There is a post on the BC Boards at the moment by a member with two dogs that have gone missing. It absolutely breaks my heart for this person - and it's a fear I think most dog owners live with... the fear of losing one. However, it gets to me that often people who find these lost dogs don't even go through the proper channels to try to help these dogs out.
Case in point: I received a phone call around 9pm a few weeks ago. The caller (who shall remain nameless) was calling me because a loose dog had followed his roaming dog home, and did I want another dog. Uh... hello? Do you KNOW how many dogs I have at my house right now? Eight. I have my five, a puppy I'm keeping, plus two more border collies I'm boarding. I do not need another dog. Period. I suggested they should go to the proper measures to try to find out where the dog belonged.
I asked if they'd tried to find the owners. No. I suggested they maybe load the dog up (or leash it and walk) into the car and go drive around the neighborhood - it's a big subdivision - and see if anyone appears to be looking for a dog. He wasn't too interested in doing that. I suggested that if that didn't work I'd wait until morning and then call the animal shelter, local vets, and put up posters in the neighborhood advertising the found dog. I would even run by the shelter and see if they'd scan the tag-less dog for a microchip.
I heard some grumbling, and then that was the end of the conversation.
19 hours later I got a call back. He had found the dog a new home 30 minutes away with a coworker. Got that? The lost dog was given to someone else thirty minutes away after less than 24 hours, and no measures were taken to find the owners. I was so sick to my stomach I could hardly talk.
What if it had been one of my dogs? I'd be on a rampage. I rarely rampage, but this would push me over the top I'm afraid. All of my dogs minus one are microchipped and wear collars with Boomerang tags on them. However, most of my dogs lurve to roll in stinky nasty things, could feasibly lose a collar and then show up somewhere looking like they've never been cared for in their lives. They also are kept very thin - in working condition - so your average pet owner out there would assume they were starved. I cannot fathom. I'm still sick over it.
The moral to the story is this: If you find a dog wandering around... go through the proper channels to try to find the owners. It's the right thing to do.
ETA: I also meant to mention that the situation was not intentional ignorance - they truly felt like they were doing the right thing.