How to Help a Stray Dog or Cat
Seeing a dog or cat that’s lost or hurt is likely to bring out your most protective instincts. At the same time, you also need to be careful, not only for the animal’s sake but also your own.
Take care of yourself first
You need to make sure that you are safe and won’t get hurt in the process of trying to help. If you see a dog lost on a busy freeway, for example, resist the temptation to pull over to try and rescue the wayward canine while trying to dodge traffic yourself. Getting hurt will only compound the problem and guarantee you won’t be able to help.
Is the animal friendly?
You’ll need to ascertain whether or not Fido or Kitty will accept your advances. If so, then you can proceed to get a hold of the animal and bring him or her to a safe place until the owner or official animal rescue personnel can pick the pet up.
If the animal is unfriendly–and especially if it seems he or she could injure you–then the best thing to do is call professionals. You might try to slip a loop leash over the animal’s neck to capture the pet without touching him or her and then lead the animal to safety until help arrives. But proceed with caution.
Is the animal injured?
Animals that are hurt are much more likely to strike out. If Fido or Kitty is in danger and must be moved before help arrives, you may have to do so yourself.
You can create a muzzle for a dog by tying a loop on a rope, leash, tie or even a pair of pantyhose. Slip the loop over the muzzle, tighten the knot over the top of the muzzle, put the ends back behind the head under the ears and tie again. If the animal in question is a cat, you can use a towel, jacket or large cloth to wrap him or her up.
Try to make sure that you don’t injure the animal further.
If you can’t move the animal, try to protect him or her. If you are stopped on a heavily-trafficked road, consider putting your caution lights on and setting out flares if you have them.
If the injured stray dog or cat happens to be your own, then you need to bring him or her to Austin Pet and Bird Clinic immediately. Our veterinarians take emergency cases and are there to help your four-legged friend when he or she needs it most. When every second counts, we guarantee you can count on us.
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