Lost dogs – 5 things you must do if you find one

Some of you may think I, myself, have been lost since I haven’t posted for several weeks.

Over the Christmas holiday, my husband and I, and Kodi the corgi, took to the road – 2 1/2 days from the east coast of Florida to Mesa, Arizona. For two old folk, and a senior pup, it was a challenge — but we did it!!

Snow in New Mexico

There are many stories coming from this trip, including the addition of another pup for the trip home.

Kodi has a new “brother,” Buddy, and not too sure about snow.

But those are for future posts- ideas to get me back to blogging.

Today we talk about lost dogs and their horrible owners. (I refer to dogs, but this also applies to cats)

As a columnist I receive requests to write about lost dogs in hopes the media attention will bring them home. Recently I wrote about Sammy, a dog missing since Thanksgiving – fast forward to the end — he was reunited with his family in time for Christmas.  If you would like to read the whole story, and the happy update:  Sammy’s home

Last week another dog went missing and there were photos of a couple picking him up and putting him in their vehicle. OK, nice thing to do — prevent a dog from getting hit by a car.

But what do you do with the dog? Too often, well meaning people (like the most recent) decided their local humane society (a couple miles away) would immediately  euthanize the animal so they took him to a “No Kill” shelter, 80 miles, an hour and a half drive away, so he would be “safe.”

How in earth will this animal have a chance to be reunited with his family? When a dog goes missing I always reccomened owners check shelters in nearby counties, and local rescues, but I doubt I would have suggested a humane society half way across the state (Florida isn’t  very wide).

Humane Socieites are generally a safe haven for lost and abaonded pets. Of course there are exceptions. It is up to you to learn about yours, first-hand, not through gossip.

There’s a lot of assumption going on here. The owners were relying on heresay  and false information about their local shetler, that actually has a low euthansia rate, and keeps the animals a minimum of 5 days to allow their family to find them, before being available for ADOPTION.

They were also assuming the owners were negligent by allowing their dog to roam. The reaction from those looking for the dog, tells me this wasn’t the case.

I have had dogs get out; jump fences, or run out an open door. We all have. It’s a terrible feeling as you search neighborhoods, call local vets and humane societies, and put up posters, wondering if you will ever have your pup (or cat) by your side again.

Fortunately the “Do-gooders” did mention where they were taking the dog and his family got him back.

Please get involved with your local shelter. Learn, first-hand,  about their policies. Did you know if you take a dog to them you can ususally put a “hold” on the animal. This means if they do not find the owner, or cannot adopt him out, you can claim him and get him to another rescue. Believe me, I have worked and volunteered for “open shelters” and they do not want to euthanize.

This is a hateful rumor and is not in the best interest of any animal. Just so you know, an open shelter (humane society) never turns an animal away – “no kill” shelters have space restrictions, and may have to turn them away, and in many cases refer people to the open shelter. There are many humane societies and resuces that work together for the common good of the animals, but there are always going to be the others. Educate yourself about what you have in your area, and not through gossip.

5 things to do if you find a dog:

  1. Approach cautiously. He is scared, he does not know you and you do not know this dog.
  2. Call your local animal control, or take him to the nearest humane society or rescue open to the public (not all are).
  3. Take him to your vet and ask them to scan the dog for a microchip. They will usually do this for free and if one is detected, they have the authorization to contact the microchip company and get the owner’s information.
  4. Even if the dog is muddy, and appears unloved, don’t assume someone is not looking for him. Any of us sleeping outside a night or two is going to look worse for wear.
  5. Snap a photo and put it on your FaceBook page, or if you have a media outlet, or a neighborhood page like NextDoor.com – post it there.






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