No matter where you live in the world, there are probably at least a few stray dogs in your area. And this is especially painful to watch if you are a devoted dog owner. You look at your beautiful puppy all cuddled up in your home and just can’t keep but wonder how terrifying he would be if he was out there on the streets alone. Not all dogs so lucky to have a warm home, guaranteed food and regular vet visits available. That’s why you can’t help but wonder: How to help a stray dog? While we can’t help every stray dog in the world, there is still a way to help at least the ones in your area.
In this article we will go over the most convenient ways on how to help a stray dog. We will also share some heartwarming stories about these poor puppies that will bring you to tears. Because trust us, these little angels really will be grateful for even the smallest acts of kindness. And even though they have very little themselves, they still share their resources between one another. So let’s go over the most common questions dog lovers have.
To catch or not to catch?
It’s critical to consider the safety of both the dog and yourself if you come across a stray dog.
The first step is to assess the situation: if catching the dog appears to be a long shot, contact your local animal control organization for assistance.
Keep the phone number for your local animal control station programmed in your phone, according to the Humane Society.
Attaching a leash and bringing the dog into your car may be straightforward if the dog rushes enthusiastically towards you and shows no signs of fear.
Lost and stray dogs, on the other hand, are often nervous, if not afraid, and can be dangerous to themselves and others. The Missing Pet Partnership, a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to reconnecting lost companion animals with their guardians, advises against reaching out to a terrified stray because if they hear your voice, they would most likely escape.
If the dog appears nervous, keep your cool, move slowly, and use nonverbal cues such as passive body language and food to encourage her to approach you.
You did it. Now what?
You just caught the dog? Then it’s time to take a deep breath. This puppy has just gone from “stray” to “found.” Excellent work!
Of course, the first thing you should do is look for identification on the dog. Contact the owner if they have a collar and tag and hope for a nice reunion.
You can also have it scanned for a microchip at a nearby veterinarian’s office; practically all vets now have microchip scanners and will scan a lost animal for free.
If the dog has no tags or a chip, you have two choices: take it to a public animal shelter or take it home and care for it until you can find its owners.
Taking an animal to a shelter may seem frightening, but it is the first and best option for reuniting a missing dog with its family.
Even if you don’t want to take a stray dog to the shelter, you must report a finding canine to the local animal shelter. You should also advertise in the local newspaper and on Craigslist and Petfinder, among other places.
In the meantime, give the dog a secure area in your home away from your other pets (at least until you can take her to the vet and examine her personality).
Taking in a stray dog is a lot of work. Such as giving care and looking for the dog’s owner.
Help a stray dog by adopting him
Adopting a stray dog is a dream come true: You come across a cute puppy on the street, no one else is looking for it. Now you have a new best buddy!
As pleasant as this sounds, the truth is that stray dogs frequently have someone looking for them. Consider how you’d feel if your dog went missing and someone decided to keep her instead of searching for you! Take every step possible to discover a stray dog’s family before deciding to adopt it.
You might want to consider adopting the pup if you’ve exhausted all other alternatives and it looks that no one is looking for her. But adoption limits vary by state, and most municipalities have a stray animal hold period.
Until the hold period expires and you’ve sought to discover the dog’s original family, whether the dog is in the shelter or in your home, you can’t become the dog’s lawful guardian.
If you complete the necessary measures and no owner emerges, you can rejoice: the dog is no longer a stray. You can now adopt the pup without feeling any guilt.
Help others help strays
If you come across a stray, the most important thing to remember is to imagine what you would want to happen if your own dog went missing.
You’d want the person who found her to keep her safe and contact you right away.
Be honest with yourself about your abilities if you find yourself in a situation where you need to help a stray dog. If you’re willing to invest your time, energy, emotion, and possibly money into caring for the dog and finding it a home, do everything you can to assist.
It’s alright if you’re not up to the task of caring for a stray; animal shelters exist for that reason.
Keep in mind that you may always ask for help from other dog lovers. It’s our responsibility as dog lovers to make the best decision for these little creatures. They relay on us for their overall well-being.
Story No. 1: Man took off his jacket wondering how to help a stray Golden Retriever dog
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that the world can turn upside down! We truly never know what tomorrow brings, not for us nor anyone else. So all we can do is take today and make the best out of it.
In a heart warming video a man was filmed living up to that, and choosing kindness over everything! The man saw a stray golden retriever dog, and decided to selflessly take his west off so he could keep the dog warm.
The emotional clip was shared on Instagram by the account @igpetsworld with the caption:
“To make a difference in someone’s life you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect. You just have to care ~ Mandy Hale
Unconditional Love and kindness
This humble man with a heart of gold saw a sweet lost pup all curled up in a bus stop. Immediately took off his vest and lovingly put it on the precious angel to help him stay warm.
It was raining and the poor baby was so heartbroken and cold he barely moved but his sad eyes were full of gratitude for such kind gesture
Those who have the least are always the ones that give the most
Thank you, kind Soul
Please don’t ever pass by anyone in need, help as you can, even if it’s not much, you may be the only one doing it”
Story No. 2: Stray dog crying when man offered him food
Have you ever seen a stray dog literally cry from joy when a stranger gave it food? Well, prepare for this heartbreaking scene, because that’s just what your about to see…
A poor pooch was filmed wandering around the streets of Jinzhong in Shanxi province of north China, hungry, alone, cold… That is until a kind stranger helped it out, at least just a little bit.
A woman is seen in a video posted on social media giving the stray dog some sausages the puppy’s eyes start to tear up like he was so overwhelmed by emotions because he was being fed.
The woman even came back again to the park, the dog recognized her, and once again started crying when he was offered food.
The hero spoke to Xiaoxiang Morning Post saying that she even tried to bring the dog to her car and give it a home, but it, unfortunately, jumped out of her hands.
“I and my friends were on the way to a park when we saw the stray dog. He started crying when we gave him food and I tried to put him in our car one time, but he refused and jumped back on the street.” the unnamed woman told Xiaoxiang Morning Post.
How to help a stray dog get through the winter months
Let’s start with the terrifying statistics: the United States has over 70 million stray dogs and cats at any given moment. This corresponds to five stray animals for every homeless person on the streets. Our cities, suburbs, and rural areas are all home to these poor animals. And for many, whether they live or die this winter will be determined by the food and shelter they receive.
You’ve most likely seen a few of these dogs in your area. With winter weather on the way and a polar vortex on the horizon, now is a good time to get involved. Continue reading to find out how you can help stray dogs get through the winter months.
The most important thing is to do anything at all
The first thing you should do if you encounter a stray animal on the street is inform your local authorities. It’s possible they’re already aware of the presence of stray animals in the area. The majority of animal shelters will try to pick up stray dogs, but it may take several days or even weeks.
Should you bring the animal back home?
The fact that a stray dog has been reported to an animal shelter does not guarantee that the animal will be picked up straight away. If you are capable of making a long-term commitment to caring for an animal and feel safe doing so, you should consider bringing a stray animal home (and the animal feels safe coming to you). Simply schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to get the animal examined for diseases and confirm that it is properly vaccinated and safe to be around your children and other pets.
The most important thing is shelter
If you can’t take the animal home, you can help him survive the winter by providing shelter, such as a robust cardboard box lined with straw. In a storm, towels and blankets are useless since they will become wet and freeze. The most important thing this dog needs is something to protect him from the harsh weather conditions.
Offer food and water
Dogs need food and water, but stray dogs don’t have owners making sure they get all the nutrients they need. Providing stray animals with fresh, clean water and nutrient rich food will help their bodies to survive the cold. In addition, a well-fed animal is better able to fight infection and sickness. Avoid canned goods as the temperature decreases, as they are more likely to freeze. For the same reason, check on water sources on a frequent basis.
Unfortunately, one person can’t save all of the stray dogs in the world. One person, however, can help at least one stray animal get through the dark, cold days of winter and into happier days ahead with a little effort and kindness.
Story No. 3: Stray dog found curled up in snow keeping orphaned kittens warm
During a freezing cold night in Ontario, Canada, while driving a woman spotted something very weir. She wasn’t sure what she saw, but it made her stop.
She approached whatever was on the side on the road, and there it was a curled up shivering dog. However, that was not everything. The poor baby wasn’t alone.
A closer look revealed the kind pup had wrapped herself around five orphaned kittens, whom she was cuddling to keep warm in the biting temperatures.
The unknown woman saved them all from the freezing night by taking them to the Pet and Wildlife Rescue shelter. For the rescue staff, it was clear, this dog had saved those kittens.
“It’s truly heartwarming! It had been a very cold night so these kittens would have had a very hard time surviving.” a shelter spokesperson told The Dodo.
The kittens are now safe, but require treatment for flea and worm infestations. Meanwhile, the sweet stray dog who saved them insists on overseeing their progress with regular visits — much like a proud mother.