(Continued from page 61, Issue 043.)
…The first mistake well-meaning rescuers make is assuming that the “stray” dog they’ve found has no home and/or is abused. Sadly, not all dog guardians treat their dogs as most of us feel they should be treated. So when I found the Coonhound, even though I just wanted to keep him and give him the care he clearly needed, I followed all the rules that I had learned through Missing Pet Partnership.
In the morning I called the local Humane Society to give a detailed report on what the dog looked like and where I had found him so that if his owner called or went down to the shelter, he or she could recover the dog.
I took the dog to the county animal control office so they could scan him for a microchip (any veterinary office can also do this).
I checked the local newspaper’s “lost pet” ads and placed a “found dog” ad (which all newspapers do at no charge).
I also checked www.Craigslist.com to see if anyone had placed a lost dog ad on the site.
Two hours later my phone rang, and it was the owner…an elderly man who happened to live very near where I had found the dog—whose name I learned was Dodge. He had called the Humane Society to see if anyone had Dodge, and within a half an hour, Dodge was home. Is it the home that I would like Dodge to have? No. But he is 13 years old, and I know that hounds have a tendency toward extreme thinness in old age, and not everyone has the means to treat their dog’s ailments as I would. If I had felt that Dodge was being neglected or abused, I would have alerted animal control. When Dodge’s owner showed up, Dodge wagged his tail and jumped into the truck, happy to go home.
Every city and county has animal cruelty laws, and it is important to be advocates for all domestic animals who may be neglected or abused, as they cannot seek this help for themselves. The important thing to remember is that some dogs just love to escape and wander and often end up right back home, just in time for their owners to arrive home, oblivious to their dog’s secret shenanigans. Hopefully your dog won’t follow his wanderlust, but just in case, always have a secure collar and an updated identification tag on him, and get him microchipped.