Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lost and Found and Lost

There is nothing happy about this story and I hate to tell it but the hope is that it will stop one person from making a disastrous mistake. Last week a lady pulled over at the curb, handed me a flier. She and her ten year old daughter were out looking for their dogs, missing since the middle of June. There were two of them pictured (a Jack Russell Terrier and a Chihuahua). I promised to watch out for them and call her if I found anything. The next day I went on Nashville Petfinders to see if anyone had found them. There was one post there about a Jack Russell Terrier that seemed possible so I scanned the flier and sent it to the guy who posted. Saturday morning he e-mailed me back and said that the Jack Russell had led him also to a lost Chihuahua (the second dog). He had taken them to Animal Control on the twenty third of June. It was now the second of July and Animal Control was closed for the three day weekend. Both of us called the owners and happily reported that the dogs were there and she could pick them up when they reopened on Tuesday, eight business days after their arrival. Eight.

The owners had gone to Animal Control the day before they were dropped off. There was no one at the intake office who said, "Oh hey there was a woman here yesterday looking for these two dogs.." There wasn't a log book anywhere with her flier or her phone number in it. There was no rogue volunteer out reading messages stapled to telephone poles.

There was only a mom driving a little girl around door-to-door, showing people pictures of her dogs and hoping each new face they encountered would have have the answer; maybe have seen the dogs trotting through a neighbor's yard, just moments ago.

Both dogs passed the behavior test. It was the flaky "mange-like" skin condition that garnered them a death sentence (again - eight business days after their arrival) Before the family was able to get there, the two were killed. Everybody cried.

Here is the lesson:

1. Microchip your dog
2. Never take a dog to a kill shelter (Hint: it isn't shelter if they might kill you)
3. Act quickly and be relentless if your pet disappears
4. Change the law in your area to protect against such things.

Sadly, we've been raised to think that sometimes bad things have to happen for the good of our public welfare, social policy etc. Random euthanasia a.k.a. slaughter of less than perfect pets only happens because we allow it to. Animal Control here in Nashville kills 30-60 animals per day.

5. Spay/neuter your pets.


giantspeckledchihuahua said...

So sad and easily remedied (on the owners part) I can't coount the number of times I have read of this happening.

I extend my sympathy to these owners and hope that the dogs lives were not taken in vain. Hopefully, at least one person will learn a valuable, life saving lesson.

On the subject of microchips: updating, yearly, is advised. Back when microchips first came out it was a lifetime thing. Many now require yearly subscriptions

Two Pitties in the City said...

This is a sad story. I think the unfortunate thing is people don't even know what to do when a dog is lost/found. Some people don't know about microchips so they might just keep the dog hoping the owner contacts them. Some people don't know about Craigslist/ online lost & found and just post flyers in their immediate area when they dog really could have traveled miles away. It's unfortunate the shelter people weren't on the lookout. I guess we can't really blame them as there are so many dogs going in and out a day, but there has to be a better system.

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

breaks my needless. Spay/neuter..always. Hopefully, we can learn lessons and take action. Hard to post - hard to read..but we need to know. Thanks

susan said...

I know, this post was a real downer. My apologies. I usually try to avoid that stuff here if possible. GSC: I wasn't aware of the change in microchip policy but thanks for the heads up. Two Pitties: I agree with you, there is no one to blame. The whole system is too convoluted (and overwhelmed) to be effective.

Beverly said...

When you told me about this, I was so hoping for a happy ending. Important post, and a totally sad story. I hope the little girl can get a new, spayed/neutered/microchipped puppy when she and her mom are ready.