Pound Pooch

diary of a shelter worker.


Stormy Weather

One of the first weeks that I worked at this shelter, we had a random summer storm, complete with thunder and lightening, which are unusual in this area. Dogs were running lose everywhere, and our shelter was quickly overflowing with strays. We literally had strays in crates in the front office and in the recieving area. Most of these dogs were just frightened dogs who were hanging outside on their porches for the afternoon, and the large majority were returned to their owners within 24 hours.

For the last few weeks, we have been having normal winter weather. Lots and lots and lots of rain. Wind, and rain, and cold. It's not freezing here, but it's not warm, either. Last night was the worst of the weather- lots of fallen trees, and power outages. Which meant lots of fences blown over, and lots of outside dogs running the streets, and ending up in the shelter.

People were caling all day today, not sure exactly when their dog got out, because the dogs that got out because of fallen fences are always outside. They get fed once or twice a day, and their owners are not particularly aware of where they are, when. A woman came in not sure when her english bulldog got out, maybe last night, maybe today. It was 4pm when she came looking. Another family reclaimed their 14 year old dog, who never comes inside. The poor dog could barely walk, and had spent the last few hours cuddled in a bed in the shelter. At home, he sleeps outside, with a "shed" over his head. One dog was chased back to her house by an animal control officer- she jumped into her fence and then back out of her gate.

Not all pet owners are the same. I returned the dogs back to their owners. But it wasn't easy to let the old limpy dog back to his house, in the rain. I didn't harp on bringing the dogs back inside. But I'm not going to sleep easily tonight, either.


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