I heard today about an older, small dog (chi mix) that ended up in a shelter’s care. Somehow they knew the identity and phone of the owner, so they called to ask her to pick the dog up. She said she would but when she didn’t show up after a day, they called again. “Don’t you get it?” she asked. “I’m not coming. Send the dog to the pound.” So much for love and compassion for animals. Too many people believe that dogs have no feelings.
Today in particular I can testify about dogs’ feelings. My Sophie has been my shadow all day. Everywhere I went, she tagged along behind. She even napped on the bed with me, although she’s a restless napper—there this itch to be tended to and that to scratch and hark! Was that a noise in the attic? I get the sense that she thinks she let me out of her sight and I disappeared for four days and it’s not going to happen again!
Facebook is full of dogs and a few cats lost and found in Rowlette, Garland and other areas devastated by the storms. Many pet owners who have lost their homes seem to feel it will all be better if they can get their beloved dog back. And kind souls have rescued animals from debris, wet and shivering, and taken them into their homes. The problem of course is matching them.
For those who have taken dogs in, I have one request: please be sure to get definitive i.d. of the person and the dog before you turn an animal over (I have a persistent and terrible fear of dog-fight people who will use even small dogs as bait). And when you do reunite owner and dog, watch the animal’s reaction. If you can’t find the owner and can’t keep the dog, take it to a shelter (preferably no-kill) where anyone claiming or adopting it will be properly vetted.
If you’ve lost a dog, check with shelters, both the city kennel and private shelters in the area. They are overcrowded with storm dogs, and yours might well be there. Here’s another hint: put a large poster, with a picture, in front of your house. If, God forbid, you lost your home, put the poster where it was. When allowed, curiosity seekers will be driving through the area and might help; chances are also good that the dog will return to the home it’s known.
The goal of course is to see all these dogs in loving homes, reunited with their owners; if that’s not possible, then let’s get them into safe new homes. The elderly girl above? She was rescued and hopefully is settled in a much more welcoming home than the one she came from.