A friend of ours recently found a stray dog on her farm in Dade City, Florida. They’re not sure how he ended up there, but there’s a chance he could have been dumped. The dog was still intact (had it’s genitalia) and there was no microchip.

If you do find a stray dog, here’s a few tips to help you navigate the process.


Microchips are a great way to reunite lost dogs with their owners.  Most vet offices have a microchip scanner or you could try a local pet supply store as well.

Found Dog Flyers

Take a photo of the dog and create a Found Dog flyer to post in the area where it was found. You can download this free template from adopt-a-pet.com.

Facebook Groups

If the dog’s owner is looking for them, they may have posted in a Lost and Found Facebook Group. There are tons of them.


Nextdoor.com is social network geared towards neighbors and lets you post bulletins and special announcements.

Finding Rover

Finding Rover is a facial recognition app that will scan the dog’s face to see if it matches a dog that’s already in their system. The smartphone app is being adopted by many municipalities all over the country.

Animal Control

If sharing images online hasn’t found the owner, the first place to try is your county animal control.

Private Animal Shelter

Private shelters are different from animal control in that they rely on private donations and grants to operate. Each animal shelter has their own policy regarding their acceptance of strays. Please check with them first.

Rescue Groups

Rescue Groups tend to pull animals from other shelters and may not have room to take in a stray. If you can’t hold onto the dog, you should try your county animal control first, which is in the dog’s best interest.