So You Found a Stray
This section was written to help those who want to help a stray in need.
For the Love of Strays cannot take in every dog that we get calls about but we can help you help a dog-in-need in many ways.
What to do once you have a stray dog in your care
With dog overpopulation at an all time high, options can be hard to come by. Here are some suggestions if you are trying to help a homeless dog:
Plan A: Can you locate the owner?
The dog you found may very well belong to a worried family that didn't safeguard their yard well enough to keep him inside.
- Call the Lost Pet Hotline at 361-882-7387.
- If the dog has no collar or tags, see if your vet or local shelter can scan the dog for a microchip.
- Post signs.
- Facebook us with a picture, area where they are found and best way to contact you.
- Craigslist can be a great tool. But please use caution as there are people who may want the dog for bad reasons. Make sure the dog seems to know them, take the dog to them and don't go alone.
- Check the Lost Dog Postings at your local shelters and file a Found Dog notice while you're there.
- Place an ad in the local newspaper.
- And make sure to ask around!
What If I Can't Find the Owners?
You can go to Plan B, C or D:
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Plan B: Finding a responsible new home for a stray dog
How do I know if a stray is adoptable?
Good Question! You might want to have your homeless dog evaluated by a qualified individual who can help you determine if the dog is adoptable. If he is, the next question is:
What kind of home would be right?
Can he be placed with other animals? Kids? Older people? Can he go into a beginner's home or only a very experienced home?
Is the dog healthy?
Life on the streets can be hard on a dog. Have your dog checked by a veterinarian to determine if she needs any special care beyond vaccinations. Have the dog spayed or neutered BEFORE sending to a new home. PLEASE don't let your found dog be used to make more dogs. Let the littering stop here.
How can I make my foster more adoptable?
- Spay or neuter is a must! There are many low cost and free spay neuter clinics in the Corpus Christi area. Animal Control offers spay/neuter for a very low price.
- Give the dog his vaccinations.
- Consider basic obedience classes. A well-trained dog makes adoption into a new home much easier (and it helps YOU live with her while you are fostering!). Some trainers may reduce their fees for you. They can also guide you in the process of socializing your dog with other animals.
- We also recommend microchipping your foster dog or making sure they do as a part of adoption..
- And of course, make sure she is clean, well groomed and well behaved when meeting potential homes.
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Advertising: Where? How?
There are a few key ways to advertise your foster dog.
First, learn everything you can about the dog so you can give potential adopters the honest 411. Some of your info can come from the dog's evaluation; much will come from observing as you spend time with him.
Key websites for advertising
- Caller Times / Ad Sack
- Rescue group referral sites
Key information for your ad
- Dog's age, sex, health, and the fact that he's been fixed.
- Has he been evaluated by a vet?
- His energy level: Mellow? Energetic?
- His known limits with other animals.
- Has he had any training? Is he crate trained? House trained?
- Post one or more great photos.
- Charge an adoption fee to protect against animal research facilities that take free puppies for research.
- Use some sort of adoption application like the generic forms listed on our site.
Potential adopters will want to know:
- Where did he come from?
- How is he with small kids?
- Can he live with cats?
- What (if anything) scares him?
- What is his known medical history?
- What are his 'bad habits'? Be honest!
- What are his best qualities?
- What does he like to do?
How do I know if an interested home is right?
Please be very picky about who adopts your foster dog. Someone may be perfectly nice, but this doesn't mean they're the best home for the dog. Ask LOTS of questions. Do a home visit and meet the whole household. We strongly encourage checking with their landlord and their vet - Don't be too shy to ask for contacts. For The Love of Strays has found that the very BEST homes are happy to share their information. Homes that are reluctant to share info may have something to hide. Take your time with this decision...you've put a lot of effort into saving your dog and you want his next home to be permanent. You may want to meet with a home several times before you know if its right for this dog.
Plan C: FTLOS assisted placement of foster dog
For The Love of Strays can help by placing the dog on our website and also help to get the dog some adoption exposure at our adoption events. For the Love of Strays has no shelter or facilities, only foster homes and not enough of them, and we can only take in a tiny number of dogs from the public each year. To share the burden, some Finders foster themselves while they advertise for a new home. This is an adventure in itself, not something to take on unless you really feel up to the challenge of volunteering your time as an "individual dog rescuer". But the rewards of helping a little lost soul find his way to a new permanent and responsible home can be immeasurable. All dogs brought to adoption events must be spay/neutered or have an appointment, have a current heartworm test on file, up to date on all vaccinations (rabies, parvo AND bordetella) and be current on heartworm preventative. We don't always have a lot of funds to pay for all of the shots, etc ourselves but can help with some shots from time to time. Upon adoption we will insure each pet is microchipped to help insure to never be a stray again.
Plan D: When you have to take a stray to a shelter
It happens to the best of us; Not every found dog can stay in our homes while we look for a permanent home. Landlords may dictate, neighbors may complain, some dogs may be too much to handle or may not be able to co-exist with our pets. If you decide to surrender your homeless dog please look for a shelter that will offer her the best chance of being adopted responsibly by well screened, breed-educated adopters.
And last of all....
THANK YOUfor helping your homeless dog friend find a safer place to rest her head. We understand how frustrating and difficult it can be to find positive solutions to a homeless dog's plight. So much of our inspiration comes from folks like you who are so willing to go that extra mile for a dog sweetheart in need!
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