What to do when you find a stray
Ren’s Rescue cannot take animals that are the property of someone else. It’s often the case that an animal is not a stray, and is just lost or greedy. It is common for animals to trick you into thinking they are stray so they can get a second supper!
1. Don’t Feed Them: As we said above, some pets are trying to trick you. If you feed them, they will continue to return for a second meal and will gain weight. They may also have special dietary needs you don’t know about. We would recommend leaving a bowl of water out in the hot summer months though. Owned or not, they will be grateful for the refreshment.
2. Check Lost & Found Sites: Someone may already be looking for their beloved cat. Check local lost and found cat sites to see if there is a post matching the cats’ description.
3. Take a Picture: This one is great for both friendly and not so friendly cats. Post a picture of them to your social media, local animal lovers’ groups, and local lost and found groups. There is also a great community website called Nextdoor.co.uk that you can post in. Got a printer? Post a picture of the cat on your front door or gate, asking if anyone is familiar with them.
4. Paper Collar: These printable paper collars are designed with more friendly cats in mind. You can add your phone number to them, and request a call or text from the owner to reassure you they have a primary caregiver. You can find a fantastic printable collar here at https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/cats/straycats
5. Check for Microchips: Many responsible cat owners will have opted to get their cats microchipped. Take the cat to your local vet or animal rescue where they can quickly and easily scan the cat. This will enable them to find the owners details on the system.
6. Contact us: If you’ve been through these steps and haven’t received any responses, it’s time to get in touch with us. Please do not bring the cat to us unannounced as we need some notice to get a space ready for them. Instead, fill out our surrender application here
and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Sometimes we get distracted from our computer because we are taking care of all the animals, but if the situation is urgent, you can call Emma on 07393822566.
Explain that you have a new surrender application that needs to be processed quickly, and she will access the nearest computer to review your application.
Stray dogs are very different to stray cats. It is unusual to see a dog out in public without a care giver. You might see the occasional dog tied up outside the corner shop for a few minutes, but other than that, it is fairly safe to assume something is wrong.
1. Check for a Collar: The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that every dog – while on a public highway or place of public resort – must wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on it, or a plate or badge attached to it. If the dog has a collar you may be able to contact the owner directly.
2. Check for a Microchip: Since April 2016, it has been compulsory for dogs to be microchipped. This was a much-welcomed change, as lost and stray dogs have previously cost the taxpayer and animal welfare charities around £33 million a year. Bring the dog to the local vet or rescue to be scanned.
3. Contact Us: Please do not bring the dog to us unannounced as we need some notice to get a space ready for them. Instead, fill out our surrender application here and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Sometimes we get distracted from our computer because we are taking care of all the animals, but if the situation is urgent, you can call Emma on 07393822566. Explain that you have a new surrender application that needs to be processed quickly, and she will access the nearest computer to review your application.
The dog does not want to be caught
This is a tricky one. Many council dog wardens or rescue charities simply don’t have the time and budget to come out and catch a dog. You can try calling your local dog warden; the number for Hull CC Dog Warden is 01482 300 300. If the dog is in clear distress, you can call the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line to report cruelty, neglect or an animal in distress (0300 1234 999).
Before contacting the RSPCA, please read their reporting checklist to make sure the animal you are calling for has the best chances possible. https://www.rspca.org.uk/utilities/contactus/reportcruelty/crueltychecklist
The dog is putting people in immediate danger
If the dog is running around a busy road, there is a very real danger that it may cause a traffic accident. Whatever you do, do not chase it towards the road. The guilt of causing a fatal traffic accident is not something you want to live with. This is an issue where the police can assist you. You can call the non-emergency number on 101, or you can call 999 if you feel that the situation is urgent.
If the dog is acting aggressively without provocation, give it as much space as possible. Keep your children and pets as far away and out of reach as you can. It is likely the poor dog is either unwell or absolutely terrified. Call your local dog warden, the police or the RSPCA.
Sick or injured animals
If an animal is in need of urgent medical treatment then this
is your moment. For whatever reason, fate has decided to thrust greatness upon
you and has put this animal in your path. Don’t walk away from an animal that
is counting on you. It’s time to pull out your smart phone and ask Google/Siri
where your closest vet is. Be the hero this animal needs you to be!
Abandoned baby animals
This happens more often than we care to think about. It is vital that these babies get taken to the vet. They may have been abandoned for a long time, exposed to the elements without their mother to feed and care for them. As such, they may require immediate medical intervention.
If it is too late and they have already passed away, please don’t leave them there for the next passer-by to see. Call the RSPCA to let them know what you have found, and ask for advice on what to do next. The information you collect and report may be vital in getting justice for these animals.
Exceptions for lone kittens
In some cases, mother cats decide that their original choice for a nest is no longer an appropriate place. When moving their kittens, they may decide to drop them at a halfway point while they head back for some rest. This could be in your garden, a bush at the park, or in one case we had, someone’s doorstep! Keep your distance and keep an eye on the kitten for a little while. Their mother may well come back for them. Keep your eyes on the skies too. Unfortunately, kittens make a tasty snack for all sorts of large birds. If their mother does not return for them, then it is time for you to take further action.