Maybe it’s because we pay attention for such opportunities but we come across wandering dogs-in-need on a regular basis. Actually not just dogs; animals of all shapes and sizes. Sadly, not all our efforts are successful. Sometimes an animal is just in no mood to be approached and we don’t want to push the issue. If we try too hard we might cause the animal to panic and run back into traffic, exacerbate any physical problems it may be dealing with or even cause it to attack me and that would be bad. So, we bide our time, try treats and a slow approach and sometimes we get lucky. Every so often the animal just walks right up to us like Bud and says “hi” and that makes the process a whole lot easier.
Since the vast majority of the dogs-in-need we come across do not have collars we have found that our Ruffwear Just-a-cinch leash makes it easier to slip it over the animal’s neck and get a secure hold on them. If the animal is openly hostile or aggressive we would really want to have a Snappy Snare like what Eldad of Hope For Paws uses for many of their rescues.
Once an animal is safely secured we first call any numbers we see on a collar if one is present. If that is not possible we then find the nearest veterinary office and get the animal checked for a microchip. Seemingly 50% of the time those first two options get the animal back home. Those easy ones make us happy when, one hour after our efforts we hear the good outcome and continue on our travels without worry. If those first options do not pan out our next step is then to look online for a local rescue organization or no-kill shelter. While we understand that most municipal animal control organizations are under staffed and under funded we believe that the animal deserves a second chance without a literal deadline. I was about to type “it is a rare occasion…” but we actually have never had to resort to surrendering (that’s a good term for resorting to this bad option) an animal to a local kill shelter.
Once the animal is safely at a no-kill shelter or local rescue group foster home we’ve found that around 50% of those animals find their way back home to their families. One of my greatest joys is when I get the call telling us that people came looking for their animal and there was a joyful reunion. For those times we didn’t receive that call in the following 12 – 24 hours I still hope for the best, expect a happy outcome and know we did pretty much all we could in such circumstances.
We don’t have one but would love a throw net and a more sturdy Ketch-All pole but that would get us into the realm of serious rescue rangers and might annoy those in power. For now we’ll stick with doing our little part with the tools at our disposal.
FYI – I use the term “we” a lot in this blog and most of the time that is the case. It is NOT the case during these roadside rescues. I don’t want Willow anywhere near an injured and/or cranky animal nor do I want her anywhere near traffic either. She stays in her front passenger seat of the Tacoma and waits patiently and quietly.