As you search for the Found Pet’s owners, here are some important security and safety reminders:
If the Found Pet is wearing a collar, remove the collar before taking a photo of the pet.
When starting a dialog with a potential owner of a Found Pet, don’t give out too much information about the pet you found. The key is to have the potential owner provide you with details about their missing pet and answer your questions. (Ex. Color of collar, name on tag, unusual scars or markings, limp when walking, etc.)
When meeting a potential owner:
Pick a public place to meet (a place where other people are present and is well lit). Do not meet at their house or invite them to your home. Public places afford a level of safety and comfort for everyone.
Have a friend or family member accompany you to this meeting. This is for both your safety and the safety of the pet who might be the “escape-artist-type.”
Keep the pet on a leash or in a carrier at all times.
Arrive before your scheduled meeting to observe the potential owner and their behavior as they arrive.
If you feel uncomfortable around the potential owner, you do not have to acknowledge them.
Bring your cell phone. If at any time you feel threatened, call the authorities for assistance.
If you must keep the animal at your property and meet with owners there, the Maryland SPCA strongly suggests having a friend, family member or neighbor join you for all meetings with potential owners.