The COVID-19 pandemic has seen more and more Australians deciding to adopt a pet.
Throughout 2020 many of us were working from home and could care extremely well for our new family member. Now we are in April 2021 and a level of normality is returning with employees heading back to their offices. This change is sadly leading to a large number of animals being illegally abandoned.
Luckily, not all animals found alone on the street are dumped, so here are some helpful tips on what to do when you find an unaccompanied animal.
1.Don’t cause an accident: if driving, slow down and try to safely warn other drivers/pedestrians. Consider barricading yourself between the animal and the traffic if it is safe to do so.
2.Look around: are there any open house gates or people yelling out a name? This could be where the pet escaped from.
3.Approach the animal cautiously. Animals, especially dogs, cannot always tell our good intentions and we may frighten them unknowingly. If they appear aggressive or injured, it is best to slowly back away and call for help!
Seen an animal in distress?
- Call RSCPA: 1300 ANIMAL (264 625)
- Find your local AWLQ shelter: 07 5509 9000
- Gold Coast City Lost and Found Registry: 07 5581 7600 (during Coombabah City pound business hours)
- Brisbane City Council Lost, found and wandering animals: https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/community-and-safety/pets-and-livestock/lost-and-found-animals/lost-found-and-wandering-animals
- To have the Pet-D-Tect team help with your search, call 1300 36 37 or email email@example.com
4. If you are able to safely catch, corral or secure the animal, check for any injuries. If they are hurt, call a vet immediately, otherwise, look for a tag/collar with the owner’s contact details.
5. The animal may also be microchipped. To read the microchip you might need to take the pet to a local shelter or vet. Most shelters have in-house vets.
6. Post a detailed description and image on local Facebook pages or relevant websites.
By publishing your find, you can assist in identifying the current owners and if an allocated time has passed you may think of other actions. You could adopt the animal or find it a suitable home. Otherwise surrendering it to the local pet shelter may be the best course of action.
If you know in your heart that you’re a rescuer, why not equip yourself to do the best possible job? Here are some things you have in your car at all times:
- Phone; phone number of local animal control, a shelter and a 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic
- Cat carrier or cardboard box
- Collars and strong leashes for dogs
- Heavy blanket; water bowls and water
- Strong-smelling foods, such as canned tuna or dried liver
- An animal first-aid kit