What to do if you find a stray animal?

If you find a stray dog, first of all stay calm. Animals can sense our nervousness and being calm will help the animal relax in this situation.

Make sure the animal is not aggressive. They might be scared or injured so don't try to get too close to them.

Call animal welfare on 1717 for Malta or 79691717 for Gozo and let them know the state of the dog and where you are. Ideally follow the dog if it tries to get away until they arrive. If the dog is friendly and comes up to you and you are happy to touch it, then stay with it until the Ambulance comes.

Animal Welfare will check for a chip- this is the best thing to do first. You can also take a dog to a vet or to the Animal Hospital to check for a chip. If you wish to take the dog to a sanctuary, you need to call them first to check if they are available.

After the chip is read these are your options by law

  1. Return to owner if known;
  2. If owner is not known, deliver dog to the nearest police station;
  3. Deliver dog to a registered sanctuary, but they are under no legal obligation to take the dog;
  4. If you wish to adopt the dog, take it to the nearest police station to make a report. After 7 days you can claim ownership.

You can also use the Facebook groups RUBS PUPPY LOVE and Innocent Paws Malta to put up a photo of the dog and look for someone who might want to adopt them. You can also consider fostering the dog until they get adopted.