Animals 101 – What to do if you find a stray animal.
Many animals are roaming the streets and reported as lost! There are always good Samaritans who take them in and keep them safe. Last week we looked at what to do if your pet is lost and how to prevent it. This week we will look at what can be done if you found an animal.
Before we list the possibilities, I want you to note the following:
- Always COMMENT and SHARE the ORIGINAL POST about the animal, not the shared version. If an animal is found the owner should UPDATE the original post.
- People are hesitant to take animals to the SPCA and many times, with good reason, however if you do not have an alternative, the animal is probably safer at the SPCA than in the street where they can be stolen or injured. The SPCA, by law, may not refuse any animal. There is a pound period for a stray animal handed over to the SPCA. This is determined by the municipal bylaws and that SPCA’s policy. It is usually around 5-14 days. The SPCA is unlikely to advertise this animal during the pound period, so it is important to visit them and look for yourself, if you lost one or continue to share the “found” post with a note that they are at the SPCA. After the pound period, the animal becomes the property of the SPCA and they can either euthanize (put to sleep) them or put them up for adoption. Even though the local SPCA refuse to provide us with the statistics, they euthanize most of the animals brought in. This can easily be in the area of 80%. On a positive note, the SPCA policies usually can and should include that an animal can’t be removed from their premises, unless they are sterilised or microchipped (or collar ID) and pound fees are paid. Some require up-to-date vaccination too, which is great.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND AN ANIMAL?
• If they are hurt, please take them to the local Vet or SPCA immediately. You can contact the emergency number of the local SPCA.
• Scan for a microchip at the local Vets or SPCA.
• Some Vets may take in stray animals for a day or two.
• If the pet seems recently groomed, contact local groomers to see if they recognize them.
• If there are signs of a recent operations or medical procedures, contact local Vets. This can include healing wounds, stitches, Vet shaved areas etc.
• If you can, take care of the animal (foster) until you find the owner.
• Post on local social media. Once is not enough!
• We do not suggest sharing specific marks or the sex of the pet. Ask the person who claims the pet to provide this info as well as photos for proof. Watch the animals’ reaction when a person claims the pet. There are scammers! If you are unsure about this, rather contact one of the local animal welfares to assist.
• If you can’t foster, try and find a foster home and after 7 days organise adoption through one of the responsible welfare organisations. We usually refer cats to Feral Watch & TNR or Because Dogs and CO for any other animal.
• Take the animal to the SPCA if you can’t foster or find a foster. The SPCA does not support fostering.
• If you hit an animal with your car, please do not be a coward and drive away. Lie if you have to and say you found the animal, instead of leaving them to suffer and die. CALL the SPCA emergency number immediately and keep trying until someone answers. Otherwise, try a local Vet or one of the other animal welfare organisations. At least they could humanly end the suffering or help save them.
• Please DO NOT REMOVE kittens. You said that mom ran away and left them. No, she is scared of you and will return as soon as you just let them be. If the babies are quiet and content, the mom is around. She might be searching for food or busy moving her litter. Unless they are in immediate danger, including moving cars, dogs, humans to inflict pain, bad weather, etc., DO NOT REMOVE. Contact an organisation for advice first.
NOTE: None of the animal welfare organisations has the resources to drive up and down to pick up strays or foster and therefore needs the community to assist with this.
Thank you to each of the heroes who take in these lost pets!
We work with Bethal SPCA 066 397 1630 / email@example.com (emergencies 072 573 3122). In the Secunda area, you will need to call Highveld Ridge SPCA 082 869 2350 / firstname.lastname@example.org (emergencies 082 222 1122)
Follow Bethal SPCA on their Facebook page HERE
Next week we will look at what to do if you found Wildlife.
WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER!