I Found an Abandoned Animal…Now What?
Most people will find an abandoned animal at some point in their lives. The odds increase when you spend a lot of time outside, either on the trail or strolling the neighborhoods (perhaps with your own pet).
While our hearts are often in the right place, encountering an abandoned animal can be dangerous for everyone involved. This is because many people, in their desire to help, may approach an animal without caution or may expose their own pet to the animal in question.
That’s why our team wants to tackle how to be a good animal Samaritan without compromising the safety of you or your pet.
When the Abandoned Animal is Wildlife…
Although our main focus here will be on domestic pets, encountering wildlife in need of care can be a big challenge.
When it comes to young animals, one very strong message to get across is that they often do not need help. It’s normal for the parents to leave their young for some time. By intervening, you might endanger the animal. Unfortunately in some cases, young animals have to be euthanized because well-meaning humans decided to move them.
Instead, step back, visually assess the situation, and contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator (or our own Schertz Animal Services Division) for the correct next steps. This is equally true for injured wildlife.
Most importantly, do not approach or move wild species without the assistance of professionals.
When You Find an Abandoned Cat or Dog
If you see a box of abandoned kittens or puppies, your first instinct may be to panic. Remain calm; this enables you to provide better help.
Because there are numerous scenarios that can result in an abandoned pet, taking the time to go through life-saving steps can help keep an animal out of harm’s way.
The following are steps you can take (and dangers to avoid) when assisting an animal in distress:
- Keep yourself safe by assessing the pet. Does he or she look healthy? Does any behavior imply pain, aggression, or illness? Does the animal approach in a friendly way or is it running in the opposite direction?
- If you find the animal in an intersection or a street, get help from others or find a police officer for assistance.
- Keep in mind that some cats spend a lot of time outdoors, so if the feline appears healthy, it may be that he or she is simply an outdoor pet.
- If the animal approaches you, try safely moving him or her to an area such as a garage while you phone Animal Control for next steps. You may also call us and bring the pet in to get checked for a microchip.
- Quarantine the animal from other household pets.
- Keep him or her as calm as possible, and offer water.
- Remember, never try to chase or corner an animal who is frightened, as this can result in a bite. Wait for backup from the professionals.
- Scan local missing pet ads on places like Craigslist and community pages to see if anyone posted about the animal.
The most important thing to remember is to get help when assisting an abandoned animal. Don’t worry, the team at Schertz Animal Hospital is always here for you!
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Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!