By Deborah Hoffman, Jeannice Cain, Karen Cloud and Danny Sanchez  

So you want to trap a stray dog or cat?   It is very important to have a plan and a backup plan and a LOT OF PATIENCE.   Set up a feeding schedule.  Feed the animal the same time and place for a couple of days.  It needs to be somewhere safe away from traffic where the animal feels safe to come out of hiding.    Access the area.  Watch the behavior pattern of the animal and the route it travels and what time.   Watch for stools to see if there are clues to what kind of food it has been eating.   If there are acorns in the stools be sure to tell the veterinarian upon capture, as the animal may have toxins in body.  Try to anticipate which way the animal will run if spooked.   The more information you gather about the animal's behavior and habits the better.   You will want to set the trap in the location where you have been feeding.   Prior to Trapping:  Purchase a trap, like those sold at and a catch pole sold at  Bait for cats can be cat food or fish.  Bait for dogs can be stew meat and chicken (home cooked), rotisserie or fried chicken or canned dog food.  The smellier the better.   It has been known for trappers to put a chicken on a grill to lure the dog to the area because hungry dogs respond to smell.  Gather up leashes, ropes, garden gloves, oven mitts, towels, plastic and a crate to put the animal in for transport.   Do not feed animal 24 hours prior to trapping so they are hungry.   Have your vehicle prepared with plastic so if the animal pees, poops, or vomits you are prepared.  Paper towels are a must.     Set the TrapLocation: put the trap with the opening away from traffic so if they get spooked they dart back to their safety area not into traffic.  Set the trap quickly without a lot of people and little commotion but let the animal see you set the trap and that you are leaving it's food.  Make sure trap is on a steady flat level location so it does not rock when they walk into it.  Sprinkle grass, leaves or potting soil on the wire so it blends in and is not foreign feeling under their feet.   Some animals will steal the food without springing the trap, you will have to tie the food in for streetwise animals such as these.  If the animal springs the trap, you will violate their trust and be spooked and they will not trust again, unless they are starving.  You can also zip tie a piece of meat/chicken to back of trap to make animal go in and not just grab and run.  If you use a trap that has a door that opens where you put the food, you need to latch it closed.  In your excitement and lifting the trap up, it will open easily as you grab the ends.  You can also zip tie the door down   You have a capture, what now?   Wear garden gloves or oven mitts to carry the crate to your vehicle for transport.  If you are going to remove the animal from the trap have catch pole and leashes ready.  Some traps can be opened from both ends and animal can easily be moved from trap into a crate by opening the back door and luring animal into the crate.  You can also transport animal in the trap.  I would highly recommend NOT taking animal out of trap till you get to where the animal is going