In this article we will explain what to do and who to call when you find an abandoned animal on the street, in the countryside or on the highway.
The phenomenon of stray dogs is still current and present, and is constantly fueled above all by the increase of animal abandonment. In fact, there are many dogs and cats who often wonder aimlessly on the roadside, exposed to the constant risk of being hit by cars and trucks.
People's reactions on this issue are often mixed. A large portion of us would like to immediately get out of the car and run to save them, while others justify their carelessness with circumstantial phrases on the cruel laws of nature.
Both of these attitudes, however, are not good.
If you are in the country or in a field
If you are in town or in an easily accessible field, pull over and try to approach the animal very calmly. If he feels upset, he will not be able to trust you, especially if he is scared.
A terrified or defensive dog or cat could react by running away or attacking you, so in these cases stay around, but don't go beyond the safety distance set by him. If, on the other hand, the animal allows itself to be approached and seems quiet enough, offer him some water and food.
Take advantage of this to check if he has a collar with a medal.
In the meantime, you will need to contact the responsible authorities, i.e. the traffic police, zoophile guards or the relevant Veterinary Service in your area. Wait for their arrival together with the animal, then make sure it has been kept safe.
The rescue process requires the animal to be reported by the ASL Veterinary Service, which will contact the relevant kennel, to keep the animal for at least 10 days. In this period, it will be possible to assess whether the dog has a microchip, look for the possible owner and examine the state of health and its nature.
After this period, if you wish and have the possibility, you could choose to adopt it.
Always make sure that the animal does not have an owner. It would be sad to find out after you become attached to him. Fortunately, not all dogs and cats are necessarily abandoned, but they can also have escaped.
Share an announcement on social networks with a clearly visible photo of the animal, a brief description, the place of discovery and your telephone number, asking all your friends to spread the news. The associations and animal lovers will be happy to help you in this step. Compile leaflets with which to cover the country. It could in fact be a dog or cat of an elderly person or someone who is not interested in social networks.
Only after it has been verified that the animal has no owner, or that the owner has no intention of taking it back home, you can you start looking for a new accommodation. Even in this case, word of mouth on the web can do a lot, so rely on ads.
If the owner has been identified and it has been ascertained that the animal has been abandoned, immediately report it to the authorities, who will apply very heavy penalties.
If you are on a busy street
If you have spotted an animal in danger by the side of a busy road outside the town, you will have to behave differently.
Firstly, it is very important to clarify a fundamental aspect. You don't have to stop for any reason in the world. The temptation to leave the car at the first lay-by, put on a reflective vest and run to rescue him can be strong, but this would only put your life in danger.
Cars and trucks on high-speed roads will not have enough time to brake and dodge, so you could endanger both yourself and the animal you want to save.
What you have to do, however, is to stop further away from the busy road, take your mobile phone and immediately contact the competent authorities. Identify reference points to indicate the precise point of discovery. Check the number marked on the tag affixed to the guardrail.
In a short time, someone will be sent to the site, who will be able to determine if the animal is injured or just lost.
Now that you know how to behave, the next time you happen to see a dog or cat abandoned on the street, you can intervene in the right way and you can proudly claim to have saved it from a bad end.