Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Dolly Lama is Lost

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Paramedic and Firefighter Ariel Schesser cuddles a homeless cat, Miss Dolly Lama.  Miss Lama's past life remains a mystery after July 4th fireworks scared her onto a frightening odyssey and onto a new journey.

It is summer and pet shelters are filled to their max, so Miss Lama relaxes in a foster home enjoying fresh sushi tuna and her favorite dessert, Tapioca pudding, until her parents find her.  They better hurry before she becomes any more spoiled!

TALES

"The more you think of others,
the HAPPIER you will be."
- His Holiness The Dalai Lama -


Fireworks terrorize pets. After the July 4th weekend, all pet shelters know that they are about to receive dozens of runaway animals.  This year, an Arizona pet shelter took in 500 stray dogs and cats!

Imagine you are a pet and fireworks explode as you are busy inspecting the bugs in your backyard.  Instinctively, in a panic, you take off running.  Days later, you are hungry, still scared, and totally lost.

Without a microchip, having run miles, not being able to speak--how are you going to find your 'family' again?

A lost pet does not wear a sign, "Help me. I am LOST." They just wander--getting dirtier, thinner, and hungrier.  Many are attacked by protective pets in the neighborhoods they wander into.

Within days, a sweet, friendly, and gentle pet begins to look like a disheveled street gangster and they become wary of humans.  Most lose their identification collars during the fright-flight.

If a kind human realizes the lost pet needs help, and takes it to a shelter, there is another emotional adjustment for the pet.  This may also explain why shelter animals reach out with their eyes and paws as you walk past their cages.  They are pleading for release and a new home.  They search the humans for their own parents, like a child at summer camp hoping their parents don't forget to come and pick them up.

Sadly the odds of lost pets without microchips reconnecting with their families is slim.

Only 2% of cats without microchips return to their original homes. Last year, 679 cats were impounded in Lane County, Oregon's animal shelter.  Only 19 of these cats were returned to their original owner.  Shelters that euthanize "excess" pets means that having a micro chip is a life and death decision for lost pets.

A family recently found a Himalayan cat and they faced eviction for harboring the cat.

They posted FOUND signs for the cat, but no one called.  The trouble is, a lost pet can be miles from its home and its parents will never see the posted signs.  Now, they were faced with either inhumanely putting the sweet, gentle cat out on the street to starve to death or,  having it humanely euthanized.  A foster home was quickly found for the cat.  (Foster homes are always in need, volunteer your home.)

When God/Spirit/Angels bring you something...it is your choice what you are going to do.  We all have choices in our lives and we can be a miracle for others.  For this cat, the foster home is her miracle.  If she had a mircrochip, she would already be home.

Frustrated humane society workers are sick of seeing lost and tossed pets. "Domestic animals are dependent upon us for food and protection, they are unable to survive when thrown away like garbage," emphasizes Janetta Overholser, president of Humane Society of Cottage Grove. 

"A lost pet is one thing, but how do people expect a pregnant female, nursing mother, or a litter of six week old kittens or puppies to survive when dumped in a ditch?  If you can't afford them, let us help you find homes for them. Spay/neuter pets so there are no unwanted offspring.  The solution is so simple.  Give us a chance to help you and the pets," adds an overwhelmed Janetta.  "This is puppy and kitten season and shelters are bursting at the seams from people not altering their pets."

And what of the found Himalayan? To honor her breed, she was named Miss Dolly Lama.  Her hobbies include chasing winged bugs, scratching on and climbing to the top of the cat condo. Her adorable purr resembles a dog's squeaky toy. 

Miss Lama is anxiously waiting for her family to find her, but no one has phoned to claim her. If they are on summer vacation, it may take a while for her to make it home.  A microchip would have saved everyone a lot of work and worry. Our next step is to find her a new home.
 
Today, modern families choose to neuter, spay, and microchip their pets.
 

TIPS

- Keep your pets inside the day before, the day of, and the day after a holiday when fireworks are used.

- Microchip your pet. Here in Oregon, a Pomeranian was turned into a shelter, and its microchip found his owner in Arizona!  The dog was missing for ten months!

- Put "LOST" signs up at Veterinary Clinics and post near schools.  Children are alert to pets.

- Place ads in the local and nearby cities' newspapers. Pets travel amazing distances.  Most newspapers list FOUND pets for free.

- List the pet on humane shelters Internet sites and local "lost and found" lists.

- A veterinary clinic will scan the found pet for a microchip.

- When someone phones claiming a found pet...verify the truth.  Ask for a photograph via E-mail or postal mail. This assures you that someone is not collecting pets to sell to research labs or use as bait in dog fights. - Be cautious when re-homing lost or free pets.  "Creeps pick up free or next to free puppies and kittens to use in pits to teach their fighting dogs how to kill," reports Nancy Miles president of People United for Animals.- Craigslist has a lost/found pet section.

- Check the internet for its lost/found specific breed rescue group and clubs. - Radio Stations often report lost/found pets.

- In Cottage Grove, North Star for Rescued Animals offers free service helping make flyers, take digital photos and posting your pet's information on their Lost & Found web site.
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