If you have ever been concerned about a dog or cat roaming wild on a busy street, you may have attempted — or desired — to get it out of harm’s path. However, you may not have been sure how to do it. Here are some pointers to remember the next time you come across a homeless stray in New York.
Protect yourself and contact 911 immediately if an animal is acting threatening or dangerously. Do not attempt to handle or control a terrified or violent dog or cat. Call 311 if an animal looks to be sick or wounded. Establish no attempt to make physical contact with the other person.
If you come from a large city and tagging is available contact your local help organization. For example if you are in New York use the NYC Dog eLocator to help reunite a dog with its owner if you come across one with a New York City dog licencing tag. Enter your name, email, or phone number, as well as the seven-digit number on the dog license tag. The registered owner of the dog will get an email requesting them to contact you. In addition, an email is forwarded to the NYC Department of Health, which will attempt to contact the owner by phone or mail.
You can also contact the owner personally if the animal has identification. Because identification can take various forms, please closely inspect the animal for a tag or tattoo. Most shelters and veterinary facilities will scan an animal for a microchip if you bring it in.
It is also possible to report online or bring the animal to a shelter if you locate a pet. You do not need to identify the pet.
Capturing and Containing a Homeless Stray in New York
If you notice a stray cat or dog, attempt to trap and confine it if the situation allows. Always approach stray animals cautiously and gently, speaking in a calm, soft tone. Food can also be used to entice a scared animal to approach you.
Dogs should ideally be kept on a leash or restrained in a fenced yard. In an emergency, a belt or piece of rope can be used as a slip lead, but bear in mind that these materials are not suitable for everyday dog management. Because most cats dislike being carried for lengthy periods of time, stray cats should be kept in a cat carrier, safe box (with air holes), small room of your home, or temporarily in your car if the car is well ventilated and not too hot. Remember calling authorities for advice is always a good start. Check for up to date telephone numbers at New York Animal Care center: https://www.nycacc.org/
If you are attempting to catch an animal that is acting violently, you are putting yourself in danger. If you can’t approach the animal safely or if it flees, contact your local animal control or police department right away. Make careful to tell the dispatcher the precise location where the animal was last spotted.
Look for the ID
Once you’ve located the missing cat, dog, or any other animal, look to see whether it’s wearing an ID tag. If there is an ID tag, you may be able to contact the owner right away. After that, you should return the pet to her or him. If the pet is wearing identification, but you are unable to reach the owner right once, you may decide to keep the pet for a few hours and wait for a call from the owner. If you have decided to go this route, you should still file a “found” report to the shelter as quickly as possible in case the owner contacts or visits to look for the pet. If you can’t keep the animal, you can either take it to an animal shelter or have it picked up by your local animal control or police department.
Scanning for a Microchip
If the homeless stray in New York does not have an ID tag, you should either take it to your local animal shelter or phone the animal control/police department to come to pick it up and bring it to the shelter. You can scan the animal to find a microchip. If the animal is chipped, the shelter workers can hunt for the owner’s contact information right once by phoning the microchip provider or going online to the microchip database. Although it may be tempting to retain a lost pet and try to track out the owner yourself, scanning the animal for a microchip is extremely necessary.
Find an Animal Shelter
If you have found a lost animal and the animal does not have an ID tag or a microchip, it will most likely be reunited with its owner at an animal shelter. The only apparent site where owners are likely to check for missing dogs in the shelter. While most shelters have a database of “found” reports, because of the subjectivity of the person identifying the animal, these reports are frequently erroneous. Many individuals are unfamiliar with breeds and coat colours; thus, they may not be able to accurately describe the animal they have discovered.
If the shelter has software that allows it, one acceptable option would be to upload a photo of the found animal to the shelter’s computer database. This allows you to handle the missing pet while also letting the owner locate it at the shelter using a picture.
There are numerous ways you may assist in the search for the owner, whether you keep the lost animal personally or leave it in the care of your local shelter. Take a photo of the pet and distribute flyers in the area where it was discovered if feasible. Distribute the fliers to nearby veterinary clinics as well. You should also publish a discovered report and photo on www.craigslist.com’s “Pets” area. If you find the animal in your own area, go door to door with a photo of it to check if anybody knows who owns it. You may also post a lost and found ad in your local newspaper classified section, as they are usually free.
Stay Safe and use Caution When Approaching a Stray
Unpredictable behaviour might be displayed by an unfamiliar, scared, and potentially sick or injured animal. A quick movement on your side, such as opening your car door, might frighten them and lead them to flee—possibly onto the highway. Stay in your car if the animal appears or behaves menacing or if you are uncomfortable with the scenario.
Restrain the animal if at all feasible. To keep the animal in the area, create a barrier or use a carrier, leash, piece of cloth, or length of rope. If you can’t contain the animal, signal incoming motorists to slow down or redirect traffic around them if they look to be hurt and are still on the road.
When approaching the animal, exercise caution. You face a significant probability of being scratched or bitten if you manage to get near enough to capture them. As you approach the animal, remain calm and reassuring. As you approach, make sure they can see you at all times and tempt them to come to you by presenting a strong-smelling meal like canned tuna or dried liver.
Please remember if possible always call experts to handle a stray before putting yourself in danger.