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)
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.)
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.