In honor of National Animal Safety and Protection Month, here are a few tips for what you should do in the event that you notice a lost pet:

  • Be cautious when approaching the pet: If the pet seems friendly and you feel comfortable approaching it, try to coax the animal to come near with you with a gentle voice. If the animal is frightened, you may need to coax it with food or treats. If the animal seems aggressive or you’re not able to restrain it, contact a local shelter or animal control for help.

  • Check for ID: If the pet has an ID tag, contact the owners. If you are unable to reach the owners initially, you may want to hold on to the animal for a few hours and try to contact the owners again. If so, it is best to file a “found” report with your local animal shelter in case the owner calls or goes there to search for the pet.

  • Scan for a Microchip: If the animal isn’t wearing an ID tag, take it to your local animal shelter or veterinary hospital or contact animal control so the pet can be scanned for a microchip. If the pet has a microchip, the organization will be able to access the owner’s contact information. If the pet doesn’t have an ID tag or microchip, your local shelter is a good place for the animal to stay temporarily as that is where many owners look when searching for their lost pet. You can also inform the shelter if you’d be willing to foster the animal if its owner can’t be located.

  • Post fliers or share on social media: If possible, take a photo of the pet and post fliers around the area where the pet was found. You can also distribute the fliers to local veterinary clinics. Additionally, you can post the photos of the pet to your Facebook page as well as to lost pet pages in your area.