Found a Stray
Step 1: Check for a collar or name tag with phone number or other contact information. Contact the owner directly if the information is available.
Step 2: If there is no collar or name tag, take the dog to a local vet, shelter or the NKLA Center for a microchip scan. If the dog is microchipped, the shelter or vet will contact the microchip company to locate owner.
Step 3: If the dog is not microchipped, take him/her to the local animal shelter.
When you turn a stray over to the shelter there is a legal hold period in which the dog is still considered the property of the owner. After the hold period expires, the dog becomes available for adoption. When you drop off the dog you may put your name in as an interested party/first rights. If the owner does not claim him after the required hold period, you will have first right to adopt providing you are present on the morning the dog becomes available (typically at 8 AM). Another option is to get his impound number and network him to friends, family and rescues to adopt him from the shelter.
If you opt to take the dog home instead of leaving him at the shelter, you must also abide by the legal hold period while you try to find the owner. The hold period is much longer (typically 30 days) if the dog is not processed through animal control. Whether you leave him at the shelter or take him home, you can greatly assist in reuniting him with his family by posting “Found” signs at the shelter and around the neighborhood. Post in English and Spanish, if needed. Be sure to post them around supermarkets, schools, gas stations, and major intersections. Post a free found ad on Craigslist, Petfinder and in the local paper. Be sure to ask the neighborhood children if they recognize the dog - they are far more observant that adults!
Step 4: If the dog is still available after the legal hold period and has been with you, as long as the dog is sweet with people and other dogs, please contact us and we will help you as best we can. If we are interested in taking the dog into our rescue, we will contact you for photos and more information. *Please note: this does not guarantee we will take the dog.