Home Animal Stories Letter to Editor: Lost Pets are Never Finders Keepers

Letter to Editor: Lost Pets are Never Finders Keepers

by ECT

During a recent trip to the Oakley post office, I came across a big handsome husky dog running loose near Main Street. Fearing for his safety, I pulled over and opened the back door of my car. Without hesitation, he jumped right in and made himself at home.

He didn’t have a collar or tags to identify him. As a long-time animal advocate I knew local veterinarians are willing to check for microchips at no cost, so after a quick online search that told me Oakley Veterinary Medical Center was close by, I turned the car around and off we went. He had a microchip and his name was Apache.

My email message to his owners came back as undeliverable, but I was able to leave a voicemail at the phone number on his microchip. I also uploaded Apache’s photo and details on several local social media platforms including Nextdoor, Doggy911 East County and Oakley Around the Block in an effort to connect with his family.

What then unfolded is the reason for my letter today. Apache’s family lives in San Leandro and he had been missing since April 2019. From the photos sent to me after I asked for proof of ownership before releasing Apache, I could tell he was a much loved pet. This was reinforced when they were reunited.

What I know for sure is that someone had been taking care of Apache for some time and he could have been reunited with his sad family much sooner. It is my belief that living in a community means we look out for each other, because we never know when you may need help from a stranger. This includes helping our four-legged neighbors as well.

If you find a pet, there are many resources out there to help you reunite it with its owners, or at least keep it safe until someone else can help. If you have a pet, even one that is indoor-only, be sure to microchip (with up-to-date contact details) and consider affixing a collar with full identification, As tempting as it may be to keep a friendly and cute animal you find, the reality is these little lost beings are more often than not someone’s beloved pet and family member. They need to get home safely as soon as possible.

Not only are there laws about not keeping stray animals, you would not keep a child you found wandering alone on the street, and you should not keep an animal either without trying to find its owner.

Finally, if you have lost your pet, do not give up hope you will be reunited. Apache’s story reminds us all that sometimes even after many months have passed there are very happy endings to what started as an emotional and stressful tale.

Thanks to our local animal rescue groups and shelter personnel for all they do to help animals and families in need.

Angela Lowrey
Oakley, CA

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Steve B Mar 28, 2020 - 7:43 am

Great job Angela! That family must be grateful. Well written letter.

Angela L. Mar 28, 2020 - 8:54 am

Thank you Steve. Yes, they were – and I could tell Apache was happy to be home too. I was very worried he could get hit by a car. A great example how microchips save lives.

Yeahright Mar 29, 2020 - 9:39 am

Thank you, Angela for being an animal advocate and an all around good human. Not every one would step up as you did to help this pup. Husky’s are so smart, and I’m sure he’s been missing his human pack as much as they were missing him.
Thank you, again!

Mike G Mar 29, 2020 - 12:37 pm

Way to go Angela! Pets are a gift from heaven.

EmilyTheTerrible Mar 29, 2020 - 6:29 pm

I’m so glad there are animal lovers out there, like yourself, to see such a happy ending for Apache and his family. Please take strays to be micro-chipped FIRST before taking them to Animal Services in Martinez. It is very costly to retrieve your dog and the dog WILL be placed for adoption online and in person if not claimed within two days. I appreciate Animal Services on one hand…on the other I believe there is no excuse not to be a NO KILL shelter.
I mention this because many of us are strapped for cash and if someone drops a stray off at the shelter – the owner might not have the funds to retrieve it.
Sheltering In Place

Patriot Mar 30, 2020 - 8:09 am

Great job Angela!!! I would have done the same thing. We have two Labs (microchipped) that are a huge part of our family. You are right. Just because you find it you shouldn’t keep it!!

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