People who have lost a pet in the past have some idea about the panic and terror that goes through one's mind.They are likely to be more sympathetic in the situation of finding a lost dog and returning him to his owner. But in case that hasn't happened to you - it's a nasty, chilling experience, losing one's best furry friend. Here are some 9 ways you can help to return a lost dog to its owner.1. Assume lost, not strayThe first step in rescuing the animal would be to assume he has a home and that someone is really missing him. Most dogs wandering around are just that: lost.
2. Try to approach himMost lost dogs will let a human approach them, as they are likely stressed and scared too - they need help, being far away from their homes. However, be sure to exercise caution and to call authorities if the dog seems hostile or aggressive.
3. Check for identificationIf you can get close enough, check the pup's collar for a tag with his name and possible the owner's phone number. Some dogs also have tattoos inside their ears to identify them.
4. Call the local shelterChances are, the owner might have called the shelter already to hear if their four-legged friend had been brought in. If they haven't, leave a description of the dog with the shelter so they can communicate the information should the owner call later.
5. Search for postersAfter a day or two, most owners will start putting up flyers in the area. They could be on lampposts, in shops or at schools. Keep your eyes open to see if anyone is looking for the pup you found.
6. Make your own postersA great idea is to make flyers of your own with a picture and "LOST DOG FOUND" and put them up at local meeting places - coffee shops, bakeries and traffic lights. That way, the owner or any of their friends could easily see that their dog has been found!
7. Don't give upIf you haven't managed to track down the owner after a few days, keep searching on Craigslist or internet equivalents in your area. Check the local newspaper too and keep dropping off your flyers.8. Don't give away all the informationIf someone does call you claiming to be the lost pup's owner, don't describe him. Ask them to describe their dog first. You know your intentions are good but someone else's might not be. Make sure their description is precise and accurate before agreeing to handthe dog over.
9. Seek adoption for the dogIf after weeks or months of searching you still haven't found the owner, it's time to start finding this poor pup a new home. Consider adopting him yourself if you two get along well, or take him to the shelter and help them make an adoption notice.
10. Join Pet Alert if you live in the areaThe Holidog Times is proud to be a partner of Pet Alert, a global community of people aiming to return stolen or lost pets to their humans. You can find all the member countries on the Facebook page.First launched in France in the summer of 2012, Pet Alert has successfully managed to bring home more than 100,000pets in the four years that it has been active.Their 1,000,000 French members are vital to the process:by sharing the posts from the page with all their friends, family and other contacts, they makesure the news is spread as much and as quickly as possible!Keep these tips in mind next time you see a dog on its own, and think about how you would feel if you'd lost the most precious four-legged member of your family. You'd definitely want someone else to do all they could to find you!