There is a lot of information out there! Sometimes it is hard to tell what is true and reliable apart from what is inaccurate or just totally made up. Below are some resources we have found to provide great information for pitbull owners and advocates. And, of course, always seek the help of a professional when it comes to medical or serious behavioral issues!
Found a Dog?
So, you found a dog…now what do you do? Please do not assume a stray or “dumped” dog does not have a home. Dogs can be stolen, lost, rehomed…all while they have a real home that is looking for their missing pup. We are contacted almost daily by people who have found a lost or stray dog, either looking for advice or asking us to take the dog. In most areas, rescue groups are not allowed to take stray dogs into their organizations because the dog could, in reality, be an owned dog who is lost from its family. When a rescue group takes a dog, it should follow proper procedure by either getting the dog from animal control or having a signed surrender form if the dog has an owner. Below are steps you can take if you find a dog.
- Check for tags and/or a microchip. Hopefully the dog will have some kind of identification, like a collar with tags. If not, take the dog to any animal control facility or veterinary hospital so it can be scanned for a microchip.
- Check “Lost Dog” ads and online groups. Look through local online classifieds for lost dogs and “lost & found pets” groups on Facebook. A dog that may appear to be a scared, skinny, abandoned stray may actually be a dog who has been lost from its family for just a couple weeks.
- Contact local animal control facilities. If you cannot care for the dog while you try to find its owners, you will need to have animal control come pick it up or you can drop it off. (Take a few good photos and make note of any identifying characteristics first so you can make flyers or post on social media.) If you can hold onto the dog, make sure you at least visit or contact your local animal control facilities in case the dog’s family has been there looking for their dog. Utilize websites like Helping Lost Pets to file a found dog report and generate flyers.
- Share on social media. Whether you are able to hold onto the dog or not, if you would like to still help find its home, social media is a great place to start. Create an easy-to-read flyer with photos and info about the dog, BUT hold back a detail – color of the collar, neutered or not, etc – so you can verify ownership if someone claims it is their dog. Post in lost & found pets and yard sale groups. Don’t limit these to just your county or immediate area. Dogs can travel very far in just a few days.
If you have done all you can but cannot find the dog’s owners, you have a couple options. You can take the dog to animal control, if you have not done so already, or you can commit to caring for the dog until a new home can be found as most rescue groups would require a foster home. Animal control requires a ‘stray hold’ period before an animal is available for adoption or rescue, typically 5-7 days. The risk of euthanasia after the hold is up is dependent on the resources and space of the individual facility.
If you choose to care for the dog and help find it a new home, please do so responsibly: make sure the dog is spayed/neutered and up-to-date on vaccinations. It is also recommended you microchip the dog in case it gets lost again. There are several programs online which allow individuals to courtesy post an animal available for adoption. You can learn more about courtesy posting and how to screen potential adopters on our Courtesy Post page.
Requests for Assistance
FTTF is often contacted by people searching for help with their personal dogs, or another dog in need. As much as we honestly would love to be able to help every dog, we can only do as much as our funding and resources allow. Most of the time, this means we are unable to pay for your pet’s medical costs (with the exception of grants for spay/neuter assistance) or provide temporary or long-term foster care for your personal dog(s). There are other organizations that specifically provide medical financial assistance to those in need, each having its own requirements – click the graphic to learn more.
We also rarely take dogs from the public as there is an overwhelming number of dogs in need at our local animal control facilities. We do not pull dogs from out-of-state or counties outside of Metro Atlanta. If you are unaware of the severe pitbull overpopulation issue, resulting in one-million euthanized pitbulls a year, please visit your local animal control and see for yourself. It is a sad reality that we fight very hard to change!