If you've ever come across a dog wandering around without an owner and without any identification, it can be a pretty stressful situation - Who should you call? What should you do? Where should you bring them?
The American Humane Society estimates that 10 million dogs go missing each year, so it's important to know what steps to take to reunite them with their family:
1. Odds are, the dog is going to be pretty shaken up. You should always approach a stray dog slowly and never try to chase them to catch them. Dogs communicate through body language, so take note of their eyes, tail, and body. If they appear stiff, tail tucked between their legs, and are showing any signs of aggression, do not approach the dog. Instead, contact your local animal shelter to assist.
If the dog appears friendly and is not showing aggressive body language, crouch down on their level and try to get their attention by gently calling to them. If the dog does not come to you, you can try slowing moving closer to him/her.
Once you're close enough, do not grab their collar right away. Let them sniff you and get comfortable, and gently move your hand up their shoulder to check for ID tags.
2. If the dog has ID tags, call the number on the tag, or bring them to the address printed on the tag. This is the best case scenario, but unfortunately many missing dogs lose their collars along the way, or are missing because they slipped out of a collar during a walk. If that's the case, call your local animal shelter so that they can scan for a microchip.
3. "What if the dog has a Fi collar?" That is great news! This means their family is already on the lookout for them since they've received a lost dog notification and we can find the dog's owners by searching for their collar in our database. Head to our live chat box on www.tryfi.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you've found a lost Fi dog and we will take it from there.
4. If the dog has no tags or microchip, you can help reunite them with their family by posting flyers and asking your friends to share the dog's photo on social media.
5. Be prepared by keeping a few essentials in your car - a slip lead, dog treats, and a towel can all be very useful in capturing a lost dog so that you can begin finding their family.
6. Most importantly, be proactive in keeping your own dog safe by making sure their ID tags are up to date and securely attached to their collar, and by keeping your Fi collar charged in case of an emergency.