As predictable as a dog's reaction may be when kibble hits his bowl, it is his unpredictability that may cause him to become lost. Sadly, dogs are lost every day, sometimes due to something as simple as a hole in the fence, or as catastrophic as a car accident involving a dog in the vehicle. If you find a lost dog, his tag number may help you reunite him with his owner.
A Reunion in the Making
If you find a lost dog, you need to exercise caution in your approach. A lost dog is likely scared, or may be injured. If you can't approach, call the police or animal control. If you can approach, use a calm voice and encourage the dog to come to you. If you have a treat or food, this may help to lure him. Once you've secured the dog, examine him for dog tags. Ideally, he may be wearing a tag that lists his name and his owner's phone number. If he isn't wearing an identification tag, but has a rabies tag, his veterinarian's name will appear on his tag, as will a unique number that identifies the tag's owner. Contact the veterinarian, tell them where the dog was found, and provide them with the tag number.
If the tag isn't on file, take the dog to the vet's office or to an animal shelter so he can be scanned for a microchip. If he isn't chipped, be certain to file a found dog report with area shelters. Consider fostering him until his owner can be found. Many shelters have limited stray holds. His best hope for being reunited with his owner might be a temporary stay with you.