The orange dog, pictured on the right, was wearing a black nylon collar with no tags was caked in mud, had wounds and was limping when he came to the shelter that day.
The woman who found the dog said she believes it may have been hit by a car. She placed the dog in her car, drove to her work in Alexandria, Virginia, and left it alone in her car for five hours before contacting Fairfax County Animal Control.
â€œMany people believe they are helping a lost pet by taking it to any animal shelter,â€ said Fairfax County Animal Shelter Director Dr. Karen Diviney. â€œHowever, it is imperative that citizens who find a lost animal take it to the animal control facility where the animal was found. It could make the difference between the petâ€™s owner being found or not.â€
Upon receipt of the Shiba Inu, Fairfax County Animal Control took the dog immediately to Hayfield Animal Hospital. It was picked up from the animal hospital later the same day and has been treated at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter while being on a stray hold (the mandatory holding period for a shelter to hold a lost animal to provide its owner time to find the animal). The animalâ€™s stray hold expired Monday, November 28, but has been extended as shelter staff seeks the dogâ€™s owner.
Shelter staff, who work to reunite lost pets with their owners every day, called the Prince Georgeâ€™s Animal Shelter as well as local vet clinics in and around Oxen Hill, Maryland, in search of the owner but have not yet found him. While given supportive care at the Fairfax shelter, the dog is injured and does need to be reunited with its owner.
In the past month, the shelter has received several stray dogs that have been found in other jurisdictions, including one found in North Carolina and driven by the finder to the Fairfax County shelter. Although the owner of this dog was eventually found, if a lost pet is found and is driven far from its home jurisdiction, the chance of the pet being reunited with its owner is greatly diminished.
Lost pet tips
Anyone finding a lost pet is encouraged to:
- Note the exact location where the animal is found.
- Call the local police and ask them to send the local animal control to pick up the animal. This will give the owner a greater probability of finding the dog if it is kept locally in the ownerâ€™s home jurisdiction.
- If a person traveling is not aware of the local police number or local animal control, call 911 and explain that you have found a lost animal, give your location and seek assistance from the local animal control. If traveling on a major highway, it helps to have a mile marker or if on a smaller route, provide a landmark to aid police or animal control in locating you.
- Leave all identification on the dog (collars, tags, dog licenses, etc.). This is how local animal shelters reunite pets with their owners.
- If an animal is injured, call animal control locally or drive the animal to a local veterinary clinic. Police dispatch or 411 may be able to help find a local vet clinic if you are not familiar with the area.
- Do not drive the animal out of the jurisdiction in which you found it. This decreases the chances of the pet being reunited with its owner.
The Fairfax County Animal Shelter has received stray pets from as far away as Utah when citizens have found them and driven them to this area.
For more information call 703-830-1100.