"On one occasion I picked up a stray from a man at the Ham Road traffic lights who had found the dog whilst on his way to a funeral. Despite his plans, he didn't ignore the dog but took him out of the busy road and held him until my arrival."
Our Dog Warden Russ is back to share the importance of microchipping pets, after 3 stray dogs came into his care this week….
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well as we enter the 7th week of lockdown. Who would have thought this would be the situation back in the winter when we were so looking forward to the spring.
We were a little busier last week with three dogs coming into our care. The good news is they all went home, but not before having to be taken to our kennels where two had to stay overnight before they could be reunited with their owners.
Out of the three dogs, two were microchipped, but one was not registered and one registered in a foreign country, meaning we couldn't access the owner's details. The third dog wasn't microchipped which is bizarre, as he had recently had an operation and could have been microchipped at the same time, had the veterinary surgeon been asked.
Let's look again at the impact of the dogs straying.
For the dogs, there's the stress of being handled by the finder, put into a car, taken to the vets or the finders home. Followed by meeting another potentially stressful meeting with a stranger, being placed into another strange vehicle, and finally being taken to kennels if the owner can't be traced or contacted. The dog will find itself in a kennel, not knowing why, or if he was going home again.
For the finder, they will have to go out of their way to take the dog to a vet or take it to their own home. They will need to phone around and wait for us to collect the dog.
I've known finders to have been bitten, their own dogs to be bitten. The stray dog they have rescued to have been sick or defecated in the finders car or house. One finder found a dog quite late at night and so kept the dog in her kitchen. The following morning she came down to find the dog had chewed and scratched the units and doors.
Often people find dogs before going to, or on their way to work, but at the risk of being late they stop to help the dog because they're caring people.
On one occasion I picked up a stray from a man at the Ham Road traffic lights who had found the dog whilst on his way to a funeral. Despite his plans, he didn't ignore the dog but took him out of the busy road and held him until my arrival.
If the dogs had been wearing a collar and tag most of these scenarios wouldn't have happened. Dog and owner would have been reunited so much quicker.
For the owner, they face the stress of not knowing if their dog is safe in our care, has been run over, stolen or still running around lost, in danger and afraid.
Owners will also have to deal with the financial loss of paying the release fee if their dog had to go into kennels or if it wasn't the first time the dog had been picked up.
This impact doesn't even take into account the added danger during the current pandemic with people who wouldn't otherwise have met, having to risk breaking social distancing rules to hand over the dog.
The dogs, vets, kennel staff and the council would much rather the dogs be safe at home with their owners than being in our care. Please get a name tag for your dogs and microchip them, making sure the correct contact details are recorded.