I have been thinking a lot about missing dogs since I posted Hanah's picture here yesterday. As I sit and look at my own two little guys I have to wonder how crazy I would be if they were missing for two years and I had no idea what had happened to them. How would you feel if it was your dog?
You wouldn't find a lost child in your yard and decide to keep him or her would you? To many, losing a beloved dog is just as painful as losing a child. They miss that dog every day. They stress and worry if the dog is okay, is he being fed and cared for, is he hurt and lying in a secluded spot somewhere...or even worse.
Even if the dog has passed over the Rainbow Bridge, the original owners have a right to know that! It would be painful to hear, but it would give them closure. They would then know it is time to stop the search, time to give up all hope that their pet will ever be found.
I have even heard folks say, "Well, I found her and I am keeping her. If the owners really loved her she wouldn't have gotten away from them." What a bunch of bull! They are just trying to appease their own guilt at keeping something that is not theirs. You have no idea what circumstances led to the dog being lost.
Take Hanah for instance. Her owner did everything she could to protect her. She immediately began the search the minute the tornado quieted, even though she was surely dazed and disoriented herself. Kari has continued her search since that day. Many others have lost pets through no fault of their own.
If you have found a dog or cat and taken it into your home, that is great! But please do not just assume it is okay to keep that pet. He or she has a family that is desperately searching for them. Do your part to make sure you are doing all you can to find out who the dog or cat belongs to. It may take months or even years. Don't just say, "Well I posted a flyer on the pole out front and nobody responded." That's just not good enough!
Contact vets, animal shelters, put a post on facebook, an ad in the paper...anything you can think of, and please keep doing it. These lost pets WANT to go back to their original owners just as badly as their owners want them back. Have a heart and let them!