Four years ago today, I did what unknowingly would be my final rescue for a very long time! Rescuing Harley, four years ago today!He was clearly neglected. Emaciated and with minor injuries, we showered him with love. Four years later he is finally comfortable enough to dog!
Rescuing Harley – HIS Story
On the way home for a visit, I happened to be staring off into space listening to the radio, when I saw this dog in the ditch! Me being my all around level headed calm self (note some heavy levels of sarcasm there) I screamed for my husband to stop the car. Which means he went two to three more blocks. We stopped and turned around looking for what I “thought” was a sheltie. That’s when we found a dog, emaciated and injured in more ways than one. Curled up in the ditch, in a thorn bush! He had two double pronged collars nearly embedded into his neck, and his left paw was stuck in one of them! Now if you know me or my husband personally, you will probably know our loathing hatred for these collars. So my husband broke them off. He was finally free, and I think did what any scared, lonely animal would do. He ran off. We finally got him back, and now had to figure out what was next!
We were lucky enough to be going to my parents that day, so they gave us a few things for him. Things he still has and cherishes to this day!. Like a blanket, he always lays on, and a green bone he carries around like precious cargo. He loves these things, and they will stay with him as long as possible! We did a lot of searching to make sure he wasn’t missing, and once we made sure that we couldn’t find a previous home for him. We made him a part of our family! He was scared and heavily underweight for his breed. We knew it would be a long road to recovery for him.
We just didn’t know what recovery mentally, he would need! It took him a yr to learn the comforts of a bed, 4 years to learn comforts of couch, and he still doesn’t fully grasp the idea of playing! Now that being said, he is actually pegged at being approximately 10-12 years old. So he’s definitely not a spring chicken, that’s for sure! That’s ok, because even though he’s a touch bit quirky. We still love him, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Have you ever found an animal (I mean a cat or dog) and wondered what to do with it!? Well here’s the problem. A lot of people will assume, and take it to the humane society, or local shelter. That’s not always the best idea or convenient. The last thing you want to do is to leave the animal to roam free though! So I thought I would give you some tips on how to deal with this kind of situation!
- Procure the animal safely. If you think they will bite or scratch (this is usually only done out of fear) use a blanket to wrap them in. If it’s a larger dog, you can gain their trust with some food.
- Inspect them for injuries, and to see if they have any abnormalities such as lumps, broken bones etc.
- Find a way to hydrate them, this is so incredibly important. Safe drinking water is hard to come by for strays, so before feeding them you are going to want to get them hydrated again.
- Once you have them secured either in your home (away from any animal companions you already have…just in case) or other location, you are going to want to check them over thoroughly. Write down all the signs you see. Malnutrition, potential broken/fractured bones, and cuts and scars. Take lots of pictures as well. All angles. Especially if they look like they have been purposefully neglected or injured. This will help if when taken to a vet, they deem there has been abuse to the animal.
- Now get them comfy! You now need to do some searching. Check out your local classifieds for missing dogs, Facebook has local groups as well as lost and found pet groups you need to check. This is crucial. If the animal companion is in pretty good shape other than being hungry and thirsty, more than likely he or she has a family missing them and you need to find them! So don’t forget to also call around to vets, shelters, the humane society etc. to see if anyone has inquired about the animal. I usually give about two weeks for this process. In the meantime, keep the dog or cat comfortable and loved. For some, this can mean the world!
- Once the time has elapsed, now you need to make a choice. Do you keep the animal as YOUR companion.? Or do you let it go to another home that might have more time for them? In our case, we obviously chose to keep Harley, which is why it’s his “fourth” birthday!
- Now that presumably you have chosen to add to your family with this cat or dog, you need to go get them checked out at the vets. They will have absolutely NO HISTORY, so they will need all shots. At this point, you can also double check and see if they have a chip under their skin. However unlikely, it’s still good to check on.
Now that you have had these couple of weeks together and your new little one is presumably healthy (or on their way back to it), now is the time to bond and train your new animal companion. They will look to you for a lot of love and guidance. You need to be their world.
It was a special day when we found and chose to keep Harley, I wish things like this didn’t happen… but all too often they do! So as the “dominant” species, we need to be their help them, in any way we can!
I would love to hear about your rescue pup or kitty let me know how you met them!