How to Approach a Stray Dog

Stray Dog pic

Stray Dog

Chandi Heffner founded the philanthropic organization CDHIFI in 1998 and continues to serve as president. Both in her professional life and away from work, Chandi Heffner enjoys engaging in charitable efforts, such as addressing the growing homeless animal population.

Counting the total number of stray and homeless animals throughout the United States is an essentially impossible task. Estimates for cats alone can reach up to 70 million. Charitable individuals or animal lovers may find themselves in a situation where they feel like they must reach out and help a stray that has come across their path. There are a few tips to keep in mind when attempting to take in or help a homeless animal.

Stray cats and dogs are often spotted on the side of the road as a person is driving. If this is the case, the driver must be careful not to cause an accident. Not only is this unsafe for the human and other drivers, but the commotion will likely drive the animal away. Instead, remember to take all normal precautions such as using a turn signal and locating a legal parking space somewhere near the animal.

From this point on, a person must proceed with absolute caution. A stray, sick, or injured animal can be frightened and either act with hostility or, more often, take flight from the situation. Individuals should first take stock of the situation from their car. If the animal appears safe to approach, a person must do so very slowly and in a calm manner. If the animal appears to be severely injured, calling animal control is a must. The best a person can do until their arrival is keep the animal away from the road and use a soft, soothing voice to help keep the animal at ease until help arrives.


Before Bringing a Rescue Dog Into Your Home

Rescue Dog pic

Rescue Dog

Chandi Heffner is the founding president of CDHIFI. Over the last 17 years in this position, Chandi Heffner has led the organization in its efforts to help impoverished populations and their animals.

Rescuing a dog from the local animal shelter is a great way to combat the growing homeless pet problem while also introducing another loving presence to one’s home. However, even experienced dog owners may run into unexpected situations when introducing a shelter dog to a new home. In order to prevent unwanted behavior that might result in the dog being returned to the shelter, there are a few steps that must be taken before the dog even arrives.

First, owners should know exactly where the animal will be spending the majority of its time. Even older, house-broken dogs may forget their training due to the stress and excitement of the new space, so keep this in mind when choosing a location. Owners intending to crate train their dog should have the crate set up and placed wherever the dog will be sleeping.

Similarly, individuals must dog-proof their home as if in preparation for a puppy. Again, even the oldest, most mild-mannered rescue dogs may forget their training in the days and weeks following adoption. The dog will both be overjoyed to have a new family and nervous in a completely new setting, two emotions that can result in chewing and other unwanted behavior. Finally, owners should establish a list of commands that all family members can use in order to begin training from the first moment of arrival.