Although I don't believe in letting dogs run loose, and it's also prohibited by law, sometimes our little friends get away and end up in a local animal shelter.
Make sure you always check immediately for your pet at every shelter in the area. Don't rely on calling or using the internet. Go in person to check. They get thousands of animals every month...yes, that's right. 17,000 a year!
I hope it's not too late, but up to 35 dogs will be put down in the next few days because of an upper respiratory virus that has spread throughout the shelter. Some of these dogs have only been at the shelter for a week. The Lee County Animal Shelter will not adopt out these dogs, but if you can prove ownership, you can pay for treatment. My guess is that, if this virus is treatable, the only reason for putting all of these puppies to death must be money. It's so sad.
Please make sure your dog is secure when you leave your home. That doesn't mean chaining him to a tree either. If you live in the area and have lost a pet or know someone who has, please call (239) 533-7387 or go to leelotspets.com and click on press releases for more information.
I heard this story on the evening news, but never thought of posting it here until I saw this on Craig's List tonight.
I wish I had seen the numbers below before "turning" in a stray cat that was sick last April. She never committed any crimes. She just wanted a good home. I never realized that it was a sure death sentence, but look at this report from Lee County.
By the numbers
Lee County Animals Services for 2006
Animals taken in annually: 16,240
Returned to owner: 1,339
Cost of food: $40,000
Cost of vet care and medicine: $275,000
Source: Lee County Animal Services