If you live in lighter residential areas and suburb areas of your community, chances are you have probably seen someone's lost dog wandering around the neighborhood. You probably think about the family that the pet may belong to. Most of us want to be able to help get that dog back to its family, but may be hesitant to take responsibility of the situation. If you follow a few guidelines, handling these situations don't have to be overwhelming.

First off, you should never approach a stray dog if you have any concerns about your safety getting involved in the situation. If you are uncomfortable approaching it, call animal control and have them handle it. Most of the time the first place people check after they are unable to find their dog by searching locally is animal control.

If you are comfortable approaching the dog, once you've secured the animal, check to see if it has a number, or address, or GPS tracking device first. If no identifying items are found begin by asking around your neighborhood and immediate area. Most of the time, the dog probably lives within a few street of your residence.

If you and your neighbors are unable to determine the pet's owner, and you do not wish to take the animal to a shelter, you can make some flyers and post them in the area. You can call your local animal control and give them your name, number, address and description of the dog so they can notify the owners to get in contact with you if they are contacted.

Check around to see if the owner's placed flyers for it and check the lost dog section of your local news paper.

If time goes by and the owner is not located, the only choices are to take the dog to your local animal shelter or keep and care for the animal as your own pet or until the owner is eventually found.

More than likely someone is searching for their loved one. Reunited a pet, which sometimes is viewed as a family member by some is one of the greatest things you can do for someone. Hopefully if you run across a lost pet you can help it find its way home.

Author's Bio: 

John Chilton is co-founder of Platypus PC Inc.