchip. Many times, strays are chipped and reunited with their owners after a quick phone call. If no chip is found, strays are often taken to nearby animal shelters. 

How You Can Help

While a stray is temporarily in your care, take pictures of them and post the situation on social media. 

  • Give as many descriptive details as possible to help get the word out. 
  • Create flyers to post around the location where the stray pet was found. 
  • If the stray cat or dog is unclaimed after some time, and cannot find another permanent home, it may be worthwhile to consider adopting them into your family.

If you have questions about emergency services for stray pets, or need information to help a stray dog or cat, please call us at (530) 673-4744. Our staff is always here to help at Adobe Animal Hospital.