What to do if you find a dog

Download the found dog tips PDF

Check for a dog license

By law, every dog should be wearing a current year dog license. If you find a dog that is wearing a Montgomery County license tag, you can look up the tag number at the Montgomery County Auditor’s website.¬†You can also call us at (937) 898-4457, and we will provide you with the owner’s information.

If the license is from a different county, visit www.ocdwa.org, go to the state directory, and choose the appropriate county to contact their shelter directly.

No license? What about a rabies tag?

If you find a dog with a rabies tag, call Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County at (937) 225-4460, and they will be able to assist you in identifying and locating the owner.

Check social media

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor are perfect for locating and reuniting lost pets with their families. Create a post with a picture of the animal as well as some basic information, such as where and when it was found, and ask friends to share it. There are also Facebook pages and groups like Dayton, Ohio and Surrounding Area Lost and Found Pets specifically dedicated to reuniting lost pets with their owners.

Check for a chip

If an animal does not have any identification, like a license, rabies tag, or ID tag, contact your local police department, a veterinarian, or the ARC (that’s us!) and ask them about scanning for a microchip.

Register the dog as found in TWO places

Register the dog as found to increase the chances of being reunited with its family. Visit www.mcanimals.org and use the lost and found page to “Register a Dog Found,” and visit lost.petcolove.org to report “I Found A Pet.”

Talk to neighbors

Chances are, someone is looking for an missing their pup. Talk to neighbors and see if they have seen the dog before and know who it belongs to.

I’ve tried everything and can’t find the owners!

So you’ve searched here, there and everywhere, and this pup’s owners are nowhere to be found – what are your options?

Provide temporary shelter

Just because an owner hasn’t been found yet doesn’t mean they won’t eventually. If you are able to provide a temporary home for the dog while waiting for someone to come forward, this is the best option. Shelters, no matter how nice they may be, are no replacement for a loving home – even if it’s only for a few days. The animal shelter environment suffers from: overcrowding; constant introduction of new, unknown animals; increased stress for pets; and heightened risk of spreading illness.

Rehome the pup

If enough time has passed (we recommend waiting at least three days), and you’ve done everything possible to find a dog’s owners, you may keep or rehome the dog yourself. As we mentioned above, shelters are truly no place for a dog. If you or someone else chooses to keep the dog, please call us at (937) 898-4457 to explain the situation and we will walk you through the steps to officially and legally add a new furry friend to your family!