So you’ve found a stray animal in your neighborhood or roaming the streets.
What do you do now?
Noah's Bark Animal Rescue receives dozens of calls and e-mails a day from people who are hoping we can take in a stray animal or unwanted pet.
But sadly, because we do not have a permanent facility and our funds are earmarked for animals already in our care, we cannot take in animals from the public. But we can help by giving you advice on the most effective ways for you to help find the animal a home.
The first step: determine if the animal has an owner.
According to the City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, it is estimated that 26,000 to 44,0000 stray dogs roam the streets of Los Angeles at any time. First, check the animal for tags and if it has them, contact the owner immediately. If there are no tags, legally you must take the animal to the shelter nearest the location where the animal was found. (Call 888-452-7381 to find the shelter nearest you or go to http://www.laanimalservices.com/ or http://animalcare.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/acc
Animal shelters are the first place and owner will look for a missing dog or cat and legally you must take the animal to a shelter for the minimum holding period of five days, or you must try to find the owner on your own with ads, flyers, etc. Many people don’t want to take the animal to the shelter in fear the dog will be automatically euthanized. While it is a fact that Los Angeles has a high euthanization rate, this is the place where many pets and their owners are reunited. Even if the animal does not have tags, it may have escaped from a yard and if it is microchipped, it’s owner could be determined when the shelter scans the animal for the chip.
If you want to keep tabs on the animal, get the impound number from the shelter and track it through the shelter system to determine when the animal will be available for adoption which should be five working days from the day you turn it in if the owner doesn’t show up. You can also place “First Rights” on the animal so that you can adopt it when it does come up for adoption if you show up between 8:00 am to 9:00 am on the first day it is available for adoption. Remember to check out the shelters where logs are kept of owners looking lost dog or cats and see if any of the descriptions matches your animal’s.
If you decide against taking the animal to the shelter, many veterinarian’s offices can also scan the animal for a microchip. If no microchip is found, you must place ads in local newspapers and place “Found” flyers in the are where the animal was roaming. When placing an ad be vague in your description, note the area the animal was found in and your telephone number. This is to ensure that the people calling are truly the animal’s owner. Make sure they can give a description of the animal and ask for the animal’s name to see how it reacts when called. If so far so good, ask to see proof of ownership in veterinary records, dog licenses or a photo of the animal. Most newspapers will place “Found” ads free of charge.