Bollinger County Stray Project Report January 9-15
This article is written to clarify the law regarding the return of dogs found as strays and our policy for their vetting according to that law. Information about our history and the struggle to inform the public about the need to collar with a tag or to microchip pets so they can easily be returned is an ongoing challenge. When you read between-the-lines, you should see that we have the pet’s owners and the welfare of the dogs already in our care as top priority in our “rescue” work.
We started in rescue paying vet bills out of our personal pocket. Eventually we got a license, then our 501 C-3 status. A $300 donation given by a citizen through the courts for a payment for some type of illegal activity deemed punishable by a fine, was the first outside money we received to help pay for intakes.
I worked hard and smart to build up a fund where the intake dogs were adopted and their adoption fee paid for their vetting. I even dared to ask for a few extra dollars, $5 here, $10 there, etc for more adoptable dogs to help put a cushion to care for dogs and cats requiring extra vet care.
From the beginning, any stray pet we took in and found the owner was returned when the owner paid any outstanding vet bill resulting from care for that pet’s basic needs. The basic needs included a 5 to 9-way shot to protect against Parvo, distemper, flu and other illnesses, some being highly contagious. The pets also had an exam to assure they were healthy and safe to bring to our home. They also received a rabies shot, which is necessary by law to keep humans safe as well as the stray.
If they had skin issues, we had to know if they had a contagious type. Then we would start treatment when they arrived for the welfare of the incoming animal and safety of us if contagious and our pets already in our care.
If they were covered in fleas, we applied a topical treatment to keep the fleas from passing to our other pets or in our home (if they had to be kept inside or were severely infested).
If they were starving, as many are, they get a premium food which we have to purchase for over $50 per bag: Purina ProPlan Sport. This food causes the least amount of danger for Pancreitis with the fastest relief of severe malnutrition we have used to date.
The intakes are dewormed. Many also get a fecal, especially if pups, so we know if they have Coccidia and/or worms. Sometimes we need to know the severity of the worms to determine how we de-worm them safely.
Today, we give all intake single pups or one to two pups from a litter a Parvo test so we know how to manage them before they ever touch the ground here or at the home of a foster. This is especially important to the animals already in our care or that of a foster.
When we don’t have the room to take a stray, they end up boarded from one to several days until a spot opens or a foster is found. If the intake stray is very sick, we may have to board with daily vet care to save its life.
Injured dogs may need stitches, may need radiographs to check for internal injuries as well as broken bone status. Sometimes blood work is needed.
We and our vets don’t perform extra vetting. IF I choose to add extra vetting such as a Heartworm test for a severely injured dog, we pay that portion of the bill unless it was necessary to do the test due to other treatment needs or to determine if we euthanize a very ill or injured dog that Heartworm could complicate its survival.
January 5th this year a puppy was found north of Marble Hill. I posted the pup along with another pup we found four days earlier several miles apart. They were the same age and size, leading us to wonder if they were from the same litter.
I posted these new pups on Facebook (FB) and one of the pups was ID’d with photos to prove whose FB page he had been posted when adopted. That pup was a stage 3 of 9 body score, thin, but not severely starved. The pups were given shots and because I had no room here for them, Dr. Retz’s family took them home and fostered them.
We would learn the owner took down the pup’s FB photos, and he never called the sheriff’s office, the vet’s office, or us to report the missing pup. We were told the pup was a half mile from home, then a mile from home and someone who knows the area told us the owner lived several miles from where found.
After being visited by a deputy, the owner said he wanted his pup back but could not and would not pay the $40 we had invested in the pup for a Parvo test, his exam and puppy shot. The Sheriff’s office made us return this pup to the owner without getting paid.
Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of return to owner dogs or cats during the year, but when we do we fully expect the owners to pay for all vetting. In the future, I will be taking any pet owner to court to get the vetting fees due to us for taking care of a dog or cat that does not have any ID such as a microchip or collar with an ID tag.
Check out the Missouri Law: Missouri Revised Statute, Chapter 578, section 578.016.1, rule line 2, revised August 28, 2016. The area shelters and pounds and other rescues have the right by law to be paid for “reasonable costs for the care and maintenance” of the subject stray animals we accept in the Bollinger County Stray Project. This also applies to any impounded pets that we may help through the Sheriff’s department or the Humane Society of Missouri to hold.
The Statute also says a lien for the costs against such animal can be placed until the reasonable costs have been paid and the rescue — shelter — pound may put the animal up for adoption or humanely kill any animal if such costs are not paid within ten days after demand.
The owner of the pup clearly owes us the $40 for his vet care. We would learn he had the pup since December 17 and never had the pup to a vet and had not purchased any vaccines for the baby to protect it from Parvo. He had the pup for 18 to 20 days with no shots and the pup was age 10 weeks or so when we accepted that stray.
Get your pets chipped or get a tag for their collar. Take good photos of your pets NOW. Contact us the very day they disappear and send us photos to post on FB. We don’t want your pets. We want to get the pets that are loved back to their owners and we can’t do that quickly if you don’t do your part too.
If the dog is injured and you can’t afford to pay for the necessary vetting, expect to sign the dog or cat over to us so it can be humanely cared for. As the owner, you have the right to have the pet euthanized and you pay for that procedure. You will also be expected to pay for the care it has already received to examine and stabilize the pet.
Accepted strays and relinquished pets (Facebook FB) (16):
… Faune: Black Mouth Cur, Beagle type mix puppy, dumped in Wayne County
… Black/red German Shepherd Bloodhound mix, age 2, former stray rural Zalma area.
… Yellow Lab mix: Wappapello area, lived on a chain, starved almost to death, age 2, relinquished to us by the owner’s sister who ordered her to sign over the neglected dog.
… Nine pups and mom from Patton: total (10)
… Three pups from rural Marble Hill (MH): Pointer Pit mix
Adoptions, return to owner or placed in other rescues (26):
… 20 yr old stray Chihuahua returned to owner: found at Town and Country lot.
… Mister Mister adopted by Josh Blankenship family as Josh’s companion: Zalma.
… Lefty: last of litter of seven salvage yard blk/red pups was adopted by a Kansas Pharmacy student. They drove straight through on Monday to get the Rat Terrier Beagle Lab mix.
… Stray pup off “hold” adopted by Dr. Retz’s family.
… Litter of three pups from MH: transfer to Wrightway in Illinois.
… Litter of seven pups from Patton: Wrightway Rescue Illinois
… Stray mother in Vanduser MO and 9 newborn pups (10): Wright-way Rescue
… Most days we are receiving multiple calls about cats with litters. Please spay your cats.
Dogs with Heartworm (HW), Ehrlichia, special needs, or that were euthanized:
Calls requesting assistance for dogs we did not admit:
… FOUND 1/18/17:three mostly white pups: may be dumped south just outside of Zalma
… Brown and white Pit Bull male lost along Co Rd 727 and TT near Hwy E, call 208-0855 south.BoCo.
… Three Border Collie/Lab mix pups, age 4 months: Arkansas. Wright-way Rescue may take.
… LOST 12/12/16, Hwy 51 located 9 miles south of Marble Hill and 7 miles north of Advance: Miniature Schnauzer male, long coat, could be matted now, belongs to Cathy Prost. Salt and pepper color : this dog may have been stolen and taken to Poplar Bluff area.
… LOST 12/12/16, last seen 2.5 miles east of Marble Hill near Hwy B: Deaf Australian Red Heeler male. Call (573)238-5194.
Miscellaneous and contact info:
We had 32 dogs and pups at our home 1/16/17. If you have a stray camping out in the yard don’t wait, call us at 573-722-3035 or email photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We LOVE Buchheits! Donate a buck or more at the Jackson store for dog food and supplies when you shop. Also, Second Time Around in Marble Hill is taking donations for the Stray Project. Monetary donations are accepted at the Bollinger County Veterinary Service, Marble Hill Coop, Buchheits, and the MH Town and Country.
Stray Project monetary donations accepted at the Marble Hill Coop. We purchase de-wormer and other supplies at the Coop and donations are greatly appreciated.
Please be advised that the Bollinger County Stray Project is not the county or City of Marble Hill dog catcher. When you have a stray we try to help and can usually offer solutions. Patience is required of the caller towards our ability to find and implement a solution. I wish we had a magic wand but we don’t and can’t always help the callers in a manner they may demand of us. Remember, we are volunteers and help as time and space allows.
Offer a stray water on day one and food day two or three. Call if missing a dog or if you have a stray. We don’t always have room but we may have a solution to help you and the stray.
Dumping dogs is a form of abuse and against the law. Please report animal abuse or neglect.
Please do the following when your pets are expecting or caring for a litter: offer any pregnant dog small-breed-puppy-food the final 1-2 weeks before delivery and while the pups are nursing. Give those mothers all the food they want: bowls full all day and lots of fresh water available all day. Cats need kitten food. Free feed the higher calorie food during the nursing stage to help mom make milk and maintain her own body mass. Babies need to be de-wormed as young as 1-2 weeks, then every 7-10 days until age 10-weeks or older if in a confined environment with re-infestation concerns.
Thank you to the County Residents who have continued to support the Bollinger County Stray Project.
Check out our available pets at Petfinder. Call 573-722-3035 about our adoptable pets.
If you suspect an animal is being neglected or abused, call the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline, 314-647-4400 or 800-383-9835 or you can make a confidential report on line at Humane Society of Missouri.
To understand when an animal is being abused or neglected in the state of Missouri read the following link:http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/cruelty/mo_cruel.htm