Most people avoid dealing with a stray dog simply because they don't know how to deal with it. There are many channels that you have available at this time – you can call the local wildlife control professional or company, you can call the local animal services or shelter, or you can try to deal with the situation yourself.
Regardless of what decision you choose, remember it was the right one at the time. If you do not feel safe around the dog, don't put yourself in potential danger, just make the phone call and let the people you have phoned sort the situation out. You will already have done your part.
If you do want to try and help the poor pup, take a look at the situation. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. How does the dog look? Is it angry, snarling or frightened?
2. What is the situation around you? Are there busy roads of traffic, small children, other dogs or other bad scenarios?
3. What resources do you have on hand to deal with the dog?
If the dog is angry or frightened, it will react unpredictably. It could bite you, run away, stand still – you just don't know. Be prepared for every situation and always make sure you can get yourself out of a sticky spot if you need to.
If there are cars around, remember the dog may bolt onto oncoming traffic which puts the dog in danger, as well as you and the people driving their cars. Take this risk factor into consideration – is it still worth it to try and grab the dog yourself?
Small children and other dogs will cause danger as well – they can agitate the dog further which is something you definitely don't want.
With regards to resources, you do need to be a little prepared otherwise you will have no hope of taking the dog to the shelter. Do you have a leash? How about some scraps of food? These are always good for winning over the dog, especially if you walk with calm but sure steps, and speak to the dog in a calm and soft manner. Do you have a car? You will want to try to lure the dog into the care, preferably the boot or an area where it cannot get to you. The last thing that you are going to want is the dog becoming frantic in your vehicle and causing a traffic accident. Is there a place that you can keep the dog until you have access to a car or until someone can drive to you? This could be a front garden or similar.
There are so many things that you will need to take into consideration when you try to catch a stray dog to take it to the shelter, and if you are putting yourself or anyone else at risk in doing so, you should avoid the situation and just call the right people instead. This is enough of a step to make a difference.
Read more about stray dogs, including lost dogs and advice.
Find a local city or county animal control in your area.
Additional Articles About Stray Dogs
How to protect yourself against dangerous stray dogs
What to do when your neighbor's dog won't stop barking
What will the county animal services do with a stray dog?