Contributed by Angie Lewis, Alaska Animal Advocates
To begin, you deserve gratitude for stopping to help a lost dog. As we all know, all too often lost dogs get hit by cars or end up very far from their home turf. The longer the dog is lost, the more dangerous the situation is for the poor fellow. Hopefully, the dog will be friendly and therefore easy to get a hold of. If the dog is wearing ID tags, you can immediately contact the owner and make a plan to reunite the family with their pet. If he does not have tags, you will need to get the dog in your car and take him to Animal Control or a vet’s office where he can be scanned for a microchip. If you have your own dogs or kids in the car, assess the situation for safety – you may need to get your family home and then return to help the lost dog.
If the dog is not friendly, call Animal Control to get help. If they are not available or are unwilling to help, call the police. You are more likely to get the help of Animal Control or the police if you inform them that the dog being loose is posing a traffic hazard.
If you are able to care for the dog for a few days, you can help try to find the owners on your own. First, notify Animal Control and fill out a Found Dog report. Provide all pertinent information, such as when and where you found the dog. Include a photo as well.
There are several lost pet hotlines that are very helpful with reuniting lost dogs and families. Again, be specific in the details regarding finding the lost dog. Following are some of the hotlines available in Alaska:
- Lost and Found Pets Alaska
- Alaska Pet Lost and Found
- Mat-Su Lost and Found Pets
- Alaska Lost and Found Pets
Another option is placing an ad in the newspaper. These ads are typically free to people who are looking for their lost dogs or for those who have found a lost dog.
If you are really devoted, you could create some flyers, with a photo of the dog and put these up on various bulletin boards throughout the community. Putting these flyers up in local veterinarian’s offices is a good strategy as well.
Again, thank you for helping a frightened, lost doggie and reuniting them with their loving family.