I found a dog! What do I do?
There are usually three categories of dogs you may find. Always use caution when apporaching a stray/off-leash and/or lost dog!
1. A dog you can approach and leash without a problem
2. A dog that is panicked and will run away (see extra information below) Panicked dog.
3. A dog that appears aggressive (growls, barks and lunges at you).
If you encounter a dog that appears aggressive take a picture and contact your local animal shelter or animal control. A good picture will help them know what kind of dog they are looking for. Animal control officers are trained to handle such dogs.
If you encounter a friendly dog check for a tag. Contact the information on the tag. If a tag is not present go to your local vet or shelter and ask them to scan for a microchip. If a microchip is present they can help provide more information on how to contact either the owner or the microchip organization.
Contact the owners. If the information is not up to date and the owner cannot be located you have the following options:
1. Keep the dog until you are able to locate the owner or
2. Call Animal Control/shelter to either have them pick up the dog or you can choose to drop the dog off.
If you decide to keep the dog until the owner is located you will need to do the following things:
1. Take a few good pictures of the dog
2. Contact your shelter/animal control to report the found dog
3. Make posters and post in your neighborhood. Big bright posters with "FOUND DOG" and a good picture will help.
4. Put an add up on Craigslist, Petfinder, Pet Harbor or Next Door Neighbor. Many people may respond that the dog is theirs so make sure the people who claim the dog is theirs can provide sufficient proof of ownership (licensing, vet documents, pictures, etc.)
5. Post the "found dog" on Facebook. Groups like Dog Connect are great resources for owners of lost and found dogs.
6. If the owner cannot be located contact your shelter again and say that you have been unable to find the owner. The shelter will provide you with information on what you can do next.
Panicked dog TIP:
Never call a panicked dog. Calling their name or just calling towards the dog may encourage the dog to run away further. There are several reasons this happens. One of them being earlier attempts to catch the dog. The dog is freaked out and uses its flight mode. Somewhere during that time calling has been associated with approach and/or trying to capture the dog, which will keep the dog even further away from you. Instead avoid contact, pretend to eat, sit or lay flat down. This may seem much less intimidating to the dog. Remember, the dog will not even recognize the owner's voice when in a panicked mode. Sometimes food will also not be sufficient to get the dog to approach. Try setting up cameras to get images of the dog and set up a trap. Contacting your local shelter is always the best way to go.
San Francisco Shelters:
North Bay Shelters:
East Bay Shelters:
South Bay Shelters:
Palo Alto Animal Services
3281 E. Bayshore,
Palo Alto , CA 94303
Palo Alto , Los Altos , Los Altos Hills,
Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV)
2530 Lafayette St.
Santa Clara , CA 95051
Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA)
2324 Walsh Ave.,
Santa Clara , CA 95051
Santa Clara , Monte Sereno, Campbell and Mountain View
San Jose Animal Care & Services
2750 Monterey Rd.
San Jose , CA 95111
San Jose, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Saratoga
Morgan Hill Police Department
Gilroy Police Department
Holister Animal Shelter
West end of South Street / 375 Fifth Street
Hollister, CA 95023
Santa Clara County Animal Care & Control
12370 Murphy Ave.
San Martin , CA 95046
All unincorporated areas of the county.
Website: SCC Shelter