What to do when you find an abandoned pet | Village Vets

The Pandemic was a catalyst for many potential owners to make the jump into the warm waters of owning their first pet – an exciting time to be sure! Sadly, this has led to a rise in the number of pets seeking rehoming and being outright abandoned. Disappointment is, of course, the first thing that comes to our mind, but the reality is that this will happen whether we want it to or not. With that being said, what can you do should you come across an abandoned pet?


Exercise Caution

If you see an abandoned animal and you’ve made the conscious decision to stop and investigate further, always exercise caution when approaching the animal; this includes coming to a controlled stop if you’re driving, warning other road users to the presence of the animal or being wary that the animal may be used as bait to lure you into danger. Once you’re satisfied that the animal presents no immediate harm to you or anyone else, approach them slowly, calmly and watch for signs that you’re frightening the animal. If that seems to be the case, retreat to safety and phone the appropriate authorities/ shelter. If in complete doubt you can always phone us where we’ll point you in the right direction!




Close Encounters

In genuine circumstances, most pets will be in a state of distress. However, they may still let us humans get close to them. If you can get close, get a good look at the animal’s body to see if there are any wounds or injuries that would require immediate attention. Provided you can remain close, you can then see if they have a tag (if they’re lost). If there’s no tag present there’s still no guarantee that the pet has been abandoned, but if the area you found them in is particularly secluded or some distance from the nearest dwellings, you can assume the worst — especially with dogs.

For the time being it’s better to act rather than wait. Provided the animal is warm to you, you can speak to them in a calm and reassuring tone; as if you were consoling a toddler. It’s vital that you remain on your guard as a bite from a feral dog can have long-lasting implications on your quality of life. Next, we recommend contacting the appropriate authorities – never try to transport an abandoned animal on your own unless it is absolutely necessary and absolutely safe to do so. Once the animal is brought to the attention of the ISPCA, a local vet, or a local rehoming shelter you can rest easy knowing you’ve done more than your fair share.


Checking Back

It’s very easy to become attached to an abandoned animal; after all, us humans will pack-bond with almost anything! Shelters, vets and pounds are normally delighted to have you inquire on your new acquaintance and, provided the animal is medically fit for rehoming and hasn’t been sought after by their original owner, would be more than inclined to let you have first preference. We believe all animals deserve a good, safe and loving home. If you can provide one then we implore you to consider rehoming or adoption if you think you’re ready!


If you happen to come across an abandoned, injured or lost animal on your travels, please contact us here for advice or emergency services. Our emergency clinic is open all-year-round and a member of staff is always on standby to give you advice or help.


For now pet-pals, we say adieu!