Watch Tip: Animals Abandoned Outdoors

Posted on March 19th, 2011 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip LogoWatch Tip for week of March 20:

Watch for animals abandoned outdoors. They might wander in your neighborhood, confused and shy. They might be tied to trees, parking meters, or dumpsters. They might be waiting for days beside the road where they last saw their people. They might even be seen chasing their owner’s vehicle, running desperately to catch up. Help them. (Remember, some actually could be lost, not abandoned.)

A rescuer in Texas followed the dog following the truck and saved him!

A long-time animal rescue volunteer was driving behind a truck in Texas not long ago when the truck slowed, swerved to the shoulder, the passenger-side door popped open, and a big shepherd-type dog was pushed out while the vehicle was still moving! The agile dog scrambled to his feet and immediately raced after the now-accelerating truck. The driver realized he was being followed by his dog, so he continued to increase his speed. The dog was left behind but he kept running in the same direction on the pavement, determined to find his people. The rescuer realized the desperate dog was in serious danger of being killed by a passing vehicle or of succumbing to heat exhaustion and followed him at a safe distance. After 2 miles, the now-exhausted dog collapsed in the grass of a small park, panting hard. The rescuer was able to approach him and he was saved. The savvy rescuer was also able to get the license number of the truck and pictures! Charges were filed.

Animal abandonment is a crime. We are not free to get rid of our pets by forcing someone else to assume their care. Yet many people are unaware of this! The truck driver’s companion pushed his dog out of the vehicle in broad daylight on a well-traveled road. He made no attempt to conceal his illegal behavior.

My neighbor attended another neighbor’s party and the adult daughter approached my neighbor and asked innocently, “Did you ever find that kitten I put down at your place? It was driving me nuts and I had to get rid of it.” Argh!!!

Well, yes, she had. Months earlier she and I had been walking our dogs together and we heard the tiniest “mew” coming from the woods across from their home. I held the dogs while she followed the tiny voice to find a very young tortoiseshell kitten, who ran right up to her. My friend adopted her on the spot, paying for her tests, shots, and later, her spay surgery. My friend and her husband have nearly a dozen cats and nearly all have been dumped at their place or nearby. I’ve got a cat on my lap right now that was dumped there a few years ago.

Three new cats have shown up at their place in the past few months. I think they need a big sign that reads “Animal Abandonment is a Crime! Surveillance Camera Posted!” But I wonder, would it actually stop them? Or would it just attract more irresponsible pet owners looking for a likely place to dump their pets?

If you witness the act of an animal being abandoned, be sure to snap a picture with your phone if you can, and write down the license number and the maker and model of the vehicle. Then call the police!

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