If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of losing your dog, you know how relieved it is when we receive a call informing us that he has been found. However, what happens when you’re the one to find a lost pooch? Here are the top five tips on what to do should you come across a lost dog.

1. Stay Calm
In such situations, safety comes before anything else. We wouldn’t want to accidentally hurt ourselves or Fido when trying to help! If you’re driving along a busy expressway and come across a pooch that needs help, do not recklessly slam your foot on your brakes as it might cause an accident.

Signal and pull over at the nearest road shoulder, but when coming out of the vehicle, go slow. Rushing towards the dog may scare it, causing it to run towards oncoming traffic!  Instead, try to lure him towards you, but if all else fails, contact the SPCA to alert them of the situation.

2. Be Cautious
Some pooches may react aggressively out of fear, so it’s best to avoid reaching out to grab them to prevent any injuries. If you have observed that the dog has sustained some injuries, do try to stay at the scene until help arrives.

3. Look For Owner Information
If the dog seems friendly and approachable, the very next step would be to either check for a collar tag that contains owner information, or to take him to the nearest vet to scan for a microchip. The microchip should help to identify who his owners are and, subsequently to get in touch with them.  

4. Take Responsibility
Should you have the time and space in your home, do bring the lost dog home. There are many lost-and-found pet groups on Facebook, and the active community members are usually more than glad to help and share any postings. Take a clear photo of the dog, along with any distinctive markings, and upload them.

5. Alert SPCA
If you are unable to bring the poor dog home, contact the SPCA (or any other rescue group you know) so that they can temporarily house the lost pooch until his owners arrive. Most of the time, they would put up pictures of the lost pup on their Facebook page so that others can see and share it too.

*This article was updated on 6 Oct 2020. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com.sg on  28 June 2016.