What to Do If a Person Finds a Dog
- Check the dog for tags (owner ID, rabies, or microchip) which would provide information to locate the owner. If no tags are found or if the information is out-of-date on the tags and you cannot locate the owner, contact the animal shelter in the city or county where the dog was found. Most shelters will ask you to bring the dog to the shelter to check for a microchip and fill out “found dog” paperwork. For Knox County, call Young-Williams Animal Center at 865-215-6599 for assistance. In Blount County, contact the Blount County Animal Center at 865-980-6244. Vet offices also can scan for a microchip.
- If the dog is found when the shelter or vet is not open, secure the dog in a safe place with food and water until the shelter or vet opens. Since you do not know if the dog is up to date on vaccines and disease free, we recommend that you keep the dog separate from your animals.
- No matter your plans if the owner does not claim the dog, you must keep the dog for a stray hold (number of days varies by county) to give the owner time to claim it. If the dog is not claimed by the owner during the stray hold, you can keep the dog, rehome it, or surrender it to AGK; call 865.940.0688 or email email@example.com.
- If you have no plans to keep the dog, you can take it to the shelter. You may want to call first to confirm days and times the shelter is open.
- Call your local newspaper to run a “found” dog ad – most papers will run these ads for free – and post information on FB lost and found groups, neighborhood association groups, Craigslist Lost and Found.
- Put up fliers at main intersections within five miles of the found location and take fliers to area vet offices, pet stores, and grocery stores. Require anyone who claims the dog to provide proof that it belongs to them.