This is Sterling, adopted from a Bradenton rescue.

How to Help a Stray Dog

1.) Determine if the dog is approachable or not: Baxter was previously owned and comfortable around humans. So it was easy to get a hold of him. Most dogs are scared and skittish. Be cautious when approaching them. Lure them over with food if you can and then capture them with a leash or crate. If the dog doesn’t respond, it’s better to call animal control or the police to scoop it up.

2.) Track down the owner: If you are able to capture the dog, check for a physical ID tag. The dog may also have a chip that can be checked at the vet’s office, the animal control office or Petsmart or Petco. Ask around your neighborhood to see if anyone has lost a dog and post flyers. You can also register the lost pet with animal control and leave flyers there.

In our case, we were able to find Baxter’s previous owner through his microchip. But because Baxter had contracted heartworms, he wasn’t interested in taking him back. We still had to get the owner’s permission to find Baxter a new home though, which we learned is a law in many states. Get a release from the owner if you can. That will give you rights to the dog.

3.) Consider fostering the dog: You can leave a stray dog with your local animal control. Be aware that most animal control centers keep dogs for certain periods of time - usually up to two weeks. Then the dogs are either put up for adoption or more than likely euthanized. You can offer to foster the dog, while animal control assists with helping you find it a permanent home. They will list it in or their websites on your behalf.

4.) Take the dog to the vet: As a precaution, it’s a good idea to take the dog to the vet to get it checked for heartworms or other infections. You don’t know how long the dog has been on the street. It can pick up illnesses easily. There are several discount veterinary organizations that can provide check-ups. Wellpet Humane is the shelter that treated Baxter’s heartworms at a fraction of the cost of regular animal hospitals. You can also check with pet rescue organizations for discount treatments.

5.) Contact your local rescue organizations to get help with getting the dog adopted: We learned that rescue organizations are very well connected. While Southern Animal Rescue the organization we reached out to was full, they were prepared to reach out to a group in South Carolina on our behalf.

This link below, to NPR, is a fascinating interview with John Bradshaw on what really is going on with cats.  Please click and listen!
          This is Diesel, one of Faith's 7 pups, born in October 2012 and saved from Putnam County.  Mom and all 7 pups were adopted.  Diesel lives the good life here in Sarasota!
Diesel at 5 weeks just before adopted
Emmy (was Maggie) another of Faith's pups.
Maggie at 6 weeks just before adopted
Faith and her pups just before they were all adopted.
Faith and her pups- their intake picture at Putnam County Animal Control. The 7 pups are maybe a week old.
This is Tiny, now Buddy- the third of Faith's pups.
Tiny at 6 weeks just before adopted
Tiny getting picked up by his new family
                           The before and afters of some of the animals saved in 2012.
Finn before
Finn after
Renna before
Renna after
Solomon before
Solomon after
Widget before
Widget, now Henry, after
Fletcher before
Fletcher after
This is Nell- aka Paloma- happy in her new home.
This is Kenzie- aka Chelsey- so grown up now in her new home.
And here are Nell and Kenzie lounging!
Peanut from Chipley
Peanut in new home!
Nala at the pound
Happy Nala in rescue home
Star at the pound- dumped in the parking lot of Home Depot
Happy little Star in her rescue home
Ben before
Ben after
Norah before
Norah after
Tiger before
Tiger, now Bubba
Mattie before
Mattie after- actually a male now Madden