I recently found a beautiful old gal in my neighborhood, who had no collar or leash attached to her. She immediately came up to me and was as friendly as can be. I noticed she was filthy, covered in dirt, and had a scratch on her nose that was starting to scab - making me think she had been outside for a while now. I took her to my house and got some food and water for her. She devoured the food instantaneously; clearly very hungry.
I realized that although she may not have a collar, she could potentially have a microchip. I took her to my usual vet (as I have two other dogs) and they found she did have a chip! As excited as I was that she had an owner and would be reunited shortly, I was sad because I had already fallen in love with her! The vet then told me that her name is Sadie, they had her owner's contact information, and per standard protocol, they had to keep her in their kennels, while attempting to contact the owner every 4 business hours.
The next day, I called. They still had her and hadn't heard from her owner. Then the following day came around, and I received a call from my veterinary office, bright and early. The vet tech explained that she had been in contact with the Washoe County Regional Animal Services and they took Sadie into their facility, and also stated they had seen her 13 times prior. Each time, the owner has come forward after many, many calls and has picked her up.
I then called WCRAS and asked what the next steps are. They proceeded to tell me that Sadie will have to remain in their facility for another five days, all while contacting the owner as much as possible - keep in mind, his voicemail is not set up. They also said that if after those five days, he has not come forward, Sadie would then be sent next door to the Humane Society; there, she would need to pass an evaluation, and THEN be up for adoption. At which point, I would need to pay $50 and provide proof of citizenship to adopt her.
I found the process in all of this ridiculous and completely inhumane. If this beautiful old gal had been turned in THIRTEEN times before, how is it even logical to allow the owner up to 15 days to claim her before there is an opportunity for her to be adopted by a wonderful family? And as a citizen doing the right thing, checking to see if she had a chip, I'm now the one being penalized with a $50 fee to save her life; not to mention the countless nights she's spending alone and scared in kennels at three separate locations. I'm disgusted and outraged.
Sadie deserves better than this; all animals deserve better than this. How could the system allow such a sweet, defenseless animal to be mistreated and left in cages until her un-fit owner comes to claim her again upon his own convenience? Something must change!
I'm constantly disappointed by the treatment of animals - that they aren't considered equal to children; to human lives. I was told by the WCRAS, that in Nevada, "dogs are treated as property." This is incredibly wrong. They think, they feel, they have all the neurological activity and emotional hormones. There needs to be firmer action for neglect and strays/abandonment. As well as adoption policy and control.
Please help spread the word so that I can bring Sadie home, and all other abandoned animals can be treated fairly, as well.