Stray Dogs

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If you have ever had the heart-pounding bad luck to have a dog go missing, you know it’s one of the worst experiences a dog lover can go through. Should you ever come across a stray or lost pooch, here are a few tips to help you safely guide the pooch back home.

Helping Stray Dogs Return Home

If you don't have experience helping lost dogs, contact Animal Control to get the help of those who have the information and knowledge to best deal with the situation.

Approach carefully. Lost dogs are sure to be frightened and in a state of extreme excitability. To make sure they do not run off into an even more dangerous situation like the woods or heavy traffic, you must approach them very slowly and carefully. If you are driving, do not slam on the brakes. Putting yourself or other drivers at risk won’t help anyone, and the commotion could spook the dog.

Safety first. Fear responses are a major cause of dog bites, so avoid grabbing or cornering strange dogs. Instead, try squatting low to the ground to make yourself less threatening. Approach from the side, never head on and avoid looking directly into the pup’s eyes. Speak softly and gently and allow the dog to approach in his own time.

Take the time or make the call! Getting a strange dog to trust you enough to approach you or get into your car can take a significant time commitment. If you do not feel comfortable, or are unable to invest the time, contact Animal Control to report the location of the pooch in need.

Try to identify your new friend! Check for any sort of identification tags if there is a collar. If there is, contact the owner.

Take a picture and post it on our Lost And Found Pets In Porter County Facebook page, including the location and any other identifying information you may have observed.

Tell your neighbors and post flyers in your neighborhood.

Call the Shelter at (219) 465-3550 to see if anyone has reported a matching dog missing in your area.

Turning In Stray Dogs At The Shelter

If you find it necessary to capture and turn in a stray dog, please be sure to follow these guidelines:

We do not accept animals from outside of Porter County.

Before capturing the dog, call the shelter at (219) 465-3550 to be sure we have room. Many times, especially during the summer months, we may not have open space in our dog quarantine room to accommodate stray dogs. While we do have a significant number of dog kennels, we have more limited space in our dog quarantine room. To protect the health of the dogs in our dog kennels, we require that EVERY stray dog brought into the Shelter be put in quarantine for seven days to be sure they have no communicable diseases before they are moved to the kennels.

Never put an unconfined stray dog in your car, especially when children are present. You don't know the dogs current vaccination status, and scratches and bites could result in unforeseen medical consequences for you and your children.

Intake hours are Tuesday through Friday from Noon until 4:30 PM, and on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon until 3:30 PM. The Shelter is closed on Mondays. DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED STRAY DOGS tethered, leased or chained at the Shelter during hours when we are not open. This is a violation of the law and there are surveillance cameras on our property.

You will be required to provide your drivers license when turning in a stray pet dog.


Click on the icon below to submit your question about Animal Control online now and an officer will respond to you within 48 hours!

CLICK HERE to submit your online question about Animal Control
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Porter County Animal Control serves all of Porter County EXCEPT FOR THE CITY OF PORTAGE. All information contained in this section of the website is only applicable to the areas served by Porter County Animal Control. If you live in the City of Portage, you will need to contact them directly at (219) 763-1825, as they may have different policies and ordinances.