Monday Mischief #67 – Finding and Catching a Stray Dog


We left training class and I was chatting with a friend when we saw this small grey dog streak across the road. I handed over Mr. N to my friend and I left in pursuit. There were at least a dozen times when she ran across the pathway of a car and I was afraid she was going to get hit. She also blended in with the color of the street which didn’t help matters either.

She finally turned into a side street and I finally got to the point where I could throw treats in her direction and she stopped to eat them and would move a little closer. She was really, really skittish. I tried to get a look at her tags but she let out a horrible yelp when I reached for her collar.

At this point, my friend texted and asked where we were and she arrived shortly afterwards in her car. We tried using her dog as a decoy. The dog was interested but not enough to get near us. I corralled the other two dogs and my friend managed to coax the dog into a crate with copious amounts of hot dogs. 
We called the owner and she came sauntering down the street. She said the dog repeatedly digs out under the fence and gets out although she was amazed to hear how far the dog had gotten this time (right in the middle of downtown traffic). My friend gave her some fencing advice and warned her that the dog had consumed an immense amount of treats.The woman thanked us, adding “hope this didn’t ruin your day” and left with her dog. We had spent 45 minutes chasing after her dog, terrified that the dog was going to get hit by a car in front of our eyes.  
If Mr. N was lost, I would be in hysterics, calling every vet, shelter/rescue, and dog friend I knew and out plastering flyers all over the neighborhood. I would be so immensely grateful to whoever found him  and would buy them dinner or make them a cake or bring them cookies for a year! Or all of the above. My friend and I were talking about how we needed to carry emergency cash so we could thank people who find our dogs.
Despite the ungrateful owners (I’ve found and returned over a dozen dogs at this point and they’ve all been pretty nonchalant), I still go after stray dogs, thinking what if this was Mr. N who was lost. The boyfriend’s philosophy is pretty much but Mr. N wouldn’t get lost. He is immensely velcro and doesn’t see the point of going places without me so it would take an extreme set of circumstances for him to get lost so I do mostly agree with the boyfriend but still. 
Mr. N is microchipped and always wears a collar. But perhaps even more importantly, he is not hand shy or collar shy or skittish. A microchip or tags won’t do any good if a stranger can’t get close to your dog… If Mr. N was lost, he’d probably march right up to the nearest person he saw and be like, “Hello, I am lost. You need to find my human right now. And feed me!” That was one of the things I worried about with our foster pup. He did not like strangers and did not like going near them, even with food. 
Do you go after stray dogs? Do you have any tips? And how is your dog “prepared” for the experience of being lost?

Mr. N is displeased when I chase after other dogs




23 Responses

  1. Lauren Miller

    May 11, 2015 8:31 am

    I have and it's always thankless. Owners just don't care and it depresses me. My dogs disappeared for 5 minutes on a hike at my inlaws and I was hysterical. Luckily they came right back when they heard us calling them.

  2. The Daily Pip

    May 11, 2015 10:48 am

    You did a wonderful thing even if the owner was ungrateful. I would be out of mind if one of my animals was lost. Hopefully, she will take your friend's advice and install better fencing.

  3. Emma

    May 11, 2015 11:05 am

    We typically find 1-2 dogs a year. It happens when we are out walking and they seem to sense our fun pack and want to walk along with us. We let them come along and when we get home we take them in our fenced yard. We have only ever found one with a collar but it had no name tag, only a rabies tag, so we called the vet, who called the owner, who eventually came and got their dog and seemed rather mad that we had bothered since he supposedly runs away all the time. The other dogs all went with animal control since they had no tags and they could read the chips. I know if we got lost, Mom would call the police asap. They have also told us not to post found dogs on social media as there have been many people taking in nice found dogs and keeping them. So sad. We pray we never get lost and if we do, Mom will lick the faces of those who find us!

    • Tenacious Little Terrier

      May 11, 2015 9:51 pm

      The majority of dogs we've found haven't had tags either. I do worry about people trying to keep Mr. N if he ever got lost. I don't know if calling the police would do any good here, they'd probably just tell us to call animal control.

  4. Beth

    May 11, 2015 1:18 pm

    I'm so glad that you were able to help the dog find its way home. People in my parents' neighborhood are very nonchalant about that sort of thing, too. Most of the neighborhood dogs just roam the neighborhood rather than being kept in their yards–and some have been hit by cars. I don't understand how people could be ok with that–I'm like you where I'd be totally panicked and calling everyone I could think of and be eternally grateful to the person that found Barley. Unfortunately, most of the time I see loose dogs, I'm out with Barley and I have to keep them away from her instead of trying to help them find their way home. It always makes me feel bad, but I know that if I let them get close enough to her, we'd all run the risk of getting hurt. I'm not sure what Barley would do if she got loose–she loves people when I'm with her, but if she were on her own, she might be too anxious to let anyone get close enough to get her collar–or if they had a dog with them, she might get too close to them and get herself in more trouble.

    • Tenacious Little Terrier

      May 11, 2015 9:50 pm

      I can't catch stray dogs if I'm out walking Mr. N either. He would bark too much and scare them away probably. Usually, it's a situation where I have the car and he gets stashed in the car while I go after the dog.

  5. Chasing Dog Tales

    May 11, 2015 3:33 pm

    I still try to help stray dogs find their home or owners, but more often than not, the owners aren't that grateful. I once took a dog back home after trying to call the owners, and the lady who answered the door seemed very aggravated that I was bothering her. I would be so thankful and relieved if anyone ever helped Haley find her way home if she was lost.

  6. Talent Hounds

    May 11, 2015 3:53 pm

    Good for you for stepping up and helping. Sadly a lot of people wouldn't have cared and let the poor dog figure it out alone. I can't imagine Kilo getting out and running into traffic, it's such a scary thought.

  7. Groovy Goldendoodles

    May 11, 2015 3:53 pm

    Bravo – well done! I don't see many stray dogs around – maybe I'm not paying close attention. If I did see one in danger, I hope I would react as you did. You saved that dogs life. Great job!

  8. Taryn

    May 11, 2015 4:16 pm

    My guys wear collars with tags and are microchipped. I could see mine getting lost as the result of a car accident (heaven forbid!) somewhere they weren't familiar, or for Wilson, chasing a fox or deer too far.

    I always carry a spare leash with me just in case I run into a stray on my walks. I have extras in my car as well for those horrible times you see a dog running along the highway.

  9. Earl Lover

    May 11, 2015 5:34 pm

    Mine are collared, tagged, and microchipped. They even have a tag on their collars, alongside their ID tags, stating that they are microchipped and to scan them! The thought of us being parted and something happening to my precious little ones scares me greatly and breaks my heart. I would never take a single risk.

  10. K9s OverCoffee

    May 12, 2015 1:47 am

    I've gone after loose dogs and returned them to their owners, and with the exception of one very grateful owner, all the others couldn't have cared less. It almost seemed as if they were annoyed that their dogs were returned to them…HELLO-HO!

    If my dogs were lost, I'd be in complete doggie retrieval mode and wouldn't sit still until I got them back! I'd definitely throw in a dinner, good bottle of wine, or something other of interest! Thankfully, Missy & Buzz are social butterflies like Mr. N & would also walk up to the next available human, asking for some playtime & lovings while they waited for us to find them 🙂 They are both microchipped & wear ID tags on their collars.

  11. Millie and Walter

    May 12, 2015 2:56 am

    We live in a rural area and have had a few dogs come to us. Some we were able to corrall and a couple of others wouldn't come to us. For those we called animal control and luckily the owners were able to coax them to safety.

    Thank you for always going after that stray. Even if the owners don't thank you the dogs do.

  12. Jackie Bouchard

    May 12, 2015 7:50 am

    Every once in a while we see a stray. If I don't have rita with me, I try to catch them, but Rita won't let me get close enough. When we have been able to rescue one, we usually find the same ungrateful owners. I don't get it! We found the cutest corgi once. When we finally found the house he lived at (he had no tag!) the people didn't even know he was missing! He'd been gone for HOURS! They were grateful, but didn't even know! We should have kept him!

    Rita has several tags plus she's chipped. One tag is from BlanketID which has a lot of contact info for me if folks put her code in online.

  13. Kelley Caton

    May 12, 2015 12:00 pm

    As and animal control officer, I go after stray dogs all the time. I can't tell you how many I've picked up only to be told by the owner that the dog gets out all the time and usually comes home on his own. Yes, those people get tickets.

    So what would I do if my dog gets out? First off, I'd be extremely grateful. Instead of cash, I would I would get their contact information and bring a gift basket and thank you card the next day. People who pick up stray dogs usually have dogs of their own, so a basket with toys and treats would be really thoughtful.

  14. Shannon Adams

    May 12, 2015 1:12 pm

    I have captured countless strays over the years and it is usually thankless, too. My dogs are chipped and I go to extreme measures to make sure they don't get lost, but god forbid it should happen, I think most people would be hesitant to approach because of their appearance. Many folks are scared of them. I would absolutely be a wreck if one of my dogs were missing.

  15. Kimberly Munoz

    May 12, 2015 8:30 pm

    Bless you heart for looking out for this dog. Here in San Antonio there is such a stray problem it breaks my heart. And I have returned a dozen if not more dogs to their homes here in just my neighborhood. I get anxiety just thinking about my boys getting out. Id be a wreck!


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