The stray dog running through your neighborhood may have just escaped out of their yard or perhaps was abandoned several weeks ago. Whether a dog has been lost for one day or three weeks makes no difference.
Stray dogs suffer. They are scared and confused by their strange surroundings. They are hungry and constantly looking for food. They run the risk of being hit by cars, taunted or hurt by cruel people, or coming into contact with vicious or rabid animals.
They may not be vaccinated against rabies either. And if they have the disease, they could bite another neighborhood animal or unsuspecting child and pass it along.
Remember the description and location of the stray animal you see and call animal control immediately. You´ll be ending the dog´s suffering, perhaps reuniting him with his owner, and ensuring your community´s safety too.