A Dog Rescue Kit

I wasn’t going to mention this story here, but it fuels my motivation and drives home the importance of a “rescue kit.” It’s not a happy story… Scroll past the image of Lylee and Enzo if you want to skip it.

. . .

Last Tuesday I saw a small tan dog get hit by a car and die. The entire scene has played through my head numerous times. When it happened I was so frozen in shock- I just stood in my driveway stupidly. The driver of the car immediately pulled over (bless his soul) and raced back to check on the dog, but he knew it was too late. Another car also pulled over to stand next to the body while the man went door to door to find the owner. I was 50 yards from this entire scene and just too shocked to move or help. The driver found the owner, who carried the dog out of the street, and the two cars went on their way. And I just stood there and tried not to cry.

I hate that I couldn’t move. I hate that I wasn’t closer to the scene so I could’ve warned the car (who wasn’t speeding or anything) or grabbed the dog. I HATE that the dog was loose outside without a leash or a tether or supervision. I hate everything about what I saw.

…I can’t imagine losing my dogs that way. I can’t imagine anyone losing their dogs that way. And that’s the reason I pull over or stop what I’m doing when I see a stray dog. (I also share “lost dog” posts on FB.)

Ly and Enzo got out of the backyard once and I am forever grateful to the girl who stopped what she was doing and brought them home.

I can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve stopped for, but it’s a lot. K pulls over, too- both when I’m with him and when I’m not. It’s an easy thing to do and you’re saving a life.

Rescuing a dog is as simple as stopping the car, opening your car door, and whistling. That said, sometimes it goes better if you’re prepared. To help you out, I put together this little kit as an example.

Box includes: Sterlite box (94 cents), large or medium collar ($4), leash ($5), wet wipes ($3), dog treats that won’t expire or spoil in the heat (training treats or Milk Bones $3), an old towel (TOTAL COST: $15.94)

Excuse the dirt… I own dogs + I went flower shopping.

Please note- you absolutely don’t need these things to rescue a dog; I’ve only just put this kit in my car.

Also, here are a few tips:

  • If the dog seems friendly but won’t come to you for a milk bone, try something more tasty to coax them over. K once used a blueberry muffin from his lunchbox.
  • Do not immediately reach for the dog’s collar. Let the dog smell you and warm up to you first.
  • If the dog has dog tags you can call into the county/use their website and get the owners information. In Ohio it’s on the county auditor’s page.
  • Get a picture and description of the dog to local veterinary clinics, radio stations, and shelters. Also, take the dog to a vet to see if there is an embedded chip with the owner’s information.

Sometimes you’ll pull over to help a dog and the owner will pop out the front door of a house 25ft away and yell at you. Shake it off- it’s their fault for letting the dog wander away. And honestly, sometimes people are just shitty and you come across a dog that’s been dumped. (That happened to us and we ended up keeping Melody for her remaining years. She was a lover.)

Sweet girl was roughly 11 years old when she wander into our lives…

If you’ve never stopped for lost pets I hope you’ll reconsider. And if you’re the kind of owner that lets your dog run all over the town PLEASE stop doing that. I firmly believe we make it through life because we look out for one another, and that includes animals.

Keep an eye out for lost fur-babies during these warm summer months.

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32 thoughts on “A Dog Rescue Kit

  1. I feel sorry for the owner. Oh, what a tragic way to lose a best friend. Bless you for giving us this idea about dog rescue kit. That’s really awesome. I’m going to put together my own.

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    1. I just can’t imagine someone knocking on my door to tell me that. Ugh. It just breaks heart to think of dogs wandering the streets, lost and nervous. I’m glad you’re putting together your own kit!!

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  2. I’m not reading the sad story, but I’m totally with you on the kit. And lay down. Shy dogs won’t come if you’re calling, yelling, chasing, but if you lay down, they come to see what’s wrong with you. We’ve caught many a stray because we’ve always had dogs and they tend to be attracted to that. So we’ve had a few just coming running up to Hawkeye and me when we’re walking, and since Hawkeye doesn’t leave my side, I just take her leash off and put it on the stray til his mommy comes along. It’s worked so far. That and I always have duck jerky in my purse.

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    1. I’m glad you decided to skip the story. I went back and forth about writing it.
      That’s SUCH a good tip. I totally forgot that! Sometimes making a whimpering or whining sound gets their attention, too. Fortunately, I’ve never had a stray approach us on a walk- I’m not sure what Lylee would do. Ha.

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  3. I will have to share this with my sister. She’s found two stray dogs already(one she rehomed to my aunts home and the other one was rehomed to my cousins!). She always has treats and water and a bowl in her car for situations like that but she always seems to find stray dogs!

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    1. It sounds like your sister and I would get along 😉 We’re been able to find MOST of the owners of the dogs we’re rescued. Melody we ended up keeping. There have been some cats that we’ve found and re-homed, though. And my parents ended up keeping one little kitten who was dropped at their property.

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  4. Oh my gosh… I want to throw up. I saw a dog get hit one time & I was DEVESTATED…. like sobbing so hard, I threw up. It’s just an awful experience to witness. I cringe so hard when I see dogs running without a leash – or to know a dog escaped & running amok & wild.
    I always keep a leash in my car but I love this idea of the treats. It takes no space in your car too – I’m so doing this!!!! Good for you for taking an awful experience & trying to prevent it from happening again.

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    1. It was so terrible. 😦
      Of course you always have a leash! You are the best little dog mama there is! Hope you find some yummy treats to add to your rescue stash!

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  5. There was a dog in our neighborhood that was hit and died a few months ago. The owner was all over our facebook page yelling and wanting to know who did and it to come forward. I know the dog. It is the same dog that runs out and chases my car every single time I drive past. The owner always just let him wander in the neighborhood with no lease. I would get mad and a few times I have even yelled out my window when I saw them outside to not let their dog roam because it wasn’t safe for the dog. Especially because he chased cars. I always got the finger. I hate it for them, it is a sad ending that could have easily been prevented. It was pretty shitty of the driver to not stop, but the dog didn’t deserve that. I think having a few things in your car is a great idea if you see a dog out and about.

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    1. UGH. Owners like that make me crazy! I just want to snatch their dog and show it some love and discipline and safety. We have a neighbor that has a pit and a chihuahua in an outdoor fence together. They’re always alone and penned up. The chihuahua actually slips out and runs up and down the sidewalk, but if you approach him he weasels back into the fence. Sometimes I corral him back into his fence so he’s safe. I just feel so terrible for them, though, because I never seen them getting any love 😦

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  6. How awful. I would have froze too. I live in a downtown area and one of my biggest pet peeves is when I see people walking their dog unleashed. Yes, you dog may be very well-trained but there is so much traffic. What if they get spooked and take off? Or worst of all – run into traffic. A rescue dog kit is a smart idea.

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    1. I get SO nervous when I see dogs off-leash. Especially because my dog is dog-apprehensive, so if one of those off-leash dogs tries to approach and their owner shouts, “Don’t worry, he’s friendly”, I can’t guarantee that MY dog is going to be friendly! Ugh!

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  7. Omg, what a horrible horrible thing to have seen!! I have animal-related stuff like that too that I just can’t get out of my head (like when a rabid squirrel came within inches of Aiden at the pool last summer and I froze instead of grabbing him and running)…the rescue kit is a great idea!!!!

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    1. WOW. Your story sounds terrifying! I really like to think that I’m a spring-into-action kind of woman, but I saw all this go down and my brain just slowed down the scene and made me freeze to the ground. Ugh.

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  8. I’m so sorry you had to witness that. 😦 This kit is such a great idea! My dog means the world to me, and I know if she was ever lost somehow that I would want someone to try to rescue her and bring her back home.

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    1. I used to carry leashes around with me when I was in college, but when I graduated I donated them to the local human society. I haven’t had a leash in my car since then, so I figured it was about time!

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  9. Oh lord what a thing to see. It makes my stomach drop just thinking about it. My dogs have darted and I am so grateful to people who helped. I will always stop and when a dog won’t come I will try to use my car to shield the dog of it’s a busy road.

    I love your preparedness kit. I have a collapsible water bowl in my car too.

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    1. I thought about tossing a water bowl in! That’d be a good addition.
      It makes me sick to imagine something happening to dogs that slip away. I can’t imagine someone so important to me getting hurt or lost or killed instantly like that. The more we can prevent it, the better!

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  10. That’s so sad and I’m so sorry you had to see it. 😥 I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a stray dog when I was driving around. Cats yes, but Delaware is pretty on top of its dog population. My sister and her husband stopped for a dog when they were on a road trip actually and I’m so glad they did because the owners had been in a car accident and the dog got out of the car when they were being rushed to the hospital. So the dog was far away from home and the owners were in no shape to go rescue their pet. But after my sister contacted local shelters, the owners did find their dog and it was a happy ending.

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    1. Wow, that’s a really wonderful story about the car accident dog! (I always wonder when would happen to my babes if we got into an accident and they were with us. A crash AND the loss of my dogs would be devastating!) Good for your sister and her husband! The right people in the right place at the right time!
      I’ve rescued a few cats before, too, but they can be a little trickier 😉

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  11. Oh my gosh. That’s so sad. I am always horrified to see a dead animal (even a wild one) on the side of the road. Or on the few occasions that I have hit a squirrel or something. 😦 This is even more awful when it’s a pet. I’m so sorry that you witnessed it, but i am glad that the person stopped and took care of the situation. I also hate it when people let their pets roam free. Cats too. Then they run away or get sick and they;re so distraught, Obviously… but I’m always like, “DON’T LET THEM OUT AND THEY MOST LIKELY WILL NOT RUN AWAY OR GET ATTACKED!” It makes me so sad. I tracked down a dog that had run away once, but often with people who don’t use a leash it’s so hard to tell if a dog is loose on purpose or not. Especially in the city where we live. We’ve tried to catch dogs before that just run and run and run too. It’s exhausting. This kit is a great idea. XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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    1. I agree- any dead animals in or along the road make me sad. I’ve hit a chipmunk, rabbit, snake, and bat before. All four I remember hitting and it makes me so sad to think about 😦
      My parents have ALWAYS let their pets roam and it drives me nuts. They live in the country and the garage cats are pretty smart (my dad checks on them daily and they mostly stick to the garages and the treeline), but their dog is stubborn and doesn’t listen and wanders down to the road. I lecture my parents all the time.

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  12. Oh my goodness – It is so terrible and sad that you saw the dog get killed last week – That makes my heart ache.I am glad that you posted this though – Such a good idea to have a rescue kit on hand. I have stopped to pick up dogs in the road many times. It’s always weird to me how unappreciative the owners seem to be though – I don’t get it!

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    1. YES. Some dog owner are absolutely terrible. I cried with joy when the girl brought mine to the door. Some people are just like, “Oh. Well, thanks. I’m sure he’d have come back.” UMMMM, LADY! He was SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD 4 MILES FROM HERE. Grrrrr….

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  13. YES! I keep something like this in my car, too! Also, it makes me crazy when the owner comes around and yells at you for trying to help their dog. SORRY I’M TRYING TO KEEP YOUR BABY FROM BEING HIT BY A CAR GEEZE. This may or may not have happened to me a lot lately, haha.

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    1. Unappreciative owners are seriously the worst. Ones that freak out because you tried to coax their dog out of the street and ones who are like, “Oh, thank, I guess,” when you bring a lost dog home. Ugh- Y’ALL DON’T DESERVE TO LOVE A DOG!

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  14. that is SO smart to keep this kit in the car – i love that idea! adding it to my grocery list! we always stop for lost pups too. i am so so sorry you had to witness that terrible accident last week. how horrible. thanks for this post!

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    1. K was like, “How did you NOT have this kit in your car?” I probably should put on together for his truck, too, since he pulls over every time to help out 🙂 I’m glad you guys do, too!

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