I Found a Dog – Now What?

Thank you for contacting HOPE and thank you for all that you are doing to try and help this dog.

If there is any chance that this dog could belong to someone rather than being a stray, your best bet is to look for the owner. It can take some legwork but can be the best result for all if you find the owner. Someone may be desperately looking for their lost pet! Posting flyers and Found Dog ads are a great start. You can also contact local vets, groomers, even pet stores like Petsmart and Petco. Frequently, people will post Lost Dog notices at those types of pet-friendly businesses. Also, we’d recommend having the dog scanned for a microchip by a local vet as soon as you get the opportunity – they should do it for no charge. You can also post Found Dog notices on http://www.hspca.org and www.fidofinder.com

HOPE is an in-home foster group, we do not have a shelter. All the dogs in our adoption program stay in the home (the foster home) of the person that rescued them while they go through the adoption program. Sadly, we rarely have a foster home who is looking for a dog to foster as there is an endless array of dogs in need. If you can foster the pup, great! If you cannot foster the pup through to adoption, you may want to check with family, neighbors, friends, coworkers or even your vet to see if someone would be willing to foster the dog through our adoption program. If you find someone who is willing to foster the dog, HOPE can provide adoption help and resources, basic vetting, and equipment if needed.

Our process is to set up an appointment and have the foster parent bring the dog to one of our adoption sites for a temperament evaluation. If the dog and foster parent are a good fit for our program, he/she will be entered into our adoption program. We require that the foster parent bring the dog to our weekend adoption sites at least twice a month. The more often the dog can get to an adoption site the better the chances are for adoption. We currently hold dog adoptions at two Petco stores (one in Sugar Land and one in the Heights) on Saturdays from noon until 4 PM.

We also put the dog online on Petfinder.com and AdoptAPet.com

A dog in our program can sometimes be adopted quickly or it can take several months or occasionally years for the right person to come along. We screen any potential adopter by calling references and checking with their vet and landlord. This helps to ensure a good home for your foster dog.

If you can’t provide a foster home for the dog, the next best thing would be if you can find a home on your own, either through the internet, friends, relatives, co-workers, etc. This article has some good suggestions that may help: http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/pdfs/allpets/findingnewhome.pdf . Many corporations have message boards where they allow people to post their pets when looking for a new home. Pictures of a happy dog and a well written description go a long way. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can also be helpful. Ask your friends to cross post so that you reach a larger audience.

Petfinder.com has a current list of other Houston area organizations and shelters that may also be able to help you re-home this pup: http://www.petfinder.com/awo/index.cgi?&action=state&state=tx&city=Houston&limit=25

If you can’t find someone to foster him/her and you’re not successful in re-homing him/her on your own or through another group, your only choice may be to take the dog to a shelter. We realize this is a last resort, but if that should happen, we would suggest you try the following shelters in this order:

Special Pals: a No Kill (Limited Intake) shelter on the west side of town, http://www.specialpalsshelter.org

Bay Area Pet Adoptions: a No Kill (Limited Intake) shelter in San Leon (around the Clear Lake area),  http://www.bayareapetadoptionsorg

Friends For Life: a small No Kill shelter in The Heights (primarily for cats), http://www.adoptfriends4life.org/

Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP): NOT a No Kill shelter, on the west side of town, http://www.cap4pets.org

Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC, the City Pound): NOT a No Kill Shelter, http://www.houstontx.gov/barc/index2.php

**Houston SPCA: NOT a No Kill shelter, http://www.houstonspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage_new

**Houston Humane Society: NOT a No Kill shelter, http://www.houstonhumane.org

**If the dog you’ve rescued is a Pit Bull (or even a Pit mix) these shelters will not adopt it out so please do not take the dog there!

Before taking any dog to a shelter, it’s really a good idea to get it a set of vaccinations first. Many dogs don’t make it out of a shelter alive due to space limitations but many also die because they get sick once they get there. Shelters are rampant with illnesses, particularly kennel cough and distemper so if you can take the dog to a low cost Wellness Clinic first (e.g. SNAP, the Houston Humane Society, The Greater Good, PetCare Express, PetWorks Express, The KAAWS Clinic, PANDA Wellness Center, Texas Litter Control, Economy Pet Clinic, Palm to Paws, Katy Pet Wellness Services, PetCheck), that would help his/her chances.

If, after reading the above information, you have further questions, please email us at I-found-a-dog@homelesspets.net .