Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I found a dog

I can't tell you how many emails I receive a week about someone finding a dog. Don't get me wrong I am happy that the person who is emailing me was kind enough to take the dog off the streets but at the same time it frustrates me. Here is why...

Just because a dog is wondering the streets doesn't ALWAYS mean that the dog doesn't have anyone who loves him /her or cares about him / her. Shit happens, that is life and they are a dog and sometimes they get loose / lost.

My sister Toni had a Collie when she was in high school just graduated. SHE LOVED THAT DOG! She still talks about that dog. Well my dad had a stupid beagle who got off her tie out and ran into the field howling and barking at something. My sisters dog followed, beagle came back, the Collie didn't.

One 4th of July I was at my father's cabin in PA. My Aussie who went EVERYWHERE with me and NEVER left my side was there with me too. He had been there a million times so he knew the area. We locked him in the cabin just like we did many times before and were letting off fireworks in the back yard. He for some reason decided to jump out of the screen door and when we came in the cabin he was GONE. I searched up and down the road which was a dead end street all night calling for him. Important to note "DEAD END STREET"

My dad knows most if not all the people in the other cabins on the road.. there aren't that many passed us because we are one of the last ones with electricity. Anyway, the next day I went to the police station, called the county shelter, called local vets and made fliers. Went cabin to cabin asking if anyone had seen him. I carried and to this day (even though he passed away in 2006) carry a picture of him in my car and wallet so my fliers were complete with a picture!

I then made posters and started hanging them up on the dead end rd.

The next day I was sitting the front yard hoping and praying he would come back. A car drove down the dead end road. No more then 5 minutes later my dog come trotting down the road and in the yard like "HI MOM! Where have you been?" He wasn't dirty, he wasn't hungry, he wasn't tired....

15 minutes later that same car went driving back by.

Now mind you Max had tags on him but obviously these people ignored these tags or figured b/c they were long distance numbers that they wouldn't bother to call. You can't tell me for one minute that someone didn't have him. I know they did and that just makes me so mad!

If you are going to pick up a found dog at the least take it to the pound so the owner can find him!

So, yesterday which makes me write this blog I received an email from a women who found a JRT puppy. She already had 2 dogs and couldn't possibly keep him. She wanted me to take him into rescue. I explained to her that I legally can't take in a found dog so she would need to contact the dog pound I would take the dog from there once the legal amount of time was up.

3 OPEN BUSINESS DAYS for strays w/ no tags

14 OPEN BUSINESS DAYS for strays w/ county dog license.

I told her how if I take in a found dog and the owner is looking for the dog I can legally get in trouble if the owner pressed chargers or they could sue me.

Her reply back to me was "I am sorry to hear that your part of Ohio is that way. Where I am from people try to help each other."


Cincinnati a rescue women took in a found dog, placed it up for adoption, the owner were looking for it and found out she had it up for adoption. The women adopted it out before the owner contacted her and the owners sued her winning a huge law suit. The women lost her house over it because she had to fight everything in court and it cost her so much and then she lost.

Toledo a women is hauled away in handcuffs FROM WORK and lost her job because of it! She had taken in a found dog into rescue, the owners found out and pressed charges saying she stole the dog!

Holmes County a women was sentenced to 1 year jail time after picking up a dieing sick dog off the side of the road. She brought the heartworm positive, flea infested, malnourished dog back to health and found it a GREAT HOME! The back yard breeder who the dog escaped from pressed FELONY charges on the women. Felony b/c the dog was valued over $500. The women went to JAIL 1 month into her sentence gave birth to her baby girl.

Ok, the Holmes County one.. I would have done the same thing BUT SERIOUSLY! You can and will get in trouble for taking in a found dog. Sometimes yes a found dog is legitimately unwanted but how are you to know that? If a family is looking for their dog they are not going to know to come to your house and knock on your door. The dog pound is honestly the best way to re unite a dog with his family.

Here is another example written by someone who for 3 weeks searched EVERYWHERE looking for their dog.............

I never thought I would have to post “Lost Dog” fliers but just in case we took all the precautionary measures. Our Australian Cattle Dog mix and Yellow Lab were micro chipped, they had tags with all our info on her and most important, we always keep an eye on them when letting them outside to do their business.

Over a month ago we were giving the two dogs a bath when they took off after a squirrel. They ran into the woods behind our house and kept running. We ran behind them, called for them and looked for them for hours, but they were nowhere to be found. We left the back door to our basement open a crack incase they came home at night, during the day we drove around looking and calling for them. Two nights after they ran away, our Lab was in the house when we woke up. She came through the back door of the basement.

Our Cattle Dog mix was still nowhere to be found. It had been three days and we were really starting to get worried. The thoughts of what if were terrible and hard to ignore. I called shelters three counties deep and I sent a flier to every vet office and rescue within fifty miles. Three weeks went by without any leads.

We were starting to give up hope and fear for the worst when I got a message from a local vet who got a lost dog in who fit the description of our dog. I called back right away and they described the dog to me; cattle dog mix, check, female, check, about ten years old, check, blind, wait….what?

Panic immediately set in, what could have happened to her that she would be blind? Did a car hit her? Was she in pain? Our dog, our loving, sweet dog that I grew up with!

The vet continued and explained that it was a chronic condition, not something that would have happened over a two week time period. After more interrogating questions on my end and finding out the dog did not have a microchip, we confirmed that the lost dog was not our lost dog.

I was even more broken hearted after I hung up the phone. I was at work at the time and I could feel my bones sink deep into my chair. I had very little hope at this point but I still refused to give up. So I called all the shelters again and looked online at their dog lists, I was determined to find her.

It had been a month, and still nothing. At work, I heard a story of a woman whose dog ran away. She found the dog a week later dead in a field. The story brought me to tears; I couldn’t bear to think that my dog, my friend, my companion of ten years could have the same fate. I just couldn’t get those thoughts out of my head. If someone found her, they should have turned her into the county shelter. All I could think was that she was dead.

After five and a half weeks of worry and thirty-nine days of lost and found newspaper ads, we got a phone call from a family who had our dog. They saw one of our fliers at a local store. They found her a week after she went missing.

We worried for five weeks! Five weeks of bad dreams, terrible thoughts, sadness and lonely nights! I am grateful for the family that had her but I am also very bitter that they didn’t turn her into the county shelter when they found her. It is state law that found dogs must be either taken to the shelter or advertised in the newspaper as FOUND. If our dog was taken to the shelter when she was found, that would have been a month less of worry and stress.

I am ecstatic that we have our girl home but at the same time I am making it a priority to inform those who are unaware that it is THE LAW that you must take a found dog to the pound!

If you have found a dog please consider the dog’s family. They are more than likely looking for the dog.

You are worried that the dog will be euthanized so you refuse to turn the dog into the county shelter; the dog has three days for it’s owner to find them then they are legally up for adoption. If you fell quickly in love with the dog, adopt them when they come available.

If you are still not convinced and you would like to keep the dog in your care until the owner if found, put an ad in the paper and hang found dog fliers. It is ILLEGAL to keep a dog without trying to find it’s family first.

The point to this blog post is


If you find a dog, take it to the pound and if you are SO worried about it then go back when the dog would be available to the public and buy it back. Then worry about how to find it a home.


Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

Hi, Amy - I know you have addressed the legal aspect of keeping a found dog before. This was a very informative, more in depth post about a very real problem. I don't know the law in MO but will now find out. My sanctuary works very cooperatively w/our local humane society (pound) which is very rescue friendly. They contact me about Beagle and hound mixes who need a rescue. I had one couple who found a dog wandering in the country. They presumed the dog was "lost" and he was not but they picked him up (no tags, no chip), brought him into town and called me. I did take him, met w/my humane society for a found report and gave them a photo, put him in the paper AND on my website. His family NEVER looked for him - they presumed he had been hit by a car!!! A relative finally saw his photo on my front page and called his family - his real owner came w/photos which were helpful but ended up unnecessary as the effusive greeting he gave her told enough. So I want to add - don't just call your shelter or pound if you have lost a dog - GO LOOK every other day and leave a recent photo w/them - the staff at the front desk don't always see animals who come in when they are not there. My sanctuary dogs all have collar tags (tags that fit on the collar itself and don't dangle) that say "Alone-I'm Lost" with Silverwalk Hounds, my phone numbers and city/state. I am also planning to work w/a fellow rescue to do my own micro-chipping. However, I did lose a dog because the people were not "dog people," did not take him to the shelter and by the time I got linked up with them, he was gone and probably died in seizure as he had a very serious seizure disorder. I now at least put my rabies tags on at the vets' before we go home. Thank you for a wonderful post. Keep the faith.

Dog Rescuer said...

Hey I do my own Micro Chipping now! Great service I can offer my adopters. And really not expensive.

You might want to check with PetFinder they had a program where adopters are offered a $10.99 registration fee instead of the normal $16.99

9258 Photo said...

I can think of 3 times that I've pulled dogs from pounds, only to have the owners crawl out of whatever rocks they were under to want the dogs back. And this was well after the 3 day hold period. In other words I wasn't there the minute the dog was ready to be adopted, I waited until the dogs were going to be euthanized. One time it was a very large GSD that I suspect that the family was moving and thought they would dump the dog at the pound and then take the chance to adopt him out through the pound, thinking that it would be cheaper than boarding the dog while they were in the process of moving. (Plus since this pound did a spay/neuter and shots package with their adoption they'd get their dog boarded for the week they needed him boarded, and he'd be fully vetted too, all for $60). Another time I pulled a very sick min pin that had parvo. The owner came forward a couple of weeks later wanting him back, claiming that he sometime went to the neighbor's house and stayed there and that's where she assumed he was when he was gone (for 2 weeks!!!!) and the other time it was a yorkie that was terribly underweight, and had a horrible case of worms. I pulled him after he had been at the pound over a week. The people claimed they had been on vacation and came back to find out that the people that had been caring for him had lost him. Claimed that they had called the pound and they said they didn't have such a dog there. The pound kept track of all their phone calls and looked at their logs and no one had called looking for a yorkie. That one the stupid dog warden gave the people my phone number. I had to get a court order to keep them from contacting me. And I wasn't pulling him for myself. I was pulling him to go into a rescue, Needless to say I stopped pulling from that pound. But in all three cases, the dogs were taken to the pound, had been there an extended amount of time and were probably going to be euthanized within the next couple of days (or in the case of the min pin and the yorkie probably would have died) if I hadn't pulled them.

Dog Rescuer said...

9258 Photo - I have had the same type of things happen to me. And you know what I have the LEGAL papers showing I am now the legal owner so go fly a kite nothing they can do about it.

I did have to get the police involved with one crazy lady.

Gullburt said...

Yeah, it really sucked when that happened. That lady was INSANE! Your dog got HIT BY A CAR! Her hips are all messed up and you want to breed her AGAIN! Say WHAT! Lady, you lost her, sorry three days is up. Actually I think that particular dog was at the pound for over two weeks. No, you can't have her back. That lady was a psychoooo!

Dog Rescuer said...

yea, that lady was CRAZY. Her dog was at the pound 10 days. Was going to be killed, we took it in and had it 3 MONTHS! 2 weeks after she got adopted crazy calls me demanding her dog back saying I stole it.

HELLO CRAZY! The funny thing is she called my parents phone.. I said how did you get this number, she said I researched on the internet.. um well the number isn't listed under my name and it is really hard to find it and find it associated to me so you do some serious searching... why didn't you do that for your dog. IDIOT! She was on 5 websites for 3 freaking months!