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Dog people - Am I being paranoid?


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I would especially be interested in hearing from folks who know about pet rescue, but I'd appreciate any thoughts:

My son and his girlfriend picked up a wandering dog the other night. They were coming home late (like 1:00am) and found the dog trotting around in the middle of the road, not getting out of the way of cars. They stopped to help her, looked around to see if there were anywhere obvious she might have come from or anyone with her, to no avail. She was wearing a collar, but no tags. So, they got her in the car (which didn't take any extraordinary effort) and took her home with them for the night.

The next morning, they took her to a nearby vet to get her scanned for a microchip, which she does not have. The vet says she looks healthy, albeit thin.

They found her not very far from my son's house, so they have also taken her out for a walk or two to see if she seems to know where she belongs. Also nothing. She walks well on the leash, but hasn't taken then any particular direction with any particular urgency.

She is very sweet, pretty well behaved, although definitely still a puppy with a ton of energy. She was very hungry, but not at all food aggressive. She seems to be housetrained and accustomed to riding in cars.

The humans involved have contacted the county shelter to let them know they have the pup and have posted on NextDoor as well as a few web pages suggested by various people who we know who are familiar with pet rescue organizations. I've been keeping an eye on those same websites to see if anyone posts a lost dog notice that could be for her.

So far, not a single peep has come from any corner.

I'm starting to worry that she may have been dumped or something? Am I over-reacting? 

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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6 minutes ago, Jenny in Florida said:

I would especially be interested in hearing from folks who know about pet rescue, but I'd appreciate any thoughts:

My son and his girlfriend picked up a wandering dog the other night. They were coming home late (like 1:00am) and found the dog trotting around in the middle of the road, not getting out of the way of cars. They stopped to help her, looked around to see if there were anywhere obvious she might have come from or anyone with her, to no avail. She was wearing a collar, but no tags. So, they got her in the car (which didn't take any extraordinary effort) and took her home with them for the night.

The next morning, they took her to a nearby vet to get her scanned for a microchip, which she does not have. The vet says she looks healthy, albeit thin.

They found her not very far from my son's house, so they have also taken her out for a walk or two to see if she seems to know where she belongs. Also nothing. She walks well on the leash, but hasn't taken then any particular direction with any particular urgency.

She is very sweet, pretty well behaved, although definitely still a puppy with a ton of energy. She was very hungry, but not at all food aggressive. She seems to be housetrained and accustomed to riding in cars.

The humans involved have contacted the county shelter to let them know they have the pup and have posted on NextDoor as well as a few web pages suggested by various people who we know who are familiar with pet rescue organizations. I've been keeping an eye on those same websites to see if anyone posts a lost dog notice that could be for her.

So far, not a single peep has come from any corner.

I'm starting to worry that she may have been dumped or something? Am I over-reacting? 

No, it's common to dump puppies in Florida IME.  I grew up in an area without curbside garbage service.  We took our garbage to a location with several dumpsters.  I can't tell you how many times we found kittens and puppies left there.  Sometimes in a box, sometimes not.

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I don't understand. What's your concern?

It certainly sounds as if she was dumped. It happens all the time. All the time. One of my little cuties snoozing here on the couch beside of me was dumped last year. And she's a highly desirable type of dog----cute as a button, small(ish) and non-shedding. Still . . they get dumped. People make me sad.

Edited by Pawz4me
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I think there's no way to know.

We were positive, absolutely positive, we found a dumped dog...... we lived on a highway, and my husband just happened, by pure chance, to see this dog on our front porch on a night that dropped below freezing,  One of the dog's legs was caught up in his collar, and he was covered in fleas.  

It turned out this dog was chipped and the owners were a very nice-seeming young couple, who seemed -- well, very young.  

My husband and I were very young, once upon a time, so -- okay, whatever.  

It turned out this dog was gone less than 24 hours, and still managed to be on a highway, covered in fleas, and with one of his legs caught up in his collar.  

So -- I think, there is no way to tell.  We were sure, 100% sure this dog was dumped, on the highway, but it turned out he had loving owners.

When we first called them on the phone, after getting his chip scanned, they said his name to my husband over the phone, and then my husband said it, and this dog lifted up it's head SO happy, the happiest we had seen him since we had found him.  

I really hope for the best, that this dog is lost and not dumped.

That said -- we have a 6-month-old puppy right now, who was dumped at a Wal-Mart parking lot, and we adopted her from a rescue and love her to death.  

Edit: since I realize I didn't say it ---- the couple told us they let their dog go off-leash that morning, and he ran away from them chasing squirrels.  We were about 2 miles away from where he ran from them.  They told us they spent hours calling for him.  He was covered in fleas -- but had gone through some forest, and was normally an inside dog.  For his leg -- he managed to get it caught in his collar -- we think he might have gotten caught in some woods or something.  We think he spend about 12 hours lost. Then we kept him over night, and the next morning we took him to the vet, who told us he was chipped (against our expectation since we were sure he was dumped).  We had driven down the highway and asked 3 neighbors if they knew anything, before we took the dog to the vet.  

Edited by Lecka
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5 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I don't understand the fear and the word "paranoia" in connection with this?  Yes, she could have been dumped.  I am glad that your son and his girlfriend are so loving and responsible. 

Oh, "paranoid" is probably not the right word. I just wondered if I was jumping to conclusions.

Son, his girlfriend and the roommate all more than half in love with the dog already, but they really don't need to adopt a pet at the moment. I was hoping they would find the dog's home quickly, but the total silence is making me wonder if she wasn't so much "lost" as abandoned. In which case, I suspect my son now has a dog. (We all know, don't we, that once an animal gets into your house, they make their way into your heart.)

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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We had already named the dog we found Forrest and our daughter was in love with him.

It turns out his name was Jethro and we can honestly say -- they seemed like a nice young couple (emphasis on young -- but as I said, my husband and I were a young couple once upon a time).  

We were totally geared up to keep this dog on the second morning, and totally did not expect the vet to find he had a chip when we took him to the vet.  

We did the exchange in a parking lot of a military surplus store.  

Edited by Lecka
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2 minutes ago, Jenny in Florida said:

Oh, "paranoid" is probably not the right word. I just wondered if I was jumping to conclusions.

Son, his girlfriend and the roommate all more than half in love with the dog already, but they really don't need to adopt a pet at the moment. I was hoping they would find the dog's home quickly, but the total silence is making me wonder if she wasn't so much "lost" as abandoned. In which case, I suspect my son now has a dog.

If he can't keep the dog then have him start contacting rescue groups. Especially if he's able/willing to foster her, he can probably find a group to help with vetting and spaying and trying to find a home for her. He might have to reach out to several, so encourage him to not give up. It's very kind of them to help her!

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4 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

If he can't keep the dog then have him start contacting rescue groups. Especially if he's able/willing to foster her, he can probably find a group to help with vetting and spaying and trying to find a home for her. He might have to reach out to several, so encourage him to not give up. It's very kind of them to help her!

Yep, I was just looking for an appropriate local rescue organization. (Most of the folks I know locally who do rescue work with cats.) She appears to be a bully-type pup, which makes me nervous about just handing her over to the local shelter. (Just because I know shelters are clogged with bully dogs who have a harder time getting adopted.)

He could definitely foster for a while. I'm just concerned that the odds he'd be willing to let her go (except back to her previous home) get lower and lower with each day she's in the house.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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5 minutes ago, Lecka said:

We had already named the dog we found Forrest and our daughter was in love with him.

It turns out his name was Jethro and we can honestly say -- they seemed like a nice young couple (emphasis on young -- but as I said, my husband and I were a young couple once upon a time).  

We were totally geared up to keep this dog on the second morning, and totally did not expect the vet to find he had a chip when we took him to the vet.  

We did the exchange in a parking lot of a military surplus store.  

Yep, we were all young once -- and all first-time pet parents at one point, too. 

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When we got our puppy from the rescue -- when we went, there was a man and his son bringing in a litter of 6 puppies who had been dumped near his country road.  

From our area, it seems dumped dogs are found along the highway in the country, then someone stops and takes them to a rescue (sometimes before some are hit by cars, sometimes after), and then they use the Internet to adopt dogs up to several states away.  When we adopted our dog, there were 6 dogs that were about to be transported from Oklahoma to Illinois -- not available to adopt because they were already spoken for over the Internet.  

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Another thing about the dog we found that turned out not to be abandoned ----- he saw our dog's bed, and it was clear he knew about dog beds.  He definitely thought "this is for me."  

He also really took to my husband, and "cried" outside the bathroom door while my husband was in the bathroom.

We said after that -- we knew what was meant by the Elvis song about "crying like a hound dog."  

This was definitely a hound dog!  

He had long, droopy ears, too. 

Edited by Lecka
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I have read that the best way to find the owner is actually to put up posters in the area you found the dog. just another avenue to try if your son is interested in another attempt to find the owners (if they want to be found).

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7 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

I have read that the best way to find the owner is actually to put up posters in the area you found the dog. just another avenue to try if your son is interested in another attempt to find the owners (if they want to be found).

Yes, I would put up physical signs as well. 

Our sweet chihuahua was abandoned - end of a semester, university area (common rental houses for students, not university housing) and we spent months putting up signs and placing ads in papers.  We finally had to get her shots so she could be boarded while we went out of town, and the vet told us, “she’s yours now.”  (Sigh. I miss her, she lived to be old and grey, and was just the sweetest girl.)

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13 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

I have read that the best way to find the owner is actually to put up posters in the area you found the dog. just another avenue to try if your son is interested in another attempt to find the owners (if they want to be found).

On the agenda for today, as I understand it.

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Our sweet kitty was dumped, I feel sure.  She is a very very loud cat who always begs for more food. Sometimes we look at her and say 'we know why you were dumped.'  She just won't shut up.  Sometimes a loud 'No!'  will get her to hush after she lets out one more weak meow.  She is really hilarious even though she is so loud.  

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1 hour ago, Lecka said:

Another thing about the dog we found that turned out not to be abandoned ----- he saw our dog's bed, and it was clear he knew about dog beds.  He definitely thought "this is for me."  

He also really took to my husband, and "cried" outside the bathroom door while my husband was in the bathroom.

We said after that -- we knew what was meant by the Elvis song about "crying like a hound dog."  

This was definitely a hound dog!  

He had long, droopy ears, too. 

YES! I had no idea what that song meant until we got a hound. They totally are cry babies! It's ridiculous!

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51 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Our sweet kitty was dumped, I feel sure.  She is a very very loud cat who always begs for more food. Sometimes we look at her and say 'we know why you were dumped.'  She just won't shut up.  Sometimes a loud 'No!'  will get her to hush after she lets out one more weak meow.  She is really hilarious even though she is so loud.  

Same with our most recently adopted dog! Also very vocal. And so much toddler behavior! 

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If there’s any chance he will keep the dog, I’d recommend getting him on heartworm preventative ASAP since he doesn’t know the dog’s HW status. That way, if the dog has been infected, consistent use of Ivermectin will take care of a recent infection. (You did say it was still a pup??) Save him lots of $$$ potentially. 

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If he decides to put up posters in the area, I would not include a photo, just info like where he found the dog, approx. age and weight, and his number. Then have callers describe the dog, color of collar, dog's name, etc. I would be worried about the dog being "claimed" by someone who was not the real owner.

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3 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Our sweet kitty was dumped, I feel sure.  She is a very very loud cat who always begs for more food. Sometimes we look at her and say 'we know why you were dumped.'  She just won't shut up.  Sometimes a loud 'No!'  will get her to hush after she lets out one more weak meow.  She is really hilarious even though she is so loud.  

One of my co-workers is very involved in cat rescue, specifically focusing on cats with various kinds of special needs. One of their fosters was recently adopted out again after being taken home by two or three other families for try-outs. The last time, the cat was returned to the rescue organization because he was "too loud." Fortunately, this time (knock on wood) it looks like it's a good fit.

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1 minute ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

We're currently searching for a dog, and they are VERY hard to find in our area (north). I would also hang up physical signs with no picture. Best wishes for this little canine friend! ❤️

A lot of rescues in the south are happy to arrange transports. My dd’s rescue has transported dogs to NY, California, among others. 

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In my area, there are Facebook lost and found pages. People in the area share the posts and they have a pretty good record of getting animals returned. Have they tried posting on those kinds of sites? Some of the animals are found a surprising distance away.

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Is it a smaller community?  Where I used to live, if a lost-looking dog was picked up, then the person who found it would post a picture of it and the general location on Facebook, and ask that it be shared.  People would read it and share it...  And often the owner would be found.   You could give it a try!

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1 hour ago, Jenny in Florida said:

One of their fosters was   The last time, the cat was returned to the rescue organization because he was "too loud."  

That sounds lame, but some cats are indeed very loud. We have a Siamese mix for the first time, and she is very noticeably louder and more vocal than any cat we've ever had. She 'talks' all the time, including at 2 am if anyone in the same bed as her gets up and gets a drink of water; if you don't talk back to her, or take too long, she just keeps going. This is not a feasible trait to have in many households, lol. 

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5 minutes ago, J-rap said:

Is it a smaller community?  Where I used to live, if a lost-looking dog was picked up, then the person who found it would post a picture of it and the general location on Facebook, and ask that it be shared.  People would read it and share it...  And often the owner would be found.   You could give it a try!

I think they generally advise against this, because someone who wants a free dog for nefarious purposes could claim it. Like Corraleno said, you want them to describe it so you know it's their dog. 

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3 minutes ago, katilac said:

I think they generally advise against this, because someone who wants a free dog for nefarious purposes could claim it. Like Corraleno said, you want them to describe it so you know it's their dog. 

Perhaps it depends on the community.  In our area, it was easy to verify that someone really owned the dog.  It was a small farming community with a large inter-connecting network.  Everyone knew someone who knew someone.  🙂

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We put up a very large “FOUND - Dog, call 123-4567” sign in the area where we picked up a wanderer.  Someone came forward within a few hours quite gratefully...and described their dog perfectly.  So, sign w/out description.

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My guess is that she was most likely dumped. It is super common where we live for ppl to dump their dogs near our house. They almost ALWAYS have a collar-but-no-tags. 😞

We have taken soooo many stray dogs and puppies to the shelter or rescue over the years. Makes me soooo sad.

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8 hours ago, katilac said:

I think they generally advise against this, because someone who wants a free dog for nefarious purposes could claim it. Like Corraleno said, you want them to describe it so you know it's their dog. 

Often it's possible to post a photo yet still omit some identifying information. Like in this case where the dog had a collar on when picked up--take it off for the photo and have anyone who tries to claim it identify the collar. Often there's a distinctive mark on the dog (one white paw, etc.), so you can make sure that doesn't show in the picture; if it's a beagle or similar marked dog take a picture of just the face/one side and require people who claim it to identify the markings/pattern on the other side, etc. Of course it doesn't always work--if it's a black Lab with no collar, for example, there's not much you can do with that.

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could be the owners are out of town and petsitter or something let it out, could be it was dumped. OR it got out, and they didn't bother to look for it. So many strays in Florida. Definitely right that the shelters are full of pit type dogs, and are high kill. 

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