It may be tempting to take in stay animals that are lingering around porches; but do not be so quick to open the door for pets. While some dogs are lost, especially after major holidays such as the 4th of July, others have diseases, including rabies.
Here are steps that can be taken to help a lost dog:
Firstly, approach dogs slowly. Homeowners and strays are both strangers and are both nervous to be around each other. Be gentle and use a low, calm voice. Once its established that the dog does not have rabies, check for other health concerns. If the dog may need medical attention, take him/her to the vet. In the meantime, give the dog plenty of fresh drinking water and healthy dog food (visit a grocery store, if necessary).
Get the word out about the missing dog. Take the concern to social media and to local animal shelters. Ask around the neighborhood if someone is missing a pet. The dog can remain inside the fenced-in backyard or in a spare guest room away from other pets or small children while waiting for an answer.
Dogs need medical care and a friendly face to help them reunite with their owner or care for them. If, after some time, homeowners feel that they need to care for the dog, be sure to provide the animal with plenty of love, care and attention.