It does not take long to fall in love. Like, for real.
The eyes. The gentle sniff of our hands. The timid greeting of stepping into our home. The little wag of uncertainty as they try to figure out who we are and why they are in our home. That moment they boop our nose with theirs. These are just some of the moments Good Samaritans share upon finding a wandering pet. It is moments like these that make our heart turn into complete and absolute mush.
It takes a gentle and understanding heart to help a pet that is found wandering alone. So many thoughts run through our mind: where did you come from? why are you alone? how did you get loose? someone must be looking for you!
Some pets have themselves quite a fun adventure when they make the mad dash, all the while yelling “FREEDOM” in their mind. They don’t realize that their humans are sitting home, losing their everlasting noodles with worry and concern as to how their pet escaped. The lost pet in the meanwhile has rolled in mud, sniffed through bushes trying to trace the source of whatever they smell, dumpster diving, running in and out of a creek, running through a field and now covered in burs, and who knows what else! All this can take the cleanest of dogs and turn them into quite the mess in just minutes.
We humans are analytical creatures. We begin to analyze with our eyes, which leads to thought development in our minds. And that’s when the ‘stories’ start building momentum in our minds. For some, the stories lead to “you must be abandoned” or “you must be neglected looking like this”. These thoughts then lead to stories such as “you deserve a new home with someone that loves you”. Sometimes, the stories begin building as we humans spend time with the pet in our home. “Oh my gosh, you are just so sweet and perfect, how did you come to be all alone”.
We at Missouri Lost & Found Paws, we get it. We understand how easy it is to fall in love. But we strongly believe that there are many, many pet owners sitting with angst and worry wondering what happened to their lost pet. We want to work hard to educate our communities about lost pets. While we respect and understand that yes, some pets are abandoned. The truth of the matter is, many of the pets found HAVE owners. And it takes effort to cross paths at the right place, the right time to find the owner.
As our world around us continues to grow, as technology creates more and more opportunities for people to connect, making the RIGHT connections to reunite lost and found pets takes a lot of hard work. It takes effort of hanging signs, contacting shelters, contacting veterinarians in the area, posting on nextdoor.com, posting on stllostpets.org, posting on Missouri Lost & Found Paws (*smile*) and believe it or not, a whole lot of other places.
Believe it or not, there are still millions of people around us who do not use social media. Those who do use social media do not know that there are organizations like Missouri Lost & Found Paws to help reunite lost and found pets. Many pet owners do not know where their local shelter is for their community. Many pet owners do not take into account that their pet may have crossed over into another town, which does not have a municipal pound. Many pet owners do not realize that a Good Samaritan who found their pet has a personal grievance with the shelter in the jurisdiction, and instead took the found pet to a shelter thirty miles away. It happens. Really. More than people realize.
Just because you found a pet who is dirty, thin or frightened does not mean you should conclude that the pet has been abused, neglected or abandoned.
It can take less than 24 hours of being lost, chased by strangers or attacked by mean people to make a lost pet seem like a neglect case.
- It isn’t your place to judge.
- It isn’t your place to rehome a found pet without effort to locate an owner.
- Got a concern? Contact authorities.
- Can’t hold onto the found pet? Take the pet to the closest shelter.
- Give a lost pet a chance to find its rightful home.
- Wouldn’t you want someone to help your lost pet versus making an assumption?