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found a stray dog?

Important Note: 

Harnett County and many other surrounding counties DO NOT have leash laws and the dog may belong to someone nearby.  Please exercise caution if you find a dog who appears to be roaming freely by calling Animal Control first, document the location and time and if you can stay with the dog until an officer arrives, legally it may be your safest option.

Thank you for helping and for being a good human!

If the dog is safely in your care (even temporarily),  first check to see if the dog has an ID tag with a phone number and attempt to return the dog to its owner directly.  Pets can be lost for days, weeks or months and travel great distances.  They can quickly become thin, dirty or injured – there may very well be a frantic family searching for their missing dog.

If you are unable to connect with an owner, you will want to call animal control right away and see if the dog has been reported missing.  They will also be able to give you specific instructions regarding the next steps for holding onto the dog (if you can) or bringing it into the shelter (an appointment may be required).  In the meantime, these additional steps may help you reunite the dog with its owner more quickly.

step 01

Have the dog scanned for a microchip

Hopefully he/she has a microchip and it can be traced back to a loving family, so top priority is to have him or her scanned.  Local animal control can do this as well as any vet’s office.  It takes less than 5 minutes and is free.

step 02

Post photos and information online and hang flyers around your neighborhood

If you are safely able to contain and care for the dog for a short time and animal control has been notified, try Craigslist, Facebook (Lost & Found Pets of the Triangle, County wide B/S/T groups, etc), Petfinder, PawBoost – these can be VERY effective tools!

step 03

Make important decisions

If all of these measures are unsuccessful and no owners have come forward, you will likely have to decide whether to turn the dog into your local shelter, attempt to secure rescue or find a permanent home for the dog.  Each of these options has its own challenges and we understand the choice may be difficult.

SHELTER - If you find yourself having to take a dog into the shelter, please know it’s often the first place people begin searching for their pets and it may be the best option for safely securing and rehoming the dog right now.  Most shelters will work tirelessly and just as hard to find a loving home for a Pit Bull as any other breed of dog.  Try to get the kennel # and email that to us with the dog’s description, we will do our best to keep an eye on the dog and help if we can.

You are doing a good thing.

RESCUE - If you have the time and ability to, you may want to try submitting a profile with any information you have about the dog to local rescue groups.  Just remember, rescue groups are often overwhelmed with inquiries and animals in need and like us, they may run very full.  Politely ask if they have openings or if they might be willing to cross-post the information in an effort to help.  You may find a rescue with space available and transfer the dog into their care.

You are doing a good thing.

REHOME - Another option is to try and rehome the dog yourself (if you can legally do so at this point).  We recommend using a free rehoming service through Adopt-A-Pet called Rehome.  Rehome offers a variety of resources to help create an amazing profile for the dog as well as lots of information about how to keep the dog at home if you are considering adding the dog to your family

You are doing a good thing.

Harnett County Animal Control


Click to visit Harnett County Animal Services Website

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