If you find a stray dog, it could be an abandoned animal, but it could also be a lost dog that its owner is actively looking for. Anyway, you have several solutions to act. If you cannot take care of the dog, we suggest you discover the procedure to follow and the numbers to contact so as not to let it wander and put itself in danger. If, on the contrary, you want to help the doggie, this file tells you the solutions to implement since you must first find the owner of the animal.
You may also be wondering if it is possible for you to adopt this dog? Not directly, no, because you can be prosecuted for pet theft if you break the law. Nevertheless, you will be able to discover during your reading the procedure to follow if you feed such a project and that it can materialize. Let’s take a look at the subject in this file.
Stray dog: what does the law say?
In France, the law has defined certain rules to be followed when a person finds a stray dog. We speak of a stray dog when the animal is no longer under the supervision of its master, that is to say that it wanders at a distance of more than 100 meters from him or out of earshot. Abandoned dogs are therefore considered stray dogs.
What to do if you find a stray dog depends on what you can do and the animal’s condition.
Stray dog: what to do when you can’t take care of it?
If you find a stray dog, but you can’t take care of it, here are the solutions available to you.
If the dog appears healthy
If the dog seems to be fine, contact the town hall of the commune, the police station or the gendarmerie. They will send the pound on site to recover the animal. Care will then be provided to him if necessary and these services will seek the masters of the doggie.
Many people hesitate to contact the pound, because this structure often gets bad press. However, since 2001, pounds are no longer obliged to euthanize animals whose owners do not come forward. However, this sad practice remains reserved for sick, injured or dangerous dogs when their master does not make himself known, or in the event of overpopulation.
Consequently, if no one comes forward within eight days after the dog is received, the pound generally sends it to a local association which can thus collect it before offering it for adoption.
If the dog is injured or sick
If the dog is injured or sick, you have two options.
- If he allows himself to be approached without risk, take him to the nearest veterinarian. The practitioner will be able to provide him with the care he needs before taking any other steps.
- If you cannot approach the animal, contact the town hall of the commune, the police station or the gendarmerie. They will contact the pound who will pick up the dog before having it examined by a veterinarian.
Stray dog: what to do when you want to take care of it?
If you do not want to leave this poor dog lost or abandoned to the pound services, you have the possibility of helping him. Nevertheless, it is not a question of adopting it, because you must first of all make every effort to find its master.
“A stray dog does not belong to anyone”: a misconception to be wary of!
Remember that a stray dog you find does not belong to you, whether it is identified or not. He may have gotten lost after running away or in some other context, and his master may be looking for him.
Be aware that if you disregard these recommendations and if you still decide to keep the animal without having taken the required steps, you could be prosecuted for theft by its master. Even if you suspect the latter of abuse, you must not commit an act prohibited by law.
Therefore, if you find a stray dog and want to deal with it, you will need to follow the following procedure.
Find the owner of the dog
You have just picked up a stray dog.
If you have the possibility, you can take certain immediate preliminary steps:
- if the animal wears a collar that indicates the coordinates of its owner, you can contact it directly;
- if the pooch has a tattoo in his ear, you can contact the Domestic Carnivore Identification Service (I-CAD) directly, which has the contact details of the dog’s owner;
- if the dog does not have a tattoo or if it is illegible, you can go to the nearest veterinarian to check for the presence of an identification chip.
If you manage to reach the dog’s owner directly or through the veterinarian or I-CAD, agree on an appointment together to hand over his animal.
Notify the authorities
If you do not have time or in a second step, contact the authorities without delay (the police station, the gendarmerie, the town hall of the commune, the pound, etc.) in order to avoid any risk of being accused. animal theft later. These services generally agree to let the person who finds a stray dog keep it at home if they wish, while they search for their master.
Do not hesitate to notify the pound, local associations and shelters to warn them of the situation. Send them a picture of the stray dog you found to post an ad. You can also do it yourself on specialized sites or post posters in the area where you found the animal.
Can you adopt a stray dog?
When a stray dog is impounded, its owner has 8 days to come forward after being notified. However, if he does not seek to recover his animal before the deadline, it is not possible for you to adopt the dog just as simply. The animal must indeed be placed in a protection association which will then take care of having it adopted.
Either way, the dog can be considered impounded as long as the procedure is followed, but the pound can accept that this impoundment takes place within your home if you prefer to collect it during this time. weather. In this case, the pound confirms that you can keep the dog at home before it is placed in an association for adoption.
Be aware, however, that this procedure is due to the fact that the law does not allow a pound to transfer an animal to an individual. On the other hand, if you want to adopt the dog, you can specify it to the animal protection association which must take charge of it to have it adopted. The latter will be able to proceed with the adoption procedures for you in order to allow you to officially become the owner of the doggie.