The Danger of Open Gates

You may be surprised to learn that almost ALL of the loose hound reports we’ve had over the years are because of open gates!  One would think, logically, that people who have to leash walk their dogs might be more susceptible to losing a hound while on a walk.  But all of the statistics that we’ve compiled since we’ve established our organization suggests that open gates are responsible for most of the runaway hounds.

It’s time for another reminder for all of our adopters to watch for open gates.  In the past several weeks, we’ve had two incidents where hounds have escaped through a gate that was left open or not properly latched.

 In one instance, late at night, an open gate led to a hound escaping and running in a neighborhood near a busy street.  The owner, who was quite distraught, called one morning telling us that his hound had been loose all night and their efforts for retrieving her were fruitless.  We started making preparations to get our “loose hound” program in gear when a short time later the adopter called us to tell us that his hound was back home.  It turns out that a neighbor found the hound but she had no tags on and the neighbor did not know who to call.  Fortunately, someone else in the neighborhood told the good Samaritan neighbor who the hound belonged to and she walked the hound back home.  Fortunately, the hound suffered no problems from this adventure and the sleep over at the neighbor’s house was uneventful.  This hound was micro chipped as well.  The adopter put our FFGR, Inc. I.D. tag and the microchip tag back on his dog.

 Recently, another dog got out of a gate that had not been latched properly.  This also was an upsetting call because the adopter lives near a very busy highway.  But fortunately, a neighbor found the dog in his yard and called us.  The dog had been wearing only our FFGR tag with our phone number on it.  We were able to unite dog and adopter in this case within a few hours.  When we spoke with the adopter about placing another tag on the dog, we were told that the dog was micro chipped.  The person who found the dog did not want to call animal control and was happy that he had a phone number to call.

 We realized that even though a dog is micro chipped, it’s a good idea to keep the micro chip tag on the collar as well as the FFGR identification tag.  It’s still a good idea to add a tag with personal information on it.  Even it people do pick up a micro chipped dog, they still may end up having to call animal control and having the whole process of getting a dog back home delayed.  This could be avoided by using additional tags.

 We know that we will undoubtedly get more calls about escaped dogs.  Please do a fence inspection and make sure fencing is in good shape.  Check all gate latches to make sure they work properly.  Replace worn latches.  Lock gates or at least put a carabiner through latch holes to secure them.

It is also a good idea to place a sign on gates warning people that a hound is inside the fence and to please keep the gate closed.  These can be ordered on line.  They do not cost a lot and it’s worth every dollar to have the peace of mind that your hound will be safe inside your safely secured fenced in yard.

DON’T ASSUME ANYTHING!  The majority of dogs escaping from open gates get out when the adopter opens the door to let their hound(s) out and sees all too late that the gate is open.  Make sure all gates are closed before letting dogs out.  This will only take one moment but might save a dog’s life.

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