Wayside Waifs is so proud to partner with animal control departments in Grandview, Belton, and Riverside to offer assistance to the community with stray animals. It is important that we, as a community, know how to properly care for these strays and that starts with understanding the steps to take if a stray is found.
Any stray animal you find should be taken to a vet clinic to be scanned for a microchip, regardless of whether that animal is wearing a collar or not. Many animals can sneak out of their collars or wear breakaway collars so just because they aren’t wearing one doesn’t mean they don’t have a family. It is important to be cautious with handling any animal you do not know as they may be injured, sick, and/or afraid. If you are unable or unsure about handling a stray animal contact Animal Control. If the animal is microchipped you can enter the microchip number here to contact the microchip company. Most companies will contact the owner directly or give you the contact information to get in touch with the family.
If you are unable to get in touch with the family (outdated numbers, not answering, etc.) you should contact the animal control department within the city where you found the animal. Click here for a list of local Animal Control resources and contacts.
Animal control departments are governed by their city’s ordinances which dictate the level of assistance they are able to provide; for example, Grandview doesn’t have a leash law for cats so if you were to find a stray cat they wouldn’t be able to come pick the animal up unless it’s underaged, sick, or injured. If the cat isn’t in one of those three categories, you should contact the animal shelter in the city in which you found it. While some people may see a stray animal showing up at their door as a sign that this is meant to be their new pet, it is important to note that not making every effort to reunite the animal with its owner is illegal. This means posting to lost/found pages (link Wayside’s page), making posters, etc.
If you do find an injured or underaged animal and you can’t get in touch with animal control, you might reach out to emergency animal clinics to see if they are able to assist by taking the animal in. Note, however, that you might have to pay an “emergency fee” for them to do so. Some animal shelters may be able to assist with these emergency medical needs but calling ahead is always a good idea to be sure what their policies are. Expect to provide a government issued ID when bringing an animal to a shelter. It is required by state laws; there might be a reward; or the animal might be diagnosed with a disease that animal control needs to notify you of.
By understanding the steps to take when finding a stray you can help that animal by reuniting it with its owner or getting it somewhere safe such as an animal shelter so that it’s owner has a better chance of reconnecting with their beloved pet.