Introduction:My wife use to work in an animal shelter and has provided me with information on what a person should do if a friendly stray dog follows them home.
A stray dog is usually a dog that has been lost, so you should check to see if it has a collar with tags. Some dogs have tattoos in their ears or inner hind legs.
You should take it to the shelter or a vet to be scanned for a microchip as this is another form of identification. This is a free service.
If there is no identificaton, then while you are at it, check to see if the dog is male or female - this will be handy for the next step.
Call your local animal shelter (SPCA, Humane Society) or pound and report finding the dog. That way if an owner has reported the dog missing they can contact you, or if the dog was reported stolen you are protected as clearly you would not report finding the dog if you stole it.
You can also ask around the neighborhood if anyone knows who owns the dog, and can put up signs, or ads in the newspaper.
Either put the dog in your fenced back yard so it does not wander around and get lost further, or wander into traffic and get hurt, or bring it inside.
Do not bring the dog inside if you are unsure of its friendliness, particularly if you have young children.
Offer the dog water.
Assuming there is no owner you have to decide what to do.
Do you want to keep it or not, if not take it to your local animal shelter.
If you are going to keep it, then wait at least 2 weeks from the time you reported finding it until you proceed as the actual owner of the dog. After this waiting period you should take the dog to the vet for vaccinations and so forth.
If the dog was not already spayed or neutered you should get that done, as that will reduce the dog's desire to roam.
Train the dog so it is a good pet.
Feed and care for the dog according to its needs.
Wonderful list. It's nice to try to find the owner or a home for the dog.
I would never bring a dog to the shelter. I would try to find a new owner if I could not keep him. I have done that with 6 dogs in my life, so it works. Good things to help people who need that guide. Thank you.
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