What to do if you find a dog

Last week, whilst on the way to Waitrose, I found myself involved in a dog rescue with another lady.

The Dog in question – A Border Terrier was successfully reunited with his owner.However it could have gone better, which motivated me to write this blog to share with others, firstly, what to do and secondly, what small things we can do to make sure we are better prepared.

Let me start with my story

As mentioned, I was Waitrose bound for my lunchtime Sushi, when, on the main, metres in front of me I saw a Border Terrier cross the road.

I immediately pulled up as soon as I can 20 metres or so down the road, quickly got out of the car and walked up to find him sniffing a tree at the road side. Looking around I couldn’t see anyone except a lady running up the street. He wasn’t her dog and she had also seen him dart across the road.

He was really timid and nervous of us, so I tried to just take it steady with him, lowering to his level and trying to get him to sniff me and learn to trust me. I knew there was a local vets half a mile away as its my vets, so we decides the best thing would be to get him in my car and take him there- He wasn’t wearing a collar or had any identification. The Lady I was with picked him up and he went for her, teeth and all. after putting him back down, he desperately wanted to get away from us, which for him, meant trying to run across the busy road again. We were back to stage one of reassuring him, giving him space and most importantly trying to keep him away from that rd.

Once we knew getting him in the car was too risky, we rang the local vets and they came and got him. When I checked in later at the vets, he had been reunited with his owner. His owner sadly had dementia so its not sure what had happened and his family had been looking for the dog.

Overall, the whole episode was a massive learning experience for myself and I made some epic errors, could have been more prepared and was very lucky someone else was around to help.

What could I have done better?

Firstly, I darted out the car in such a rush, I didn’t grab my mobile, If it hadn’t have been for the other lady, I would have been stuck with the dog with no phone to call the vets.

Apart from trying to convince the Border Terrier he could trust me, it would have been really useful to have had some incentive in the way of treats

Lastly, when we spoke to the vets, they asked if we had a slip lead so we could get him in my car, again, I didn’t.

So I’m making sure I’m rescue ready!

The next day I put the following things in my car.

A slip lead

Some dog treats

A blanket

The number for the dog warden in my area

Not that I am actively driving around looking for Dogs on the run, but I feel more confident knowing i’ll be more prepared for if i’m in the same situation again.

And what exactly is the right thing to do?

Check if the dog has a collar with ID on, calling the owner if they have

If they don’t and you think they may be hurt, call your local vet to come and help you – Its not worth moving them if injured

If the dog seems fine and is friendly, get it on a slip lead and knock on a few doors to see if anyone knows where it lives

If no luck there, call the local dog warden

There is a great guide here from the RSPCA also.

Lets keep those doggies safe!