Stray/Found Dog Protocol

for Bakersfield, CA

This is the most common call we get here at Pet Matchmaker:

“Help, I found a dog, what do I do?  Can you take it?”

We have a protocol to follow so NO we cannot take in strays; that falls under the jurisdiction of Animal Control and we are not the humane society. We have very limited space and funding at our facility. To fulfill our mission statement our dogs MUST come primarily from Kern County Animal Control; this is the only way we can change statistics thus fulfilling our mission statement. Our dogs have to be quarantined for 14 days, temperment tested and screened, as well as all their medical needs addressed before entering our program. Pet Matchmaker’s goal is to save dogs from death row and reduce the euthanasia rate in Kern County, not house stray dogs. We do not have a quarantine space at Pet Matchmaker, therefore we can not take in an animal with an unknown background. The only way to ensure our dogs exceed the standards we have set is to follow protocol. If you find a stray these are the steps you should take:

  1. First, see if there are any tags. If the dog has tags call the owner if information is provided. If there is just a rabies tag call your county animal control ( 661-868-4685) and provide the tag number to them. They will be able to trace which vet the tag was issued to and the vet will be able to trace which client the tag was assigned to.
  2. If there are no tags take the dog to the nearest vet and they will be able to scan the dog for a microchip. THIS IS FREE!!! (The microchip is a device some owners have implanted into their dog’s skin between the shoulder’s and has info to trace the owner.)
  3. If there are no tags, no chip; call animal control. Be sure to give a description and your contact info so if the owner comes looking they have the right info to share.
  4. Also, place an ad on Bakersfield or call the Californian to submit a free “found” ad to get the word out FAST about the dog. When listing a found dog on the internet give a brief description DO NOT POST A PICTURE and be sure to leave some details out so the person calling has to identify some specifics and you can make sure it is indeed the correct owner and not someone with ill intent!
  5. If you decide to try to find a new home for a found dog yourself, and want to list a dog for adoption, please make sure to POST A PICTURE so interested parties can see the pet for adoption. Make flyers and post around the neighborhood and local businesses!!!  If you do not have a digital camera or internet you can come up to Pet Matchmaker facility during regular business hours and we can take a picture and post on the internet for you. We do ask for a small donation (if possible) to list the dog. So many dogs are just not found or placed in a new home due to lack of diligence about advertising the dog. 
  6. If you have found a dog and all efforts have been exausted and you cannot keep the dog, first contact the local breed rescue groups if the dog is a specific breed. Click HERE to view the most extensive rescue list to date in CA. The next step would be put ad on the above mentioned website’s to try and find the dog a new home. You might have to put up a runner or borrow a kennel to keep the dog away from your dog(s) until arrangements have been made. If said dog is a victim of foreclosure please click on this link: No Paws Left Behind.
  7. As a last resort, you may have to take the dog to animal control. First try to be part of the solution and take the burden off animal control if possible. A little effort goes a long way to ending our animal control problems.