When I was younger I knew a girl that would pick up any animal that walked the streets and claim it as “lost”. She felt like she was rescuing these nomadic creatures but I couldn’t help but wonder if she was actually just taking a wondering pet. My family always had dogs that would go around the neighborhood and play. Sometimes they would team up with other dogs and go exploring further than they should. That didn’t make them lost dogs.
However, if I had lost a dog I would want a caring soul to find my pet. Hopefully, the caring soul will also put some effort into returning my furry friend instead of just adopting it immediately. So how do you know if a pet is really lost or just checking out new territory for fun? Check for things like collar, tags, and how well they are groomed. If the animal has a home the chances are that they have a collar and are decently groomed – even if it’s an outdoor pet.
Before you snatch up a wondering animal, try snapping a picture with your cell phone and ask neighbors if they know if it has a home. Chances are someone will now exactly where Fido belongs (and that he squeezes through the fence once a week). Post the picture on Face book or Tweet about it. New media has been responsible for finding pets a home on numerous occasions. It’s a great tool for helping our furry friends.
Sometimes our best intentions for taking care of an animal are not really in the animals’ best interest. I’ve often wanted to snatch up a cute, little dog because it followed me on a walk or adopt a dog that loyally followed me on a 10 mile run. But, I had to put my feelings aside and make sure that the feelings of the dog were being met first. I could not be happy knowing that I had kept a pet and its family apart.
Pets like to meet new people and explore new places, but that doesn’t mean they want to leave their home sweet home. Try all you can to get a stray pet home, and if they are truly lost then you are lucky to have found a new best friend. Share with us some new ideas for helping a stray animal such as Face book and Twitter. -pm