Three lost dogs

The Alexandra & Hillyfields guide to… finding a lost animal

Encountering a lost animal can be a confusing and worrying experience. After all, you only want to do what’s best.

To give you a helping hand, here are a few commonly encountered lost animals and what you should do if you find them.


By law dogs must be kept under close control at all times, be microchipped and wearing an ID tag on a collar. Failure to comply can result in a fine for its owner.

Contact your local council dog warden if you spot a healthy stray dog. Vets can check the dog for a microchip and contact the owner if the details registered to the microchip are up to date.

Contact the RSPCA before taking the dog to the vets if you find an injured or unwell dog.


Cats often don’t wear collars and regularly visit neighbouring gardens and houses, so are often mistakenly thought to be strays.

Feeding these cats will just encourage them to return.

If the cat is healthy, we recommend you knock on local doors to see if it’s from the area or take it to the vets to be scanned for a microchip.

If you find an injured or unwell cat call the RSPCA before taking it to the vets.

If you think a wild animal or bird needs emergency first aid after being injured by a cat, they can be taken to the vets but Secret World and the RSPCA have specialist skills and facilities to treat wildlife.

Baby birds

A baby bird’s mother will usually be close by so we recommend leaving it, however feel free to return to the area later to check if it’s still alone.

If you find a fledgling in immediate danger you can move it a short distance out of harm’s way. 

Orphaned, sick, injured or unfeathered baby birds should be placed in a well ventilated cardboard box and taken to your local wildlife rescue.


Don’t touch a fawn if you find it in the wild – this could leave an unfamiliar scent on the animal and may lead the mother to abandon it.

They’re often left for long periods alone but are being cared for. If a fawn is sick or injured then call Secret World or the RSPCA.


If you see a hedgehog out during the day, it may be sick or injured. Please contact Secret World or the RSPCA.

Fox or badger cubs 

Do not handle the cub as they can bite when frightened. If it’s in immediate danger, move it to a safe spot nearby and make an exact note of where you placed it.

If its eyes are open then they are usually fine and their parents will be nearby. You can leave a supply of water and dog food nearby and return in 24hrs if concerned. If it’s obviously sick or injured then call Secret World or the RSPCA.

For more information on animal care, please get in touch on 01275 343457.

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