Last Thursday night, my dad and brother stumbled across a big, husky black Labrador Retriever running around in the cold and the snow. So, they stopped, picked him up and brought him home.
They then got a kennel, some food and water ready for the new guest in the heated garage. They placed the stray dog in the kennel and took off to a meeting the were attending that night.
Here’s the catch, they didn’t tell anyone about the dog. And, our family has four dogs– a black lab, a chocolate lab, a Blue Heeler and a Rat Terrier.
They were not very welcoming to the new guest. As I was walking into the garage an hour or so later, I could hear a dog barking.
It’s not unusual for one of our canines to bark when a car pulls up so I didn’t think too much of it, expect it didn’t quite sound like one of our dogs. It was then that I saw the kennel and met the new guest.
I tried calling his rescuers to see what was going on, but they didn’t answer. Once they returned home, they told the rest of us the story.
Because we didn’t want to risk our dogs and the stray fighting and hurting each other, it was like “all hands on deck” to keep everyone civil while they did their normal dog routines and to try to take the stray’s picture.
He’s a very friendly, big, burly dog with a few patches of white and a unusual white tip to his tail. We were hoping that once we took his photo and put it on our social media accounts that someone would step forward and claim him.
I sent his photo and information to the “Lost Dogs of SW Minnesota” Facebook page and within minutes I had a reply. It was from a guy from Albert Lea that lost his black lab that evening.
I felt so bad, but I had to tell him it wasn’t his dog and that I’m from Minneota because his read that post as being simply Minnesota.
We had few leads, but nothing came out of them. On Friday morning, my dad and brother took him to the Minneota Veterinary Clinic.
Vet clinics are great resources for helping reunite lost pets with their owners and the staff at the Minneota Veterinary Clinic has been terrific in taking care of the stray and keeping us informed. Unfortunately, no one has stepped forward for him yet. The staff at the vet clinic said they need to keep him for one week to allow an owner to step forward before the adoption process can begin.
Minneota Police Chief Bill Bolt told me, “Stray dogs are certainly a problem nationwide. Some dogs runaway while many are abandoned. Each jurisdiction may establish their own ordinances and policies for dealing with stray dogs. In Minneota, we work closely with the Minneota Vet Clinic. When a stray is caught, we take the dog to the vet for safe keeping and attempt to identify the owner.”
“For repeat offenders, the owner may be cited for ‘Dog at Large’, for failing to keep control of their dog. If the owner can’t be identified, refuses to take the dog or if deemed to be unable to care for the dog, then the dog is adopted out to a new home.”
“Buddy”, as my family called him, is such a nice, sweet dog. I’m still hoping that his owner steps forward, but if not, I know that there is a family that will adopt and love him.