LUBBOCK, Texas — It is not uncommon to drive and see animals wandering the streets alone. How can you help if you want to?

Lubbock Animal Services says the first step is to take a picture and post to social media to see if someone recognizes it, or if it’s wandering around in your neighborhood go door to door because the owner is probably a few houses down.

Director of Operations Steven Greene said there is a big difference between a stray and a lost animal.

“Notice whether or not they have a tag or a collar on that’s an indication that they belong to someone. Alot of times you can just by the way they appear and the health,” Greene said. “If you see a dog that is really unkept, really dirty maybe really shaggy that might be a sign that they are out a real stray dog living out on their own.”

The Humane Society of the United States said if you feel safe you can catch the animal and wait until animal services arrive.

The Animal Services said you can try to reunite it with the owner and if you are unsuccessful, you have the option to foster or adopt it.

“Our policy is an animal without any identification we hold it at least 72 hours for the owner to try to reclaim it, and after the 72 hours we consider it our property,” Greene said.

Greene said last year they picked up around 8,500 animals including cats, dogs and wildlife and reunited close to 650 with owners.

With spring here, he has a word of advice when it comes to rescuing kittens.

“If you see a newborn kitten that is not able to move on it’s own laying somewhere leave it alone,” Greene said. “The mother is probably moving that litter to a safer place. So, we ask that you leave it there and let the mom come back and pick it up and take it where she wants it to go.”

The animal services have field operators that work seven days a week to answer calls for lost animals.