The Danger of Open Gates

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

In one instance, the open gate led to a hound escaping and running in a neighborhood for several hours. Someone called animal control and they came out and took the hound in. At some point the dog had lost its collar and tags or the collar and tags were removed by children in the neighborhood. The employees at the shelter called a local adoption group and those people emailed all of the groups in the area with the dog’s ear numbers and asked whose dog it was. We had to make a lot of phone calls and go through a lot of problems to get the dog back to its adopter. In the end the adopter had to pay $50 to spring his hound from the shelter and we had to spend the better part of an evening emailing back and forth to other groups that did not need to be involved.

Last week another dog got out of a gate that had not been latched properly. This 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 with summer coming, 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 carabineer through latch holes to secure them.

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.

We hope that all of our hounds stay safe!

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