When a dog goes missing
“How am I going to explain it to my kids when we can’t find the dog?” Florence resident Carrie Toupin asked.
Heart wrenching pain. Overwhelming fear. Maybe even a bit of anger rolled in — typical feelings of an owner who lost a pet.
What should an owner do now? If your dog goes missing in the Marion area, be sure to call Animal Health Center first.
“The Animal Health Center staff was wonderful to us and our dog, Riddick, when he got out and we couldn’t find him,” Toupin said.
At the time of Riddick’s escape, the Toupins were living in Marion and the dog wasn’t used to being in an enclosed space.
Husband Nik Toupin also was involved in the search. “We had just moved to Marion when Riddick got out, we were so worried that he wouldn’t know how to get back to our house,” Carrie said.
“We drove around for three to four hours, calling and looking for him,” said Nik, who raised the dog from birth.
An employee at Animal Health Center where the dog was taken after being picked up, recognized the dog from notices the Toupins had posted.
“It was such a relief to know that he was safe, warm and fed,” Carrie said. “The staff checked his health and gave us advice on what to do after he got home.”
The city of Marion has an understanding with Animal Health Center to accept stray dogs until owners can be located.
“We’ll get a call or the police will pick up a dog at large and bring it to Animal Health Center,” city clerk Tiffany Jeffrey said.
The animal is evaluated for any health concerns and housed for three days while waiting for its owners.
“If they are healthy and no one claims them after the waiting period, they are put up for adoption,” Jeffrey said.
The city requires dogs to have an identification tag, which provides a way to contact the owner and offer proof of rabies vaccination.
“If a dog is picked up and taken to the Animal Health Center, there are impound and pickup fees for which the owner is responsible,” Jeffrey said. “If the dog needs any medical help while there, that also is the owner’s responsibility to cover.”
Animal Health Center receptionist Robin Pritz said owners should be sure their dog has a collar with the city tag.
It’s helpful to etch the owner’s name and phone number on the tag’s back side.
“Sometimes collars come off, so we recommend micro-chipping your animal for added protection,” Pritz said.
It’s also important to have current information and photos of your dog.
Pictures of your dog — front, back and sides — along with name, breed, age and any identifying marks should be noted.
Last modified July 19, 2018