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Abandoned Dogs -- Learning from One Sweet Lost Girl

By Robin Tierney

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While most readers know that it is cruel and wrong to let an animal loose in hopes of somebody else taking the animal in, other folks in your office, neighborhood or elsewhere might not realize that companion animals cannot fend for themselves. These animals were domesticated by humans and made dependent on humans for their health and welfare. Abandoned pets face immense danger, pain, loneliness, hunger and thirst...with little or no chance of survival. And while suffering, an abandoned dog longs for the return of his or her owner.

There are also people out there who assume that there's a home somewhere for each puppy. The truth is: there are not enough homes for even a fraction of the dogs born each year.

We can all make a difference by emphasizing the need to spay and neuter to everyone, as well as the message "adopt for life." Humane education is also vital. And when you see an animal in distress, you might be that animal's only hope for help.

This column is written in memory of the innocent companion animals abandoned by their owners. The recent fate of one poor female dog in Laurel is described below. Several PAW volunteers and a neighbor of one of the volunteers worked together to try to catch the young dog, and a humane trap from county Animal Control was placed in the neighborhood. But the poor dog was too frightened to approach, which is understandable since other people had treated her so unkindly. Unfortunately, this innocent being was hit by a car before kind-hearted folks could rescue her.

From Judy McClain, the volunteer who helped bait and monitor the humane trap with her husband Roger in hopes of rescuing the frightened dog:

"The abandoned pit bull female that was roaming Springfield Road was hit by a car Wednesday morning. After hearing about the dog being seen there by a county official we had searched to see if we could find the dog, so assumed that the Park Police maintenance had the body. I phoned them to confirm that this was the pit bull, and they said the body was in the woods just past the entrance to the parkway. We had them escort us to the site. It was definitely this poor girl. We took the body to Animal Control to have her disposed of in a dignified manner.

[Upon hearing that a neighbor was scared of the stray dog] "I assured him that the dog felt like a child would feel being abandoned on a street corner. He did go after the dog with a shovel to scare it away. No wonder the dog was running from those of us that wanted to catch it.... When someone dumps a dog, they have to realize that folks who are scared take matters into their own hands. The neighbor living where the trap was set up was happy that we were monitoring the situation and keeping him posted. The dog was unsure if we would harm her after experiencing folks being aggressive to her."

From caring volunteer Dianne Thompson, who resides in the neighborhood where the abandoned dog was wandering: "Thank you for trying to save that poor girl and for giving her some final dignity. I knew you were racing against time, and the little girl's time ran out. It was heartbreaking to watch her running around the neighborhood so frightened and confused in her futile search for her people.... It didn't have to be this way. I will never understand it."

Volunteer Moira Gingery shared the following thought with this small circle of caring folks, laboring against time, who were the dog's true people: "She knows who you are and will wait for each of you on Rainbow Bridge."

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For more of Robin's Dog Tips, see the index at:  www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/dog_tips.php

Partnership for Animal Welfare
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768

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Last Updated: July 26, 2014 (LET) PawSupport