Monday, January 11, 2010

? what to do with a lost dog in the cold weather?

See this late Saturday morning, 1/09/2010 message from a Bloomingdale resident on the unit block of Rhode Island Avenue NW:

I wanted to alert you that there is currently a dog sitting at the corner of First and Rhode Island, NW right in front of Windows Cafe. It is clearly someone's dog that is lost and it is just sitting there waiting for its owners to pick it up. The dog doesn’t have tags on it, but it has a leash, so it clearly not a stray. It's a mid to larger size that is darkish brown and kind of a mix between a retriever and bulldog. It's certainly not dangerous and was very playful so no need to worry. I was hoping you could send something over the listserve so that the owner could find their dog? I would hate for it to be hit by a car or for Animal Control to take it away.

A resident of the 100 block of T Street NW sent this reply:

To the person submitting a tip to you at 11:09PM on a freezing cold night about a stray dog -- horrible! I can't believe this person decided it was better to just leave the dog out there and send you an *email* rather than really do anything.

I know they probably had good intentions, or maybe they are just not "dog people," but they should have either taken the dog in for the night or called Animal Control. In these frigid temperatures, just leaving it there likely means the dog is now dead. Also given the location it may have later been hit by a car. I wish I'd seen the dog while I was out walking my dogs last night, because I would have certainly given him shelter for the night, but unfortunately that corner is not on my route.

I'd just like to let this neighbor know that instead of emailing you (meaning no one will see the notice until the next day), if they actually cared about the safety of the dog, it would have been in the better to have called Animal Control, to mitigate the risk of the dog getting hit by a car or freezing to death.

I sure hope that dog is OK. I would personally feel *terrible* leaving a friendly dog out in this weather to freeze or get hit by a car.


Alexandra said...

I completely agree and was aghast when I saw this posting - though I am sure the people meant well, a day delay is a day too much. Please consider other alternatives:
- Washington Humane Society has an emergency call line: To Report Cruelty/Neglect and Animal Emergencies 24-Hours a Day
202-BE-HUMANE (202-234-8626)
- Ask someone who is walking their dog (since they might be considered "dog people" and more willing and able to help)
- Call 311
I hope the guardian quickly found their dog and that he is warm and well indoors now. . .
Alexandra, Seaton Pl.

Genevieve said...

I was in the Chinese take-out place on Rhode Island and saw the dog as well as the owner in the store, who was very inebriated at the time. Apparently the dog had escaped out the front door of the home and was in for what I can only surmise to be abuse when they got back home. The dog was entirely too skinny for its size and it was trembling whenever it went near its owner. The dog went to every person looking for either food or respite from its owner. If the dog had been alone I would have taken it home and fed it and addressed the issue of finding the owner in the morning. However, I was not about to get in a fight with the drunken owner about how he treated his obviously very sweet, but neglected dog.
I also thought of calling animal control but knew by the time they arrived, the owner and dog would be gone.
If this happens again, please take action. This dog needs help.
Genevieve, Flagler Pl. NW