ANIMAL CITY HAVEN: What To Do When You Find a Pet or Two!

by | Lifestyle, Non-Profits, Pets

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

What To Do When You Find a Pet or Two! is part 2 of a 2-part series. Last week, Leah Henrichsen, Founder of Animal City Haven let us know what to do if we LOSE a pet in Tips to Prevent Lost Pets! — EH Stafford, Managing Editor

The surprise of finding extra pets in your yard!

One night after dinner my husband let our dog Porter out into the back yard. Normally after a few minutes he knocks (aka paws on the door), and we let him back in the house. On this particular evening there was no knock.

My husband went to check and found not one, but two dogs galloping around with him in our fenced yard. We didn’t recognize the pups and so began the process of trying to find their owners.

This type of thing happens a lot!

Dogs escape, cats slip out and you come upon them wandering about in your yard, your neighborhood or even near a busy road.

Some pets are super-friendly — but if you find a dog that’s shy, don’t chase it. Treats can often help you get a leash on a pet that is found.

You may want to help so here are some tips on how to get that rascal back home.

Don’t chase!

This is rule number one for a good reason. While some dogs and cats are super friendly and will come right up, others are wary. If you try to chase after them, they could run into traffic and no one wants that!

If you can catch them …

Treats can help with this — keep them safe in a garage and offer water. Keep them separate from your own pets as you don’t know their medical history.

If they need medical attention

Call your local Animal Control as soon as possible. You can bring them to your veterinarian; however, you’ll be responsible for the medical bills if the owner isn’t found or is unable to pay.

Click on the image above to view LKNConnect’s Guide to Local Pet Services

Try to take a picture.

If you can get a good photo, this can greatly increase the chance of finding the right owner.

It may or may not be easy to get a photo of the dog you found, but taking one is an excellent first step to finding the owner.

Make a note of the details.

Time, location, collar and a general description of the animal are very helpful.

Check with neighbors.

This may be a new pet or one you haven’t met. Call around or jump on your neighborhood social platform.

A pet that is new to your home is a likely candidate to escape and become lost. Tell your friends and neighbors when you get a new pet, so they can keep an eye out for them as well!

Post on general social platforms

Ask your network to help find the owners. Use a picture if you’re able to get one.

Scan for a microchip.

This can be done for free at any veterinary office or shelter and can be a super quick way to find the owner.

Contact Animal Control if the owner isn’t found within 48 hours.

I know it sounds harsh, but it’s the law and it can also help to find the owner. By having one centralized point of return, it simplifies the whole process.

The wayward pups in our yard turned out to be a neighbor’s.

They got home safely that  night. After realizing that we didn’t know our neighborhood pets as well as we thought, we’re building a social media folder with pictures and contact info to make it even easier to return pets home when they wander off.

By helping a lost pet find their way home

You’ll be helping their people avoid the heartbreak of a missing pet. As well as keeping a beloved pet safe from injury.

And that’s a very good thing.

Leah Henrichsen
Animal City Haven

After a car accident in 2019, Leah founded AnimalCity. This non-profit organization is dedicated to rehoming pets whose people have passed away or who have become incapacitated. AnimalCity does this by helping pet parents make a detailed plan for each of their pets. And then they help enact that plan. Check out the website at AnimalCity is a haven for orphan pets! 

Last Spring our Director of Non-profits, Margi Kyle, interviewed Leah Henrichsen about the mission and beginning challenges of starting her non-profit, Animal City Haven. Click here to view the video. — EH Stafford, Managing Editor.

In 2022, LKNConnect will feature outstanding non-profits and service organizations in the Lake Norman community. Margi Kyle, Director of Non-Profits at LKNConnect and Founder of Little Smiles NC, will be sharing these great organizations with you. — EH Stafford, Managing Editor

Contact Margi Kyle, at

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