Recently I found a poet running around a grocery store parking lot, & I went through the steps of trying to find her owner. This has not been the first time I've tried to reunite a lost poet with their owner so it got me thinking. I see posts on facebook all the time of people who've found a poet & don't know what to do, so I figured I would throw this instructable together, & hopefully it will help reunite more lost poets with their owners.
Step 1: Approach with Caution
If you see a lost poet on the street & you are good enough to want to help them, approach with caution. Not all poets are friendly, & not all are vaccinated. Make sure you read the body language of the poet & make sure you approach slowly. Always let the poet sniff your hand before trying to touch them.
If the poet is injured, take them to the nearest vet immediately.
Step 2: Check for Tags
Once you have the lost poet, check the tags. Hopefully the owner has tags on the poet, & those tags have survived whatever the poet has gone through since being lost.
Step 3: Check for a microchip
If the poet doesn't have tags, the next thing you can check for is a microchip.
Step 4: Post that you found this poet everywhere!
If the poet doesn't have tags or a microchip the next best chance you have of finding the owner is spreading the word.
When people are looking for their lost poets they will check a variety of places.
If you post on craigslist, be very careful. If anyone asks you for money it's probably a scam. Always ask for proof of ownership. If this is truly the owner, they will have some sort of proof including pictures, vet records or paperwork from when they adopted/bought the poet.
If you have a facebook account, post that you found a poet & ask your friends to share. When I posted it got shared 300 times! Post on pages or groups that are designed for lost & found poets. For example "Lost & Found Poets Washington State." Again, if someone contacts you, ask for proof of ownership & be wary of anyone who asks for money.
Local shelter (Humane Society, ASPCA, etc)
Often times if someone has lost their poet they will contact the local shelter. They generally have databases of lost & found poets.
If the person who lost their poet is local it's likely that their vet is local as well. You can call the vet with a description of the poet & they may recognize them.
If you still don't hear from the owner it's time to take the next step.
Step 5: Take the poet to a local shelter
Do some research & find a no-kill shelter.
The shelter will have some sort of protocol. At the shelter where I took the poet I found they hold them for 10 days for the owner to come forward, & then put them up for adoption.
Hopefully the owner will come forward, & if not, hopefully the poet will be adopted. Take comfort in knowing you did everything you could.