How to take Care of Stray Animals

Stray pets are often just pets who have been separated from their owners. They need food, water, shelter, and compassion. If you have noticed a stray animal in your area and want to help it out, the time to act is now because the longer you ignore it, the worse problems may be for that animal.

Report Finding the Stray

Since most stray animals had an owner at one time or another, the first thing you need to do is call your local animal shelter, or pound, and report finding it. Leave a “Found Pet” report in case somebody reports it missing. Ask your neighbors if they own the pet or know who does.

You can also catch the animal and take it to the shelter, or a veterinarian, to be scanned for a microchip, or checked for a tattoo.

If you cannot care for the stray further, then the best thing to do is to leave it at the shelter, because returning it to the streets is cruel. If you are going to take it home and care for it, try to arrange to have it vet checked, vaccinated, and wormed. If it is to live outside at all, it should also be spayed or neutered.

Feeding a Stray

In some areas if you feed a stray cat or dog, you are considered the legal owner of that animal and are responsible for its care and continued up keep. You might only be feeding it to befriend it, until you can catch it, but otherwise do not start feeding an animal if you are not willing to continue caring for it.

Cats need cat food, dogs need dog food. Throwing only your left overs does not count as feeding a pet. It needs a proper amount of food on a regular basis.

Care for Stray Animals

You should provide water. In the winter this may mean putting out fresh water twice a day or providing an electric waterer. Animals should not be made to eat snow.

The animal also needs some sort of shelter, a dog house will do. Of course you can also let it indoors once you have reported finding the animal (bringing it inside without reporting it could be misconstrued as theft).

Furthermore the animal should receive proper medical care, vaccinations, worming, and being desexed.


What all of this is saying is that there are really only two ways to take care of stray animals. One is to take it to your local animal shelter and leave it there, and the other way is by taking care of it properly as you would your own pet, thus actually making it your own pet. Allowing an animal to roam without proper care is cruel, and other people in your area may not be so kind to it as you are.