There is nothing worse than finding a stray dog with no collar, taking it to the shelter to be scanned for a microchip only to discover there isn't one. This was my Tuesday (last week). The cutest little maltipoo was wandering around outside the school I was teaching at. No collar. Sweetest dog. Fairly well groomed. Obviously someone's pet.
The school was kind enough to hold him for me until I was done teaching. Meanwhile, I was able to use his plight to illustrate to the 5th graders the importance of: collars, ID tags, microchips and keeping your dog inside the house as a family pet. I explained that this little guy was going to the shelter. If he didn't have a microchip, and chances were high that he didn't, he would be held for four days to give his owner a chance to find him. At the end of the hold period, he would go into general population to be up for adoption. Dogs aren't getting much of a chance to find homes at the moment in this economy. Shelters are overcrowded and their time there is limited. Some dogs are getting 72 hours to find a home before they are killed. Despite being a cute, friendly little guy, chances were good this dog was going to die in the shelter because someone was not responsible enough to put a collar and ID tag on him or have him microchipped.
The children were very sad for the dog. They all took notes throughout my presentation. Let me tell you that there is nothing cuter than 5th graders asking you to slow down because they are trying to write information as quickly as they can, knowing it might save their own dog's life. This dog made a difference in the lives of other dogs just by getting out of his yard. This irresponsible owner made a difference in the lives of the children's dogs by not doing what he/she should have done to make sure that their pet always made it back home. Meredith and I believe strongly in what we do. We are making a difference, shaping better adults. The next generation of pet owners are going to be fantastic ones - responsible, caring.