When Fools Dive In

I was browsing the news feed for Google when I saw a headline: “Saving a dog from the dogcatcher.”  The feed was from reddit where people owning a laundry posted a sign (I am printing it as it reads): “NOTICE ‘STRAY DOG’ INSIDE THIS LAUDRY SHOP.  We are currently saving this innocent dog from the dog catcher since they will be put to SLEEP/KILL if they’ve been caught.  We understand that you will feel uncomfortable with this situation and you are welcome to go to another laundry.  Thank you!”

This bothers me on several fronts.  The store owner is making several assumptions: the owner of the dog will just happen to go inside this laundry and identify his dog, and of course the obvious, the animal shelter should be the first place a person goes to find their lost dog.  I am not even going to address the idea that all stray dogs are put to sleep, I don’t know where this is; but it is unlikely.

I’ve always hated the terms “dogcatcher,” and “pound” until I moved to places that have it formally written into their code.  The words commutate meaning that may and may not exist.  At some point we just have to get over it.

I would have felt better about the posting if the dog’s finder had done more that post a sign (with commentary) on their door.  We have other ways to communicate: call the animal shelter, post a found ad in the newspaper, and even post on Facebook (I know, it is a shock that I would suggest that, but we are trying to get a dog home), and you can post flyers in the neighborhood.

Anytime something like this happens, I also post the negligence of the owner who has no exterior identification showing.  Let’s face it, most people are not smart enough to take a dog to a veterinarian or the shelter to have it checked for a microchip.  I have always  called microchips the worst secondary form of identification.  They are better than nothing, but just barely. 

Just as there are responsibilities of pet owners to keep their pet from getting lost, there are responsibilities of people finding pets.  It is not enough to take in a dog and make little or no effort to find the dog’s owner.