How do you know if a dog is abandoned? Tips and Tricks

“Capture” the Dog Safely

Because the abandoned dog will likely be frightened, any abrupt movement, such as raising or moving your arms quickly, or even the opening and closing of your car door, may cause them to make a run for it.

As you move towards the dog, approach from the side (not head-on), moving slowly. Speak calmly, quietly, and in a friendly tone. Never stare at the dog as this can be taken as a sign of aggression or intimidation.

If you are able to get close enough to capture the dog and the animal is not showing any signs of aggression, you can use a leash or a long piece of rope, cloth to try to get a lead on the dog.

If you have a dog kennel, use a piece of cloth or rope to contain the abandoned dog in a small area, then coax the dog into going into the kennel. Having treats to throw into the back of the kennel would be helpful. Once the dog has entered the kennel, calmly shut the door behind, then praise them for cooperation.

Check for an Identification Tag

If you are able to get close enough to see if the dog is wearing an ID tag, and what is written on it, store the information somewhere safe immediately. This information could be valuable in helping to locate the real owner.

Carefully Approach the Dog

Generally, its best to call the animal rescue instead of doing this yourself. However, if you must do this alone, always approach an abandoned dog with extreme caution. If the dog seems in any way aggressive, stay in your car, call the local animal control authorities (if you are in a small town, you might need to call the police).

Read the dog’s body language for signs of fear, which can trigger aggression, including: cowering, hiding, tucked tail, ears back, trembling, growling, or showing their teeth. If the dog isn’t showing any signs of aggression, you can approach them with caution.

Why Are Dogs Being Abandoned?