Stray dog help/options?
July 21, 2010 2:03 PM   Subscribe

Stray dog help/options?

This is in part a shameless plug for a boxer dog, but I also don't know what to do with him :\.

I found a medium'ish sized boxer dog (male, 2-4 years old maybe?) in our neighborhood while I was out walking our dog and brought him home thinking he belonged to someone nearby. So we sent out some pictures, a description, and where we found him in the neighborhood to our neighborhood president who sent out an email asking if it was anyone's dog.

This was about 2 days ago and so far no replies back from that. Today, we took him to the vet to see if he had a microchip and he doesn't. If it was up to me, I'd love to keep the guy but I'm heading off to school in the Fall (about 70 miles away, but still away) in about a month and my sister's living on campus here in town. It'd just be my mom to keep up with two dogs when we're gone.

Does anyone know someone that would like a dog? I know there's always the options of the Humane Society and the SPCA (here in Houston), but I really didn't want to see him get put down or even possibly put down. I think you always want to see dogs with a home and that's not as guaranteed with an animal shelter.

posted by isoman2kx to Pets & Animals (14 answers total)
Call no-kill shelters in your area to see if they'll take him. You should also make a Craigslist ad with a photo of him looking adorable.
posted by runningwithscissors at 2:09 PM on July 21, 2010

Unfortunately, the Houston SPCA isn't a no-kill shelter:
The Houston SPCA is what is termed an "open door" shelter, meaning that we accept every animal that is brought to us. We feel that we serve the animals of our community best this way. Although the idea of becoming a no-kill shelter is certainly appealing, current reality in Houston is not that simple. [...] There is no set "time limit" for animals in our care.
I've been in the same position, and I advise that you do what I did. Take the dog to the SPCA, have them check him in, etc., with the understanding that you're going to take him home and foster him. They'll advertise him on Petfinder, you can work on finding him a home, but he's owned by the SPCA, and ultimately their responsibility. They take care of medical expenses and all that.

That seems like the best arrangement for everybody.
posted by waldo at 2:10 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Wait a couple of more days before you give up on finding the owner. Some people are pretty oblivious and don't know where to look when they lose a pet.

If they never show, I'd try to find him a new home using craiglist and pictures in local vets offices and stores first. If you get no craiglist responses look for rescue groups that don't euthanize. There isn't any guarantee you'll a great home those ways, but it is at least as likely you will find him a home as the pounds and ASPCA. And he won't be under a death sentence while you are looking.
posted by Some1 at 2:14 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Houston Boxer Rescue
Lone Star Boxer Rescue

Rescue groups usually take the dogs in and foster them until a good home is found. You might also consider giving them a donation to help make things easier on them as they do everything they need to provide him with the best possible care.

Good luck to you and the pup!
posted by choochoo at 2:15 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

Nthing fostering the dog. Fostering animals is fun and rewarding 'work'. You can also check for local boxer rescues -- they will probably be full but might be able to bring him in their system and help you market him while you foster for them . . .
posted by MeiraV at 2:17 PM on July 21, 2010

For sure, spam Craiglist to see if you can find the owner as well as try to find him a new home. I'm sure the chances are close to nil, but the dog could've come from further away and the owners could be looking for her. Or, even worse, the owners could not speak English as a first language and not understand how to find her easily. If the Houston SPCA is usually where lost dogs go, have you called them to make sure no one's been searching for her?

My dog usually has a tag on his harness, but occasionally the harness irritates him so we take it off for a few days. We have a secure fenced yard, but one day last week the UPS guy came and left the door closed, but unlatched. It was 45 minutes before we realized the dog had nosed it open and run for it. I'd be devastated if someone assumed my dog was an unwanted stray and I wasn't on the right email list.
posted by kpht at 2:18 PM on July 21, 2010

Did you call the SPCA to find out if anyone is looking for the dog? It's normally the first place people go when they lose their pet, and there's no guarantee that the dog went missing from your neighborhood.

The Houston SPCA believes that all animals deserve a chance at life in a loving, permanent home and will work tirelessly until there is a home available to every animal in need and euthanasia is necessary only as an escape from suffering, or for the protection of people and other animals.
posted by stefanie at 2:18 PM on July 21, 2010

I live in a small town with no shelters of any kind. I have took numerous strays to my local Wal-Mart parking lot with a free dog sign and have found them all homes. Sometimes it will happen in the first 10 minutes, the longest was a hour. Great feeling finding a homeless dog a home.
posted by sandyp at 4:10 PM on July 21, 2010

I too found a dog in my Houston neighborhood about a month and a half ago. It was super sweet and would have loved to keep him, but it was not possible. Here is what we did:
Put up signs around the neighborhood (with a Google Voice number), put signs up at all the local vet clinics, put an ad on the lost pets on the HSPCA site, and spammed my friends, family and coworkers. It worked. We had several email/calls.

We had him for a week before we found someone to take him in. A few days after that the owner called. He had seen one of the signs. I thought I took them all down. He ended up letting the new family keep him.

Waldo is right. the HSPCA is not a no-kill. Well... they are but when they are full, they give the animals to shelters that are kill shelters. They also charge $30 and you have to sign paperwork saying that the pet is yours.

Many shelters are full right now, as it is right in the middle of puppy/kitten season. If the dog is fixed and has had his shots, he has a better chance of being taken in but someone or a shelter.

Here is a list of shelters that are considered No Kill. A sister of a coworker runs a shelter and these are her suggestions. I don't know any of the personally.

Noah’s Ark 281-330-5238

Paws Animal Resuce

Shelter Buddies 409-356-7433

Finally Home 281-557-2344

Second Chance 281-286-3535
posted by nimsey lou at 4:57 PM on July 21, 2010

In addition to neighborhood signs, try tagging your car. Suggestions here:
posted by Agatha at 6:47 PM on July 21, 2010

Dogs can get a *long* way when they're loose. I picked one up once so many miles from her home that it was a fluke that the owners saw one of the "found dog" signs I put up all along that road. So maybe the dog isn't from your neighborhood. Or maybe it's someone from your neighborhood who is bad about checking email. It might help to find a few prominent corners within a few miles and hang a "found dog" poster.

You can post a "found" ad on Craigslist and some newspapers will let you place a "found pet" ad for free. Try to make sure to leave enough relevant details about the dog out of the ad that you can verify the owner before meeting up to hand over the dog (ie, "dog is boxer type" but not include color or sex, and let the owner provide those if they call).
posted by galadriel at 7:14 PM on July 21, 2010

Yes, please consider that the owner doesn't have email, or doesn't check Craigslist. Put up as many signs as you can. Start with the vets and pet stores, and then try grocery stores and other places frequented by people in the area. If you're really feeling ambitious, you could make flyers and stick one in the door of as many houses as you feel like going to. (Don't put non-mail into mailboxes - that's illegal and the mail carrier may remove it.)

Also, if your area has an animal control department, call them. And once I called the police [non-emergency] number regarding a stray dog. You never know who the missing owner may have contacted looking for their dog, so cover as many bases as possible. (I understand that if you're in Houston proper, the police probably have better things to do than deal with lost dogs, but you never know.)

If at some point you do find the owner, can I ask a favor? Go around and take down all the signs you put up. The next person searching for their lost pet or for a lost owner will appreciate less visual clutter...
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:43 PM on July 21, 2010

You might post in the Dogster rescue forums. Lots of dogs find their way to new homes there.
posted by judith at 2:24 PM on July 22, 2010

Response by poster: sorry I'm so late on replying to my own question. I've done a lot of what you guys have suggested. thank you so much for all the helpful information :)

posting signs around the area today, posted on craigslist, and sent out emails to shelters.
posted by isoman2kx at 5:29 AM on July 23, 2010

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