What To Do If You Find A Stray Dog

There appears to be a worrying trend of finders holding on to stray dogs rather than phoning the dog warden or taking them to the pound. Although this may be very well-intentioned, there are unscrupulous people out there who will try to falsely claim found dogs. This reinforces the need to ensure that stray dogs are dealt with in accordance with the law. 

While Lost and Found pages on social media are a useful resource for advertising lost and found pets, the best chance a stray has of being reunited with its rightful owner is to report it to the dog warden immediately and then for the dog to go to the pound. A finder can hold onto a stray dog but they MUST still report it and then keep it for 28 days, even then they will never have legal ownership.

There are often posts on the Lost and Found pages on social media from members discouraging finders from ringing the dog warden or taking the dogs to the pound as they "will be destroyed". Hope Rescue is extremely fortunate in South Wales that all the Local Authority pounds either work with rescues or do their own rehoming for stray dogs. Also, do not assume that just because a dog is in poor condition that it has been neglected, the dog may have been missing for a long period of time it may even have been stolen. 

There will of course be times when the dog warden cannot be contacted, especially as not all Local Authorities have 24 hour out of hours cover. In these circumstance, the best advice is to take the dog to a local vets to be scanned for a microchip while waiting for the dog warden to come back on duty. 

The most important message though is that it is not enough to just simply post the dog online; many elderly owners for example do not have access to the internet. 

Please ensure that if you find a dog, you report it to the dog warden as a priority.