Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Found a lost pet? Here's what to do!

Sleepy senior pug in her bed
This poor old girl had a rough day!
On the morning walk, I saw a very old pug limping along the sidewalk. At first, I was quite sure that she was just investigating the area on the end of a very long leash, but when the minutes began to tick by and I noticed that no owners were in sight, I started to get worried. When the old girl moved into the street, directly in the path of oncoming cars, I took action. She became a guest lodger of the Dion household until I could find her owner.

Normally, reuniting a pet with its owner is as simple as reading a phone number of the tags the pet wears, but this gal had no collar on. This made reuniting her difficult, but definitely not impossible. While she went with my husband to our neighborhood veterinarian for a microchip scan, I posted her description on these local sites:
  • Multnomah County Dog Control. This is the most important site, as you must register a found pet if you intend to keep it in your home. 
  • Craigslist. Equally important, as this is where most dog owners look for their pets. 
  • Dove Lewis. A long shot, but I know some people look here for their lost pets. 
Our guest had no microchip, so we plastered the neighborhood with "Found Pug!" signs, and we waited for her people to call.

This gal is quite old, and while she appeared to be in good health, she is also a bit of a grumpy gus. She didn't like Liam to get too excited, and she also didn't like to be sniffed or played with. In other words, she wanted to be left the hell alone. As soon as she was settled in her bed, and Liam was settled in his, all seemed well.

Helping a stray like this means providing food, water and shelter, but it also means taking some risks. I had no idea if she was cat friendly, and I also had no idea if she had medications to take or serious health concerns I should be monitoring. I also didn't know how long I could reasonably keep her, without disrupting my own cat and dog family. I think I had decided I'd keep her for 24 hours, but then she would have to go to the shelter.

Thankfully, I didn't have to make any tough choices as her owner called our veterinarian to report her missing. Since we'd taken her to the vet for a microchip scan, it was easy to link our found pug with her lost pug and she went home with her mother just a few hours after we found her. However, this story could have easily had a more sinister ending. This old girl could have been hit by a car on her wanderings, or she could have been lost for good as she had no identification on her. The owner promised me that she would get a chip this week, but I hope she also convinces the wanderer to stay home.