On Wednesday morning, we’d had Little Gremlin for a day and a half. Eddie hadn’t had free reign of the apartment in a day and a half. He hadn’t sat at the window watching for groundhogs and cats in an entire day. He’d been extremely bored for half a day.
The bored barking started up again, but now he was absolutely inconsolable. On the bright side, it didn’t turn into reactive barking. We tried moving him to the far side of the bed so he’d be further from Little Gremlin and in a different spot than before, but he kept jumping up onto the bed uninvited in an attempt to free himself. The only way he would stop was if we crated him and someone sat directly in front of the crate.
I had already emailed Little Gremlin’s potential rescue and the shelter’s rescue coordinator about the potential foster to adopt situation, and heard back from the shelter when it opened. I didn’t want to take him to a shelter, but we had neighbors to consider. Since the rescue coordinator was sure he was adopted through the shelter, a rescue was seeing if they could find a place for him, and I had someone extremely interested in fostering or adopting, we decided that I needed to take Little Gremlin to the shelter to finish off his holding period.
When we got there, it was very disheartening and waiting in line seemed like a never ending doggie drop off drive thru. They had a garage you drove into, dropped off the dog, and drove out the other side. When I got there, a car was in the garage, a truck was in front of me, and soon after a sheriff’s office vehicle pulled up behind me. The shelter had been open for less than an hour. I’ve seen some of the local intake and euthanasia rates – not for lack of effort by the shelters -but the reality of cars lining up to drop off animals was surprising for me.
After waiting in line for about 20 minutes, I saw a medium sized, black and white spotted and speckled dog slowly wandering around behind the building. It had a collar, and for several minutes I thought maybe there was an exercise yard I couldn’t make out from that distance. As the dog got closer, it looked like it was stumbling and starting to get hot.
I got out of the car and slowly approached the dog from the side, and she started coming to me. She had no tags, but a collar and flea collar. There seemed to be something wrong with her lower back or both of her back legs, which supported her unsteadily. The officer behind me brought a leash, but she backed off from him so he handed me the leash to catch her. He told me that a lot of times, people will dump animals over the gate if the shelter is closed, called in to let them know he’d be bringing another animal, and put her in his vehicle.
When it was finally my turn, I saw a sign in the garage that said “proof of residence required.” I asked if it was a problem that I wasn’t a resident since I found the dog in the county, and the employee or volunteer initially said I had to be a resident. When I let her know who I’d been talking to about the dog, she headed inside and came back out saying that I could bring in the dog. I understand why municipal shelters need to have these rules, but it makes me wonder how many that don’t live near county lines end up not finding their pets as a result.
The microchip scan came up blank again, but at least Little Gremlin was getting his shots and a microchip. Unfortunately, it turned out I had to sign away the rights to know what happened to him since I was not going to adopt him if no owner was found – again, understandable, but frustrating for me. I was able to send in the information for the couple who wanted to help him, and give the couple his ID number there. They were going to get in touch with the shelter right away to work out an arrangement and I asked them to let me know if things fell through so I could work on an alternate arrangement for him. Of course, at this point I was hoping something worked out, as I’d spent a few hours short of two full days on this pup due to a lack of tags and chip.
Of course, I proceeded to keep close tabs on the shelter’s adoptable and adopted dogs on Petango until Little Gremlin finally showed up. I never saw him on the adoptable list. A dog named Tommy with no picture appeared on the adopted list. He was adopted out last Wednesday, and all of the info matched the paperwork I was given. While I’m sad that he wasn’t reunited with his family, I’m glad he found a new home.
Happy life little guy. I’m really sorry I had to take you to the shelter. It’s something I’ve avoided for years but I guess it was bound to happen eventually.
Have you ever had to take a found animal to the shelter? Is it always so difficult to not know what’s going to happen when you drop off an animal?