What to Do if I Find an Injured Dog

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
What to Do if I Find an Injured Dog

Many of us would have no idea what to do if we were to come across an injured or stray dog in the middle of the street. In most cases, we want to help but don't quite know what to do for the best. So in this article we'll show you what to do if you find an injured dog and what steps you should take to get the animal the help it needs.

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Steps to follow:

Just like if you were to find an injured person, if you see an injured dog the first thing you should do is stop to help. What's more, it is vital to remain calm. If you stop suddenly in your car, you could startle the animal or even cause an accident, so it is best to slow down and find a place to turn around and park somewhere where you're not endangering pedestrians or causing an obstruction.

What to Do if I Find an Injured Dog - Step 1

Regardless of whether the injured dog is on the road or on the pavement, you should be aware that, in addition to being in pain, the dog will be very scared. So you should approach slowly, calmly and without looking directly into the eyes of the animal so that it doesn't get even more frightened and stressed.


It is important not to touch the injured dog straightaway. Slowly move your hand closer, palm down, so that the dog can smell it. If the animal accepts you, then you can try to calm it down by gently stroking it, which will also allow you, to some degree, to find out the extent of the injury.


If you have no idea how to help an injured dog because you were unable to identify what was wrong or what to do for the best, it is better to call the local animal rescue service, the police or another competent authority in your country, because they will know what to do. In the UK, the RSPCA has readers for scanning microchipped dogs to identify animals, and that way may be able to find its owner. They are also the only ones authorized to take the animal to a kennel; individuals cannot.

What to Do if I Find an Injured Dog - Step 4

If you've checked its wounds and you are able to move the animal, you should take it to a veterinary centre, where it will be given all necessary care. In any case, it's very important to know that the moment you help the animal but are unable to find the owner, the dog becomes your responsibility, including the payment of veterinary costs and the obligation to provide food and shelter until you find a foster family.

What to Do if I Find an Injured Dog - Step 5

If you think that this is going to be too much for you, you can ask for help from an animal shelter for things like medicines and feed, and they can even help you to try to local a host or adoptive family. But the dog must remain with you until someone else can take care of him. There are many charities that take care of animal rescue situations. Some vets may also have a special policy when it comes to treating strays.

If you want to read similar articles to What to Do if I Find an Injured Dog, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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What did you think of this article?
Stephanie L Johnson
JjmulWe have a dog that needs serious vet needs. She has never been pregnant but has growths growing from her boobs and she licks them till They bleed. Then she is always going to the bathroom urinating and she will squat for ten to fifteen minutes at a time or more th inking she is peeing, but she’s not. It’s like it’s become a habit of hers and she has a hard time getting up after swatting for so long. We don’t have any money to take her to the vet because it’s gonna be serious Probably surgeries and she is suffering. What do you do in this situation where you can’t afford th e surguries and don’t have credit or cash. Is they a fund for these situations anywhere. We are in manatee county Fl. Can you help with information.

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter crying out for help with a dog whose helpless and needs to stop dragging rhhrj
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Stephanie,

This is a common problem and the reason why we often need to rely on pet insurance. If you cannot pay for your dog's treatment, you should go to your local animal authority, shelter or even animal welfare charity nearest to you. They may not be able to help directly, but they can let you know about programs which may be available to help you with your veterinary bills. However, at the end of the day, they will need to see a veterinarian to have a correct diagnosis and treatment.
I pulled over to help a tiny teacup yorkie that had been hit by a car. It was lying on its back in the middle of a busy street and was obviously in pain and afraid to move. I waved oncoming traffic to stop while I attempted to get it off the street. As I approached it got to its feet and I was afraid it would run to the other side of the road and get hit again so I grabbed it to move it to the sidewalk. It was very scared and injured so of course it began trying to nip at me. I let it bite me a few times but did not let go until we got off the street. The last time it hit me really hard and I set it down in the grass. My hand was bleeding a lot and a few other people had come to help by this time. One man had a blanket so I let them handle the rest and I left to tend to my injury. I have no idea what happened to the dog and it really bothers me.
I found a puppy in a park here in Houston badly bitten , specially around his ears, I had to take him since nobody around, meaning the neighbors new him, it was late so i put him , after a big dinner in my dogs cage. Money is tight and I don't thinks i can afford his medical treatment, i could afford his shots, but the injuries required perhaps that he need to stay overnight, don't know, I will call the shelters however for what a read they do no take injury dogs....what should i do?
Jane Bertin (oneHOWTO editor)
Research local shelters and also animal charities and volunteer vets and get in contact with them; usually they have funds to cure injured abandoned animals. Hope you find a good one soon.

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