Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chicagoing: Lost dog ettiquette

The other day E and I took the pooches for a walk when a random chihuahua came running out to meet us. Nobody was with him. The dog didn't seem to have a tag, and the pooches were getting so excited it was hard to grab the other dog. Luckily some other people came around to help. Then, literally 5 minutes later, a women came over holding another dog and asking if we lost it. It only had a rescue tag. The woman happened to be a dog groomer, so we felt she was in control of the situation and left the dogs with her.
We were so lucky to have other people around this time, but I realized I don't really know what to do if I find a lost dog on our walk. Our neighborhood has several multi-family units, so it would be impossible to check each home. Plus, we are bordered by several busy streets and it makes me nervous to have a lost dog roaming the area. If I'm walking both pooches by myself there's no way I could grab another dog. And if I do manage to get the dog and take it to the vet to get its microchip scanned, what do I do if it doesn't have a microchip? Our local Animal Care and Control puts down 18,000 animals each year. What experiences has everyone had with lost dogs?

18 comments:

Bobby said...

We don't know for you but if we find a lost or stray dog it has to be handed to the dog warden, they try to find the owner if they can not after 7 days, a charity like pawz will re-home them, that is how we get some of the foster dogs.

Schwang said...

I guess that would make sense, but our Animal Care and Control euthanizes 18,000 animals a year. I know they would have a waiting period, but they are so stretched for space they usually put them down. If it's a pitbull, they have no chance.

puddleofink said...

Ha ha, what experiences have I *not* had with finding lost dogs? I found another in the road when I was driving home Saturday night. What worries me when I'm walking is not so much not being able to snag a loose dog (being able to throw the boys into down-stays helps!), but not being able to intervene if the other dog is aggressive toward mine.

But as to what to *do* with the strays, I used to be able to hold onto them, place signs, notify the shelters, run ads in the paper and online (it's free here, thankfully), etc. After ten days, if I retained proof of trying to locate the owner, the dog was legally mine and could be rehomed.

Now though, without space here, they go to animal control for the mandatory five days, and are either adopted, rescued out, or put down after that (though I tend to stay involved to prevent that last option ...).

mayziegal said...

Hi! Mayzie's mom here!

From our own experience, I think your best bet is to call animal control. If someone is looking for the dog, that's usually the first place they'll look. We've found three (separate) stray dogs in our neighborhood recently. One had a tag so we were able to get her home. The other two had no tags and we couldn't keep them here. We took them to the shelter and both of their owners ended up finding them there.

I know the thought of them being put down if they're not claimed is heartbreaking. But being humanely euthanized is far better than being hit by a car or starving on the streets. I had a personal experience in which I didn't do anything (thinking the dog lived nearby and would find its way home) and the dog got hit by a car and killed. It's one of the biggest regrets of my life that I didn't notify animal control.

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

In the last year I've brought 2 dogs home with me, they've stayed the night (Animal Control closes @ 4pm) and then AC picks them up in the morning. I'm pretty lucky though, I live in a fairly small city I don't have to worry about the dogs being put down.

REALLY irritates me when people don't put collars & tags on their dogs because "they don't like the jingling sound." Are you FREAKING kidding me? Tape them for heaven's sake.

Princess said...

We had a cat literally thrown over the fence (in a carrier) in our back yard one time. I've never seen Princess around a cat and wasn't ready to see if she's cat friendly at this time. I like you couldn't bring myself to call animal control other than to get info, they'd have come get the kitty that night, but I couldn't stand the thought of him being put down. So I kept my strong prey drive pit bull and this tiny kitten separated in our two bedroom condo. Got him vetted and scanned of course no chip, but I kept him for just around a week before a friend decided they were willing to adopt them. Check out our blog from August 09 for the full story.

Patty said...

One day I was driving to work and I saw TWO dogs running in the street trying to play with each other.

I immediately called AC, wrangled the dogs into my car and then brought them home and into my backyard. AC picked them up - but I took pics of the dogs and posted them on Craigslist just in case.

And I don't understand why people don't put collars on their dogs either. Or get them microchipped!

Dory and the Mama said...

What a rough decision to make and, thank goodness, I haven't had to make it. I would most likely try to locate the owner of the dog. We are lucky enough to have more than one "no kill" shelters in the area, so if I couldn't find the owner I would contact them.

kissa-bull said...

do we need to say more other than our daily adventures wiff the pack
our mommish ish a big o sucker for stray animals and wlel . . .. that ish why our pack ish so big , she suks at fostering and ends up just keeping the woggies she finds. of course that wont work for everyone but trying to find a home for them ish something our aunt does alot of the times. she fosters them until a good home is found just so they dont end up in the city pound.

MurphyDog said...

about 2 months ago, Mom was driving along a freeway in Sandy Eggo and saw two dogs running in the center divide. This as a major freeway...3 lanes in each direction with a concrete barrier separating the northbound and southbound lanes.

Mom immediately pulled over to the center divide and tried to coax the doggies into the car (1 shepherd and 1 chihuahua...both with tags). The freeway noise was so great, neither dog heard her calling and kept trekking along. She hopped back in her car and dialed 911. Yes, it was an emergency!! Animal control & Highway patrol arrived within minutes...the entire southbound freeway was shut down (thank goodness it wasn't rush hour!). One dog was caught, but the Chihuahua managed to cross lanes on the opposite side (without being hit!) She never heard what happened to them, but I sure did get a big hug shen she got home!

wags, wiggles & slobbers
Murphydog

Life With Dogs said...

Fortunately, none. But it strikes fear in my heart just thinking about it. We have a very fast running river in the front yard, and if the dogs got into it they would be lost. So I can relate...b

Mary said...

My husband is the king of finding lost animals. Aside from one, they have all had tags. The one that didn't we took to a vet office to get scanned for a chip, which was traced back to the HSMO. They contacted his owner. And guess who was lost again not long after? Ugh. I know that if I was willing to foster, the organization we are active with would list a dog. I'm happy it didn't come to that because I don't know how that would work with my situation. I have the same fear you do about the animal being killed after its time was up.

the booker man said...

the two times we have found a stray doggie, we were lucky cuz the doggies followed us home. then we called the local humane society and put up fliers in the neighborhood. fortunately, both dogs were reunited with their mamas and daddies within a couple of days.
*woof*
the booker man

Kari in WeHo said...

i would have the chip scanned. then take the dog to animal control because a responsible dog owner would look there. If not the dog would be put back up for adoption

Kate said...

That situation would be so scary to me. I've seen Melanie be great with little dogs before, but she also has a high prey drive and doesn't always get along well if not introduced properly.

At any rate, the only stray we've ever had to actually take home with us was actually Melanie ... and then we just kept her. So in that case it worked out for us :)

Bijou said...

Hi,

Sorry for not visiting more often. My mom is "too busy" to help me.

As for lost doggies, we have not met many of those but we have had a couple problems with loose dogs coming up to "greet" us in a not very nice way.

Oh yeah, that doggy in my first WW picture has a ball in its mouth. BOL

Waggles,
Bijou

Daisy Dog said...

I ended up with 2 of the dogs that I picked up, Roscoe and Sprocket (RIP), the third I found a home for (Bug), none of these had collars, chips or were nuetered. One other I took to Pasadena Humane and the owner came within 24 hours, that one had a license. Usually when I pick up a dog and it has no collar I figure that I just made a commitment if I can't find it a home.

Annie & Paul's Mom said...

One of my friends just lost her dog (colar, no tags or microchip (oy!)). We checked all of the local shelters (we're in a small city that boarders her county). Her husband posted signs in their neighborhood, posted on Craigslist in the lost and found and the pets section, and discovered that facebook has a page all about lost dogs and cats in Virginia. Also, if you google lost and found pets in Chicago, there are lost of services that you can contact saying you found a lost dog and what area you were in at the time. I realize if you're out walking M&B on your own, it's nearly impossible to snag a lose dog. However, I hope this helps.

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