Out of the Mouths of Babes

We were hanging around the lobby of our local pound last weekend trying to get a neuter voucher for Scout (we weren’t successful).  A family was there adopting a puppy.  I was sitting in front of a corkboard in the lobby where people had put up lost pet notices.  The little girl from the puppy adopting family – I would guess she was about 6 – came over and was looking at the notices.  She pointed to one with a big white dog on it and asked me, “What does he like to eat?”  I told her I didn’t know, the notice didn’t say.  She replied, “If we knew what he liked to eat, we could go to the last place he was and leave a trail of his favorite food from there to the animal shelter and he’d probably follow it and walk right in the front door!”

I told her that was an excellent idea.  I held back my fears for any dog who did walk in the front door of our local pound.

She was too young to realize that not all shelters are safe havens for lost pets.  It wasn’t my place to tell her.  And besides, I am hopeful that by the time she grows up, all shelters will be exactly what she, and many others, believe they should be:  a refuge for the lost, the homeless, the victims of neglect and cruelty; a place for the sick to receive treatment and for the weary to rest in comfort; a peaceful stop at the end of life’s journey to relieve suffering for medically hopeless pets; and a house of joy where owners are reunited with lost pets and adopters find new family members.

5 thoughts on “Out of the Mouths of Babes

  1. What a clever and kind girl! I hope she never has to find out what too many shelters are today except in history books.

  2. I like her idea, though. People could include their dog’s favorite food on the lost notice. (Celeste’s collar states she likes peanut butter, granted it also has like fifty bazillion phone numbers to call as well; Mina’s says she likes back massages.)

    1. It is a good idea because lost pets are often scared about approaching strangers. If I saw Celeste wandering around my street and she wouldn’t come to me, I could run in the house and get a jar of peanut butter if I’d seen it on the lost notice. Not sure about Mina. Finger wriggling?

  3. Amen.
    Except when an adorable pug puppy was found playing on the highway, and FOUR caring motorists stopped so as to not risk hitting her, I was the designated rescuer, and I refused to put all the known information on the found posters. Even with just sketchy details, I had five offers to buy her outright and three offers to foster her until her owners were located. (She had a name tag, but no phone number. The true owners knew the color of the collar and the name on the tag. I advised them to put their phone number on that same tag on the way home.)
    It was fun to play with a pug puppy for a day and a half, but there are others who would perhaps have played that horrid “finders keepers losers weepers” game.

    1. Yes, “found” notices are different. I agree it’s good to keep an identifying piece of info private in order to verify that the redeemer is in fact the rightful owner. Pug-py was very lucky!

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