What to do If You Find A Stray Cat/Dog

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We love our furry friends and want to help them however we can. There are tons of animals in the wild that could be hurt or need assistance. Before you become the Cat Crusader, there are a few key points that will help you in a situation with a stray dog or cat.

  1. Keep Your Safety First: As in any first responder situation, you have to keep yourself in a safe position. If you go down, then you can’t do anything to help which defeats the purpose. Look for clues like limping, blood loss, raised hair, or snarling. These animals aren’t familiar with people and are most likely in a defensive mode. It’s best not to quickly approach an animal like this; they might attack because they don’t understand that you are trying to help.
    1. Take a step back to assess the situation. Make sure there isn’t a present threat to you, and keep your eye on the animal. Get low to the ground and calmly call to it.
    2. Call Animal Control’s main office (609) 924-2728 or the weekend/after hours line (609) 921-2100.
  1. Secure the Animal: If you are able to, place the animal in a secure location. After some persistence, the animal may come up to you, and at that point you can place them in a carrier. If you don’t have a carrier, you can keep them safe in a closed room until someone arrives to transport them. If both of those are not an option, do your best to keep your eye on the animal until Animal Control is able to respond.
  1. If you find a young animal, look around the surrounding area for a mom or siblings.
  1. Check the Animal: Once you get the animal in a secure location, check to see if the animal has any tags or collars that identify it. Also check the animal for any life-threatening injuries. If the animal appears to be abused, do not return the animal to the owner, but report directly to the authorities.
  1. If the animal doesn’t have any tags, you should still check to see if the animal has any life-threatening injuries. Take the animal to the nearest shelter for medical attention.
  2. If you take the animal to an open-admission shelter, make sure to keep the information they give you such as an ID.
  3. Spread the Word! It’s ok to toot your own horn that you saved a little guy from the cold, but that’s not the main point. You’ll want to share this helpless little one with your friends and family in the community to see if anyone is able to take in a new pet. It could bring happiness and joy to a family, and it can give an animal the first opportunity to know love and care.

You can encourage adoption by posting photos online and by creating flyers to post around town. Odds are that someone is looking for a new addition to their family, and you can help bring some joy to a local family. It’ll feel great to know that you rescued a cute little guy or girl from hunger and sickness, and gave him/her a chance to live a happy and healthy life.

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