What to do if you find a stray animal / pet
by Parisa Jenkins
First and foremost consider your and the animals safety; stray animals can be frightened hungry and sometimes aggressive. If you consider the animal too aggressive or dangerous for you to approach without putting yourself (and the animal in danger) then call the police.
If the animal is sick or injured consider contacting the RSPCA for help, advice and to arrange appropriate treatment.
See if the animal is wearing a collar and tag with the owners details on and if so contact the owner.
In the case of stray domestic animals (who are not wearing collars or tags) get them scanned to see if they are micro-chipped.
Check the local neighbourhood to see if anyone is aware of who owns the stray.
With regard to stray dogs where you cannot find the owner there is a legal obligation to report it to the local authority. If you don’t do this you are breaking the law and could be accused of theft. If the owner doesn’t come forward within the designated time there is a chance that you may be able to offer the dog a loving home so, if you want to be considered as a new owner you need to mention this to the local authority. Be aware, however, if you do this that you merely ‘adopt the dog’ and legal ownership does not pass over to you so, should the old owners come forward in the future (an undefined period of time) you would legally have to return their dog to them.