We’ll be providing you with the right information on how to report stray dogs found loitering around your surroundings.

Dogs are meant to be in the possession of their owners. However, the reverse is true for stray dogs and cats as such animals for whatever reasons roam aimlessly and sometimes create a safety and health concern for other people.

Under such circumstances, it’s necessary to call or report the situation.

So, who do you report to and how do you begin? This is what our discussions will focus on.

Why Stray Dogs?

Not all stray dogs you see are dangerous.

For many, they somehow were unable to connect with their owners. In other words, such dogs are lost and need to be taken off the streets to safety.

Reasons To Report A Stray Dog

There are several reasons to report a stray dog.

Some of the most important ones include saving a pet from being run over by a car, or from other forms of injury. Pet owners who have lost their dogs are usually distraught and count on your thoughtful actions to establish contact with their pets.

What more? There’s a likelihood of being tempted to keep a cute stray dog you find. However, the reality is that such animals are considered private property. So, you’re likely to attract criminal charges from the dog’s owners.

Being separated from a stray dog you love can be heartbreaking. However, the only option available to you is to approach your county’s animal services to adopt one.

Steps To Reporting Stray Dogs

Reporting a stray dog isn’t as difficult as you might think. The process might differ from one location to the other.

However, such differences are minimal. The general process involves checking for any tags. This is mostly seen hanging from the dog’s neck.

On such tags are serial numbers. You’ll need the serial numbers when calling the authorities. The authorities mentioned here refer to your county’s animal services. You can easily get their contact numbers by visiting their website.

There are possible situations you may encounter when reporting a stray dog. Not all dogs bear license tags.

In such cases, you may need to take such a dog to the nearest animal shelter. Such shelters are fully equipped to search for embedded chips which are then used or scanned to get the owner’s name and phone number.

This is one of several ways to report a stray dog to the appropriate authorities.

The animal services department of some counties provides additional help for reporting stray dog situations. A search tab is provided on their websites where you can run the license number found on the stray dog’s tag.

A successful search should come up with the owner’s number through which you can easily establish contact. However, this won’t be possible without a tag.

  • Using Free Resource

Sometimes, you’re left with next to nothing in the form of identification to report a stray dog.

In such situations, you might want to take advantage of a free resource known as Finding Rover. This is a free app that allows you to upload pictures of stray dogs (and other pets).

As part of their efforts to reconnect with their lost dogs, pet owners can search for recent reports on lost pets. This process involves sifting through all the pictures uploaded.

The owner establishes contact with you to enable them to get back custody of their dogs.

  • Going the Extra Mile

Another strategy to adopt in reporting a stray dog involves printing out “FOUND” posters and pasting at strategic points within the neighborhood you found the dog. You might also want to have these placed at the nearest dog parks.

These are areas most likely frequented by the dog owner. Before long, contact should be established. You only need to direct them to the local animal shelter you’ve taken the dog to.

If you have the time, consider looking at the “LOST” posters around you’re the area where the dog was found. That way, you might be lucky to come across the rightful owner. You may want to also check the local newspapers and news sites among others.

All these are possible and reliable ways to report stray dogs. Remember, you’re not only reconnecting the dog to its loving owner but also saving it from injuries or accidents.


Not all reported cases of stray dogs get claimed by owners. If you’d like to adopt this pet, you’ll have to wait out for an update on claims. For this to be possible, you need to reach out to the animal shelter for a finders’ hold on it.

The finders’ hold gives you the advantage of being first in line to adopt the stray dog when the owner is still unavailable. Before you get full adoption rights, certain things are necessary. These include some alternation and insertion of a new microchip to aid with recovery if it ever gets lost.

Licensing is also an important part of the process of adoption. For full details on these and more, contact your local animal shelter.

Never Pass Up The Opportunity To Help

Reporting a stray dog is a valuable service offered to your community.

A community is only as secure as its readiness to share a burden. Without a doubt, helping dog owners find their pets is a noble and selfless activity that inspires others to do the same.

It all begins with being ready to sacrifice a little of your time to help a scared and lonely dog return to its owner.

If you’re lucky enough to adopt the dog, you’d have done so with the satisfaction of exhausting all possible options to find its original owner.


As discussed above, reporting a stray dog isn’t a difficult as you may think. However, certain challenges may arise which involve a dog not having a tag or other signs of identification.

Whatever the case may be, your nearest animal shelter will help you coordinate the process much better.

Also, you get to finally adopt the stray dog when getting across to the owner proves abortive. Adoption follows a process which must be fully completed to get full custody of the dog.

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