Updated: Mar 18
UPDATED: 15 February 2020
There seems to be this thought process amongst the general public that, if they find a dog, their main objective is to help the owner not get a fine. No. The main objective is to get the dog back to its owner as soon as possible. Safely.
Not the next day. As soon as possible. How do you do this when the dog may not have any identification on them? Easy. Take them to your closest, open Vet for microchip scanning. If you can't transport the dog to a vet, maybe a friend can do it, maybe a neighbour and, as a last resort - call your local council. If you CAN'T get them to a vet, call your local council. All councils have an after hours number to report lost pets. Another, very important point to remember: "It is an offence under the Domestic Animals Act to keep the animal." Picture this: Beloved dog escapes and is found early evening by a lovely member of the public. Because it is after hours, that saviour thinks the best thing is to keep it over night and go to a vet in the morning. As an owner, I find this quite devastating because, I don't know that my dog is safe and well. I will be looking and calling out ALL night, scouring the streets for my dog. Meanwhile, my dog may be safe and happy but how do I know that a) they are not dead b) that they have not been stolen and c) that they are not fretting? I don't. So, as a finder, it is good practice to put yourself in the distraught dog owners mindset. Oh, but we don't want the owners to pay a huge fine you say. Truthfully, it is not the responsibility of the dog finder to worry about this. You have kept it safe. You have no more responsibility than this. Maybe the dog is a serial escapee? The owner needs to be made accountable if this is the case.
Take a read of a great blog post previously posted here entitled "What I don't want you to do if you find my dog" it lays out reasons about what NOT to do. ie don't feed the dog, be careful with the dog around other people - you don't know its background, its triggers etc Lastly, I ask that you share this post and the What I don't want you to do if you find my dog post to any posts on FB that you see when dogs are found. Education is the key to family reunions!