While enjoying a run in the snow a couple of weeks ago, my dog, Sally, found a small terrier type shivering in a bush by the path. She was clearly lost and was wearing a collar and tag, but the tag was blank. I was with my dad and we shouted and wandered around close to where we were standing for a bit but couldn’t hear any signs of an owner. We were only half a mile from our house and the roads were deserted due to the snow, and I have invested time in training Sal to stay close, so I clipped Sal’s lead on the dog’s collar and my dad took Sally home while I wandered the woods with the lost dog in search of her owner. Thankfully, after about half an hour I found him, he was on the phone – I assume to his wife/girlfriend – apologising a lot and was a bit stressed. He didn’t have a lead for her, picked her up and carried her off (still on the phone telling whoever it was he’d found her, and didn’t even say thank you).
This got me thinking though, what would I have done if I hadn’t found the terrier’s owner? Obviously I’d have taken her home to warm her up out of the snow and probably have phoned my vet to check she was ok as I’m not sure how long she’d been in the bush in the cold. Legally though, what should I do if this happens again? I had no way of contacting the owner as her tag had no contact details. Is it the dog warden I phone or the police?
If you could tell me I’d be grateful as I’d feel much better prepared if this happens again.
Suzi Miller, by email