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Found a lost dog..

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  • Found a lost dog..

    He's home now, and the owners are grateful. He was a gracious house guest for about 14 hours, and I was happy to help him.

    But it begs the question: What is THE proper way to deal with a found dog? Does the protocol change if he's obviously neglected?

    Reason for asking, I posted flyers, notified local police, (NOT animal control, because I didnt' want the owners fined), called 3 local small animal vets. One vet, whom I used to use essentially said they do not get involved and refer all lost or found animal reports to the AC immediately, and they had told them about my found dog.. and that I should expect a call from AC any hour. I was scolded for 'retaining' a dog that did not belong to me, and that what I did was illegal.

    Note, I said USED to use. There have been other awkward moments with this practice that caused me to move my animals care in january of this year.

    What say you?

  • #2
    I think you did the proper thing. That's what we've always done when we've found a lost animal. Got the word out to as many animal service locations as possible with a description of the animal and phone number. Also have brought them into our vet to check for a microchip.

    I believe that there is a certain amount of time that you have to wait until you can claim them as yours, but it differs depending on your location. But that's neither here nor there.

    Good for you for finding his family! You did good!


    • #3
      retaining a dog that does not belong to you...really!

      I wonder if it crossed your mind to slap them for insinuating you did something immoral by grabbing a lost animal off the street, safeguarding it until an owner could be located....

      Not sure what i'd do... i only find the critters nobody wants back....like my crazy bouncy bengal kitty....


      • #4
        You did the right thing! Our dog went missing at a kennel once, and the kennel owners (it was a small kennel based at someones house) went crazy putting flyers up, ads on the radio, notifying police, looking for him themselves, leaving food out on the porch of our house, etc. Needless to say he had dug his way out of the run and tried to go home, which wasn't far, but he had got lost because it was snowing. Someone decided they wanted to keep him, and even though he had a collar & rabies tag they kept him for 2 weeks before realizing how many issues he had and turning him into the SPCA.

        Good for you - good thing those people are your previous vets.
        "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
        "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


        • #5
          You did the right thing. Would AC actually fine them if they (AC) never have possession of the dog?

          Anytime I have found a dog the local AC is one of the first calls I make. I tell them I have found a dog and give them a description in case the owner calls them looking for it. That's it. They never try to come and get it unless I request it.

          Maybe laws are different where you are.


          • #6
            There are so many people that assume that the animal they find has been dumped. So many just have lost their way. Good that you could reunite the found with the lost.

            I would be appalled if my vet responded like your Ex vet.
            Last edited by My Two Cents; Oct. 3, 2012, 02:52 PM. Reason: spelling


            • #7
              That's what I do. I have two that were never "reclaimed" and they are ours now, several that it only took a couple of hours to track down the owner by their rabies tag. I do call the shelter with a description, but A/C is fine with me keeping them while we're looking for the owner.


              • Original Poster

                There's so much money grubbing in this neighborhood that I couldn't see creating any more unjust revenue for the town. The dog approached me in the dark as I was barbecuing.. obviously in distress, but beautifully cared for, smelled perfum-y from a recent groom & clip and was obedient as all heck. I drove around for about an hour, stopping every passer-by asking if they recognized the dog as he rode shotgun with me, dome light on.

                Yes, I was appalled the vet insinuated such a thing. Cretin. I have no idea what would have become of the dog since he had no collar and tags and had obviously snuck out unnoticed. An unscrupulous person would have had a beautiful pure bred dog who likely would have fit in anywhere, and been sorely missed by his family. He played with my dog in the house about a half hour, they both went out to make, then he slept on the couch with me as if it were the most normal thing in the world for him.

                30 minutes after my flyers were posted I received a frantic call from mom.. who worked 2 jobs and just went to bed when she came home at 11 p.m., thinking the dog was in her daughter's bed. We received beautiful flowers in a lovely vase the day after she reclaimed him. It was a lovely gesture, but honestly, I'd expect nothing less from anyone else should my dog make a run for it.

                The vet has some phuckedup priorities if you ask me. Bonus was, though, that the local AC had just inspected me & my house last month in preparation for an upcoming adoption from out of state. So maybe when she recognized my name she went "Meh.. she's cool. She'll contact me if there's a hitch".

                Honestly, though, I'd love to know of any local ordinances. I mean if he was a nuisance dog, attacking or being destructive I'd have phoned in a heartbeat. But this guy just needed safekeeping until mom found him.

                My middle name is Francis.. after St. Francis of Assisi.. Isn't that the saint who protects animals??


                • #9
                  For future reference, around here if a person finds a dog and tries to locate its owner unsuccessfully for two weeks (14 days exactly), and THEN turns the dog in to animal control the dog is considered an owner surrender, which here means it can be euthanized at any time after impound. Just something to keep in mind when you contact AC.
                  other than that, yes- flyers, call vets offices in the area, police, emergency vets, and a vague description of the dog on a Craigslist posting are all good ideas.
                  My mom had a senior moment a few months ago and her boxer poodle mix was lost. She was beside herself and had called all of the above. I told her to check CL for a found dog listing, and to post her own missing dog listing. Within half an hour of posting it, she had a phone call (dog had been gone for several hours). Yay!
                  (To add, Scouts tags had fallen off her collar without them noticing.)
                  If that dog could learn from her experience of getting loose, I'm pretty sure scout would never do it again! The people were really nice but they put her in the car for a ride (hate!), took her to the vet (hate!) to scan for a chip, and then took her in the car again (!), to their home and gave her a bath (hate!) Before they saw the listing online. The dog was probably miserable the whole time! Lol!


                  • #10
                    Okay, in CT, if you find a dog you should turn it in to AC. They do not automatically fine the owners! Many dogs go through as genuinely lost dogs and there is only a small ($10-20) impoundment fee.
                    The reason for this: The shelter is the place most people call or look first for their dog. Any private person holding someone else's dog without their knowledge could run into difficulties. If the dog hurts somebody and you are harboring the dog, you are liable just as if it were yours. And if the former owners are a little wacky, the good samaritan could face legal issues for "taking" the dog,"hiding" it, "mistreating" it etc.

                    That said, many people do what you did and AC will usually not hassle it, especially just for a day. Now if you try to drop the dog off after having had it for a month or so, it will not go over so well.


                    • #11
                      I always always always turn dogs in to AC. Around here that is the first place people call and I don't want a missed dog to go unreclaimed. If the owner cares they won't mind paying $20 to reclaim a dog.

                      I also put up signs (with the AC number listed) and call local vets with a description.

                      That being said, I've picked up 20+ dogs this year and only 5 were reclaimed. Makes me sad but all were adopted out to owners who are hopefully more dedicated. I can't keep a stray while I wait and hope that an owner shows up. They are safe for a week minimum at AC and I don't have to worry about latent aggression, disease, fleas, etc.


                      • #12
                        When I was helping at our animal control shelter, we were always the first call from frantic owners about their beloved, now lost dog.
                        We would help them best we could and of course, had everyone watching for the dog also.
                        We told them to also call vet clinics and go by and put fliers there, etc.

                        Yes, when you find a stray dog, please let AC know, as they probably already have a call from whoever lost the dog, if they want it back.


                        • #13
                          I've had so many stray dogs turn up here that we now keep a permanent giant-size dog crate in the basement to have some place to put them so they're not in contact with our own dogs (you never know what health or housebreaking issues a stray dog has).

                          If dog has tags, owner gets called first. But obviously if it's during the day, it's safe to assume that owner may be at work. Hopefully there's an answering machine where I can leave a message. No tags, I do call our local shelter/AC with a description in case owner calls, & also the local vets. I've not yet had to ever deliver a dog to AC, but do know that if a delivered stray's owner does show up to claim an untagged dog, the fine is around $250.

                          I've only had 2 instances where I was sorely tempted to turn the dogs over to AC.

                          One was a lovely unneutered black Lab, who kept showing up week after week, & was not horse friendly. Owner kept picking him up & apologizing, saying that her husband absolutely refused to have him neutered because it would ruin him for hunting. Sigh. However, after I told her that neutering the dog was going to be a lot cheaper than the continuing $250 fines they were going to have to pay from then on since I was tired of dealing with him as a constant temporary boarder, never saw him again.

                          Second was an originally beautiful very young unneutered Golden Retriever. Idiot owners claimed they were interested in breeding him, so didn't want to fix him. They couldn't understand why he kept running away - & this dog was apparently travelling MILES on a weekly basis. Went on for a couple of months, & the last time he showed up here, he was a shadow of his former self, most likely due to all his mileage. Again - when apologetic owner showed up to get him, I gave her the "this is the LAST time - next time you'll be picking him up from the shelter". This one I probably should of just taken to the shelter, but that place is so awful, I was a coward & didn't have the heart.


                          • #14
                            I am reasonably close to a county line at this house and at my previous house was close to 2 county lines.

                            Therefore I just call the appropriate 2 or 3 appropriate AC agencies in each county. They are more than happy to take my number rather than the dog.

                            CCSPCA called me a couple of days after I reported one dog and thought they might have a match with a new lost report. They did not directly give out my number.

                            We also have a local pet store that does some rescue type work and low cost vaccine clinics. They keep a nice book of lost & found plus people post flyer there. I also check the board at Petsmart.

                            One dog I found was a border collie and I think I called 4 AC agencies and probably 30 vets offices. He looked like he had been traveling a distance. Didn't find his owner but found him a really nice new home.
                            Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                            • #15
                              Depends--around here, I've never had a stray dog, just cats, and everyone ignores those (they either belong to someone, are living in someone's outbuildings, or just passing through before they get hit by a car or eaten by a coyote or something.) At my parents, if we know whose dog it is, we just take it home, if we don't, we take them to the shelter if we can--it's no-kill so it's kind of a pain as they're horrifically overcrowded, but at least the dog/dogs are somewhere safe. The last ones were a pair of yellow-dog (beagle....somethingorother mixes) puppies, a male and female. Dad I think still kind of wishes we'd kept one! He called, though, and they were adopted almost instantly after the holding period.

                              The one I wonder about, though, were a pair of curly-coated...mop-dogs of some sort. Apparently, they came up from the south, were friendly but a bit distant, drank some water and ate some kibble, and then continued north as if they had somewhere in mind. We watched a few days but never saw them again. Didn't hang around long enough to even lure them in the garage. But they were very different from the other strays--not scared or friendly, but polite, aloof, this aura of 'just passing through.'
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                              • #16
                                This is so timely. I just found a loose dog in my yard.

                                Called the phone number on the tag, and its a farm about 1/2 mile down the road. No answer, so I left a message. Went to the farm, no one home.

                                Bad timing though--we just got a new puppy who isnt completely vaccinated yet. We also have 2 other dogs. I put the "Stray" in our fenced in yard, but with our new puppy--she's not gonna be able to stay there long. Puppy gets taken outside A LOT.

                                Not sure what else I can do at this point though...
                                Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                                  This is so timely. I just found a loose dog in my yard.

                                  Called the phone number on the tag, and its a farm about 1/2 mile down the road. No answer, so I left a message. Went to the farm, no one home.

                                  Bad timing though--we just got a new puppy who isnt completely vaccinated yet. We also have 2 other dogs. I put the "Stray" in our fenced in yard, but with our new puppy--she's not gonna be able to stay there long. Puppy gets taken outside A LOT.

                                  Not sure what else I can do at this point though...
                                  This is why - while I know it's neither feasible or realistic or even necessary for many folks - we keep a large dog crate in our basement.


                                  • #18
                                    I know it's not possible for everyone to do but I have to say if one of my animals ever got lost I'd much rather they were found by a kind person and safe in a quiet home than taken to a shelter. I've done shelter work and it can be pretty stressful on the animals. Plus, you do sometimes see stories of a pet getting put down at a shelter and then the owner finds their animal and find this out like a day later. And at least in my state, I believe the holding time is only 48 hrs. before a shelter can euth. Shelters have their place but I think your willingness to keep the dog til the owner was found was appropriate and downright kind, and your old vet is a jerk for insinuating otherwise. Glad it worked out and the owner was found.
                                    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                                      This is why - while I know it's neither feasible or realistic or even necessary for many folks - we keep a large dog crate in our basement.
                                      We actually have a spare crate, but no basement

                                      Guess ill be taking my dogs out front on the leash to go potty until owner of the dog calls me back!
                                      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                                      • #20
                                        Over the Years

                                        My husband and I have "rescued" a number of dogs. If they have tags, we take them home. We found one Corgi barking at cars in the middle of a very busy road, at night when it was raining. All the cars in front of us kept slowing and swerving. We stopped and she was a very friendly girl. It took me some time to pick her us since she weighed around 50 lbs and was wet. Fortunately, she had tags and lived close by. Her owners hadn't realized she had snuck out of the back yard.

                                        We have found "female St. Bernard" wandering around a busy parking lot. Called animal control and found her owner, but not before she slapped my then boyfriend's male cocker around for being too fresh.

                                        The Minature Snausher (sp) in middle of the road and very shy. Returned after a calls to 2 different AC offices.

                                        The very large pure bred something (you could tell) outside my house. Since he was hanging around after a couple of hours, we call AC to report him. we couldn't keep him with us because of my dog at the time. His owner paid a large fine for that one.

                                        there are others too. We have been fortunate to find the owners for these dogs and will keep taking care of the strays.