Tips to Help Reunite a Lost Dog with His Family

If you have found a dog, remember that not every stray dog is homeless.

Tips for Returning a Found Dog to the Lawful Owner:

It is unlikely that someone will try to claim a dog that isn’t theirs, but just to be on the safe side, use the following steps to make sure you return the dog to the rightful owner.

  • When someone calls in response to an ad and/or flyer, ask the caller’s name and telephone number and tell him/her that you will call back right away.
  • Do not offer a description of the dog, let the person inquiring describe the dog including unique identifying characteristics. (i.e. scars, tattoo, behaviors, color patterns, etc.).  Also remember that a dog found with a collar may not have had that same collar on when he/she went missing.  Someone else could have caught the dog and put a collar on.
  •  Ask for Proof of Ownership ( one of the following): Vet records (call their vet to confirm); Rabies certificate or license Adoption papers; registration papers; transfer of ownership or bill of sale; Photos (dated and w/family members).
  •  Observe the meeting of the dog and person. Does the dog show familiarity with person?  Be aware though, that dogs lost for a long time may not immediately show signs of recognition with their owner or respond to their name. Give them time to get acquanted again.
  • If you are meeting to return the dog; be sure to let a friend or family know where you are meeting or ask one of them to go along. Plan to meet at your local police parking lot, your vet office or any public place in the daylight.