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Found a dog or cat

Found a dog or cat

It might seem difficult to know what to do if you find a lost dog or cat – but remember that help is never far away.

If you’re in need of urgent support having found a lost or stray dog or cat, your first port of call should be to call your local authority, who will be able to come and collect the animal from you.

If for whatever reason this is not possible, you should take the stray to your local rescue centre. Many larger centres will accept stray dogs 24 hours a day, with others operating during normal working hours. You should always contact the centre before seeking to take an animal in.

If you’ve found a stray that is in danger, sick or injured, you should contact the RSPCA.

Larger rescue organisations may also operate a telephone line on which you can report missing or found animals within a certain area, so it is worth checking this on Google.

There is some basic advice on what to do if you find a lost dog or cat within our clickable tabs

Finally, also remember that many ADCH member organisations will also have specific pages dedicated to lost and found animals on their websites, alongside details of helplines.

I Have Found A Dog

If you take the decision to keep the dog in your home, then you should do the following:

  • Take the dog to your local vet or rescue centre to be scanned for a microchip to help with identification
  • Report the dog to your local authority in case they are contacted by its owner.
  • Report the missing dog to local rescues and vets, as many will keep a lost and found database.
  • Use social media to raise awareness of the lost dog or put up posters in the areas where you found the animal.
  • Remember that if you are taking an unknown dog into your home, you should learn to read their behaviour to keep them and anyone you live with safe.

I Have Found a Cat

  • You should avoid feeding cats who come into your garden unless they’re obviously underweight, as this can encourage them to return whilst they may still have owners feeding them too.
  • You can attach a paper collar to the cat with your contact details asking for the owner to contact you. If the cat then reappears with the collar intact over the next couple of days, you can assume that it has not returned home and may be a stray.
  • As cats travel wide areas, check with your neighbours whether they know where it may have come from.

My Local Rescue

Search for your local rescue here