What Should I Do If I Found a Stray Kitten or Puppy?
Have you come across a stray puppy or kitten and don’t know how to handle it? It can be a difficult situation to handle, but we’ve created this handy guide to help you assess the situation and ensure the safety of both you and the animal. Read on to learn more about finding a stray kitten or puppy, and make sure to make a found pet post on PawBoost to help you potentially find the owner!
1. Assess the Situation Safely
Safety should be your first priority when you find a stray puppy or kitten. Make sure to assess the situation from a safe distance and take note of the animal’s behavior along with any potential dangers to you or the animal. If the puppy or kitten seems aggressive, it may be best to keep your distance and call in a professional to help you. Professional services may include local animal control or local animal shelters. In either case, they can direct you to the proper line to call. However, if the animal seems healthy, friendly and approachable, you can try approaching it slowly and gently to gain their trust.
If you decide to approach the animal, be sure to avoid sudden movements or loud noises. They may be a bit overwhelmed with their environment, and taking a gentle approach by coaxing them to come to you is the best way to safely capture them.
2. Provide Immediate Care and Comfort
Once you’ve safely captured the stray puppy or kitten, make sure to provide them immediate care and comfort. The first thing you should do is see if the animal seems sick or injured. If this is the case, you will want to bring them to a vet or animal hospital right away to administer proper care. However, if the animal seems healthy and unharmed, you can begin by giving them a safe and quiet place to get their bearings and relax. Offer them food and water as well, making sure to provide them with age-appropriate food options that won’t upset their stomach. If they are dirty, you may want to consider bathing them — as long as they seem calm enough to allow you to do so.
Providing them with a warm bed or blanket can give them additional comfort and allow them to get some sleep. Finally, make sure to give them attention so they can feel comfortable and safe in their new environment.
3. Check for Identification
Once the stray puppy or kitten has settled in and they aren’t in any danger, you should check for any identification they might have. Hopefully, they’ll have a collar with tags that provide the name of the animal along with the contact information to reach their owner. Of course, identification may not always be readily available, so you’ll need to move on to the next step if you can’t locate anything that tells you about the owner.
4. Search for Potential Owners
It’s a good idea to search the immediate area where you found the stray puppy or kitten for the potential owners. If the animal recently went missing, they may already be out looking for them. You can also speak to neighbors in the area and ask if they know the animal and its owners. It’s a good idea to snap a picture of the animal on your phone so you can show locals and ask them about it. If the pet went missing in their area, they might know who you need to contact to reunite them with their family.
5. Create Found Pet Posts Online
Doing a quick scan of the nearby area won’t always reveal the stray animal’s owner, so it’s a good idea to create found pet posts online to spread the word. Local Facebook pages, Instagram, Twitter and even Craigslist can be useful platforms for posting about found pets. Make sure you create a detailed post with pictures that include any pertinent information about the animal. Also, make sure to provide contact information so the owners can reach you if they see your post.
Don’t forget to utilize lost and found pet platforms like PawBoost as well when you’re making online posts. PawBoost is the largest online lost & found pet database in the world and will post your found pet listing on our database, our local Facebook pages, our email list, our mobile app and more.
6. Put Up Found Pet Flyers Nearby
Remember, not everyone checks online lost and found social media platforms for found pets. You should also post some found pet flyers in your local area. Some good places to post these are community bulletin boards in high-traffic areas in and around your neighborhood. Again, make sure your poster has a picture and all the relevant details about the pet.
If you need help creating a flyer, make sure to use PawBoost for this too. PawBoost offers a free tool for creating found pet posters, so you can just fill in the necessary information and print them off for distribution.
7. Contact Local Animal Rescue Organizations
Another step to take is contacting your local animal rescue organizations. When someone loses their dog or cat, they may contact these organizations to see if anyone has seen them or if anyone has turned them in. Letting them know about a found pet will allow them to create a file for them, so they will immediately know if the owner comes in asking about it. Animal rescue organizations are also animal lovers and connected with your local animal community. They will likely have good suggestions for other organizations you can contact in your area.
8. Visit a Veterinarian or Animal Shelter
Visiting your local veterinarian with the stray puppy or kitten in tow is another important step for reuniting it with its owner. Although you may not have found any identifying information visible on the animal, many pets have microchips. If a microchipped pet is brought to a veterinarian, they can look up the pet in their database and find the owner’s contact information immediately.
Even if the pet doesn’t turn out to be microchipped, it’s a good idea to bring it to the vet for a medical assessment. Although you may not have noticed anything out of the ordinary, it doesn’t hurt to let a pet medical professional give them a look over and make sure they’re healthy and don’t have any areas of concern. Also, the vet can make a file for that pet so they can contact you if the owner does end up coming to look for them. Touching base with all of your local vets is always a good idea. If the animal is a pet of a local community member, chances are good that one of your local vets has already had that animal as a patient.
9. Consider Temporary Fostering
Finally, if you find a stray puppy or kitten and are unable to locate their owners, consider temporary fostering. Temporary fostering is when you take care of the stray animal in your home until you can find them a forever home. This can be a great way to provide the animal with care, love, attention and a safe environment until they can find a family (or even their original owners).
Of course, if the owners can’t be found and you decide you want to keep the stray puppy or kitten permanently, that is an option, too. However, keep in mind that states often have their own laws about pet ownership. Simply look up the necessary steps for your state to claim ownership of a pet. Once you’ve taken those steps, then you’ve successfully added a new member to your family!
PawBoost Makes It Easier to Find a Missing Pet’s Owner
As mentioned, PawBoost is one of the best tools for finding a missing pet’s owner. PawBoost is a free platform that allows you to make lost and found listings for pets, with several features that will raise local awareness about the pets as much as possible.
When you post a found pet on PawBoost, it will automatically get added to our database, and then it will get pushed to our local Facebook pages, our mobile app, our email list and more. PawBoost even offers a free tool to make quality, informative found pet posters that you can put up around your community. PawBoost has millions of members and has already reunited over 1.5 million pets with their families. If you want to have the best chance of reuniting a lost kitty or puppy with its original owner, make sure to create a free found pet listing on PawBoost today!