Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
From 10 June 2003 Issue
WHAT JILL KNOWS
Neighbor's Loose Dog Is In Danger
One of our neighbors has a beautiful dog, Chester, who is allowed to run free in the streets. According to his owner, Chester has "gotten out" of their back yard on each of several occasions that we found him about to be injured in traffic. He has a collar, but no identification and is NOT street smart.
What my neighbors and I want to know is: The next time we find him, what should we do? If we give him to animal control, they'll just keep returning the dog to his "owner." We are afraid this wonderful dog will be killed by a car or eat rat poison or something. Anyway, we would like to adopt him. How do we go about this process? His current owners obviously don't take care of him well.
Dear Paul and family,
You could try asking the legal human guardians of Chester if they would be interested in adopting Chester out to you. Or have a neighbor ask.
The next time you find Chester allowed to roam free in a dangerous situation, you can take him to Animal Control as a stray. They will hold him until his "owner" comes bails him out. (They would have to pay a fine, the sum of which varies from state to state and shelter to shelter.) If the "owner" does not claim the dog -- or chooses to not pay the fine -- you have the opportunity to legally adopt him, when he is put up for adoption. Be sure to tell animal control you want to adopt this dog!
I have also heard of people finding stray dogs, running a free "found dog" ad in the local paper, and holding the dog until the "owner" responds. If no one calls, after a certain period of time the dog may be legally yours. (Check with your local police department or animal control for details)
Either way, I do hope Chester is never allowed to roam free in traffic again and become injured or worse. I think it's wonderful that you want to keep Chester from harm and wish you the best!
Love and paw pats,
Companion Animal Behavior Consultant
What Jill Knows, Copyright 2002
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