WAITING TO BE RESCUED
by Delilah Penn - December 2009
Do dogs know the "shelter" will NOT
protect them from
death? It can literally be an eternity for a lost
pet that finds himself "rescued" and taken to an animal shelter.
Family and friends are in and
out of the house and stressed
pets can dart through an open
door faster than Santa’s elves
can deliver gifts. If your dog
or cat is suddenly “not there” and a
search of the house, including
basement, garage, and the
neighborhood doesn't locate the
pet, drop everything and get to the local animal shelter!
Don't waste valuable time search the neighborhood before going to the shelter.
And don't just call because whoever you talk to may not time time to look and if
they do, they still may not recognize the dog by your emotional description.
There are worse things than being lost!
Fox News reported that one family’s relief when their
dog turned up at an animal
shelter turned into a nightmare
when he was mistakenly
euthanized. The dog did not have
any tags or identification. When
they went to pick him up, the
shelter told them they had to
come back with documentation and
photographs to prove the dog was
When they returned the following
day, it was too late. The dog
had already been euthanized.
Fox News said the
shelter apologized, saying a
staff member should have placed
a special hold on the dog as
soon as someone came to claim
him. The shelter is going over
procedures to ensure such a
situation doesn’t happen again.
If your pet is lost, don’t
delay calling the dog pound or
Be sure you
communicate well with the staff.
Above all, do not take for
granted that your phone
description will be correctly
interpreted by workers. The
person answering the phone has
probably never seen a Brittany
Spaniel. He or she may visualize
a Cocker Spaniel and, knowing
they don’t have a dog like that,
tell you your pet is not there.
Your red and white, taller,
leaner, shorter coated pet could
be curled in the corner,
desperately missing you but
overlooked as a mutt. Your
oversize, long coated black and
white Chihuahua, papers or not,
may be seen by a shelter
employee as a mixed-breed. You
will be told there’s been no
impounded Chihuahua. Ask if they have taken in any dog, any size, color etc in
the last hour or two? Ask when the dog-catcher is due in with recently
"rescued" dogs. Then be there!
Mandatory Spay and Neuter
may be required before release!
The surgery may be done before you can
claim your pet, regardless of
its age and irrespective of your
wishes. Neutering a puppy too
much in advance of sexual
maturity can impede full
development of both physical and
immune system function. The
debate over whether spay and
neuter actually reduces the
claimed “overpopulation problem”
is ongoing but preventing a pet
from straying is not open to