The weather is gorgeous, the sun is shining, flowers are blooming. You’re out for an afternoon stroll when you come across a dog or cat, and their owners are nowhere to be found. What do you do? Does this animal have an owner and he/she is just lost? Or is he/she a stray?
What do I do if I’ve found a lost/stray animal/pet?
There are different steps to take, depending on if you’ve found a dog or a cat. If you find a stray dog, there are few steps you can take to help return the animal to the owners:
- Contact 311 for assistance from Animal Care & Control to pick up dogs. Make sure to proceed with caution when finding a stray animal, as the behaviour is unknown. If possible, licensed dogs will be taken home; otherwise, the animal is admitted to the Animal Care & Control centre. If the pet is wearing a license tag, you may be able to contact the owner yourself. You can call 311 for assistance.
- Transport the animal to the Animal Care & Control Centre. The city will search for the owner.
- If the animal appears to be injured, please take the animal to the emergency clinic Guardian Veterinary Centre at 5620 – 99 Street. Animal Care & Control will pick it up the next day. Proceed with caution though, as injured animals can be painful and can be prone to biting as their way of saying “Ouch! That hurts!”
If you find a stray cat, there are few steps you can take to help return the animal to the owners:
- Transport stray cats to the Animal Care & Control Centre, as ACCC does not pick up stray cats due to there being such a higher volume of calls for cats vs. dogs. It is also possible that the cat you think is a stray is someone’s pet just roaming the neighbourhood without a collar/tags. Which is something that many cats tend to do.
- Please note that Guardian will not be able to accept found stray animals due to limited capacity.
- If the cat appears to be injured, call your local veterinary clinic and see if they will accept the injured animal.
It is important to be aware that there are laws in the city of Edmonton that state it is illegal to keep an animal you find. However, if you would like to adopt the stray animal, be sure to ask the City for special consideration. If the owner does not claim the animal and it’s adaptable, you may be able to adopt it from the Edmonton Humane Society.
Animal Care & Control
13550 – 163 Street
Telephone: In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311
Monday to Friday: 8:30am-6pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm (closed on holidays)
Written by: Brittany Waselenchuk, RAHT
Animal Care & Control Centre