What should you do if you find a stray dog…microchipping your pets is a must!
I am writing the blog on this topic because a good friend of mine, Mark Garcia, recently had to answer this question himself. As the founder of www.muttzrus.com and owner of Keep it Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.) dog training, I felt this topic needed to be covered. I also want to offer a special “Thank You” to Mark for doing what every person in this situation should!
Mark was doing what many of us do every morning, going to Starbucks for his start of the day cup of coffee, when he noticed a small terrier mix running around the parking lot! This little dog was going in and out of traffic and running up to everyone he met, saying hi, and looking for help! As Mark headed in to get his coffee, another customer asked “what do you think we should do about this little guy?” After some discussion it was decided Mark could, while on his way to work, drop the little guy off at the police station!
But on his way there, Mark had another thought, what if this dog was micro chipped? Mark knew that both of his dogs were…what if this little guy was, as well? Mark knew that taking the dog to the police station was a one way ticket to the pound and a sure-fire hefty fine for the owners. So instead of dropping the dog off at the police station, Mark decided to go to the nearest veterinarian, Oxford Animal Hospital, 13433 Switzer Rd, Overland Park, KS 66213, and have the dog checked for a micro chip. Guess what, this little guy had one (his name is Benji), and in a matter of hours (with the help of the folks at Oxford Animal Hospital) Mark was talking to some very appreciative dog owners that not only had their dog back (without fines), but also three very happy kids who thought they had lost their family friend forever! Dr Allison C. Bradshaw, D.V.M. stated, “Here at Oxford Animal Hospital we are strong advocates for the microchip system. About once a month we are able to return a lost pet to his/her owner. Collars and ID tags are very important, but are not permanent means of identification. Microchips are the only permanent means of identification that we have available, and they are very reasonably priced. They are easily placed with an injection and just take a few seconds! We always scan stray or found cats and dogs and have found pets, but many times owners forget to update their registry when they move, so this is important as well.”
There are two very important lessons to take from this story:
1. If you find a dog, don’t assume the animal shelter or police department is the best place to take a lost dog. And for those who just look on and keep driving, shame on you. Either of these choices just puts more pressure on an already stressed resource! Take the time to help out someone you have never met. A chilling fact to support this…the Humane Society estimates between 3-4 million pets are killed each year in shelters! If each person reading this does just what Mark did last week, think of the difference we could make!
2. MICROCHIP YOUR DOG!!!!! The cost here is minimal, at the high-end, it will cost you around $40, and if you go to some of the local pet events in your area, I have seen them done for as little as $5 per dog.
So the moral of this story, treat others as you would hope they would treat you. Thanks to Mark’s decision to go a little out of his way and stop by a Veterinarian instead of the city pound or police station, Benji’s owners now have their dog back along with some very happy kids. I know that if they get the chance to do the same for someone else, they most certainly will. Thanks to the personal phone call from the owners, I know Mark would do it again! Now the big question…how many of you will go out and microchip your dogs (if not done already), or will take the extra time to stop and pick up the next dog or cat you see and head to the nearest Veterinarian and most likely make someone’s day! I think Mark put it best when I asked him why he did it…“My main objective that morning was to reunite the dog with its family/owner. When I found out that the dog was micro chipped I knew that reunion would take place before the day ended. Receiving the phone call from the owner showed their gratitude with thanks and praise for my actions, and that was all I needed. My last words were to pass it forward, meaning that if you encounter a similar situation make the next person happy and keep the cycle going.” I think we could all learn a lot from Mark, and owe him a big thank you for a good deed that we should all do as well!
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