The 7 C's of losing/finding an animal.
There may be a time where you are in a situation where you have lost or found an animal, so what should you do?
If you lose an animal then contact everyone listed in section 5.
Nearly everyone has their mobile phone with them which usually can take photographs.
Even a badly focused picture may help but always try to take a few so that there is a better chance of a clearer picture.
That way instead of trying to describe the animal you have a picture everyone can see.
If the animal is running loose and you are able to contain it safely, without putting yourself or the animal at risk.
This could be physically holding the animal or containing it in a area the animal can not easily escape from.
Do not corner the animal in a tight space as it may be frightened and may attack if it feels threatened.
If you cannot contain the animal then contact everyone mentioned in section 5.
This is where your head must rule above your adrenalin.
Check there is not a human in the far distance in pursuit of the animal that is running loose.
Ask around to try and find out if anyone knows where the animal is from.
Check for a name tag and contact details.
Is the animal injured?
If the animal is injured find out where the nearest vet is and take them for initial care.
Most, if not all, vets will stabilise any injured animal while their humans are being found.
Are you able to take the animal home with you and keep it safe, including keeping your family safe?
Even if you cannot keep the animal at your home for a few hours, do not just walk away get advice.
It is the law that your local dog warden is contacted as soon as possible.
The warden may ask you if you can look after the dog while the humans are being contacted.
The local vet will be able to scan to see if the animal is microchipped and contact the humans.
As soon as you are able contact the relevant local authority.
Council dog warden (if it's a dog), cat welfare(if it's a cat) , rspca etc. local vet (if not already contacted)
Post on social media on lost and found animal sites, dog lost, and local community sites.
There are various groups on social media that not only help to reunite lost animals but also help to reunite sadly deceased animals to give their human's closure.
They have volunteers with scanners in some areas that go out and scan found dogs and cats.
Now believe it or not there are humans out there that 'claim' animals that have misplaced their humans, so be careful who you hand the animal to.
Make sure they have evidence they are that animal's human.
My human for example has my medical records, ID microchip records, not to mention hundreds of photos on their mobile phone.
Cats can be an exception to the 'lost animal' rule as they are very adept at making humans think they are starving, homeless and definitely want you to feed them.
Obviously if the cat is injured then try to contain it and take it to the local vet.
To try to find out if the cat is actually lost check it for a name tag and contact the owner.
If the cat has managed to remove their collar then try asking around and some humans put little paper collars on them with their contact number and 'please ring me' on it.
That way the human can ring you and confirm if the cat is lost or if you are now on 'their round'.
This is a general guide for humans that are not sure what to do.
There will be circumstances where different things apply.
The main thing is if you are not sure, ask a local dog warden or vet for advice.