Howling at the Moon – Coming together to protect our pets

Filed under: Opinion |

by Sylene Argent

It was certainly wonderful to see how the community has come together over the past few weeks, since the Windsor/Essex County Humane Society urged residents to keep a watchful eye on their canine companions after an undisclosed number of dogs went missing and had not been found.

Even though some people seemed to be a little too hyper on social media, with being quick to jump to speculations and accusations, it was encouraging to see so many people looking out for, not only their own animals, but their neighbours’, too.

It reminded me of when I was a kid; when you knew your neighbours, and were probably friends with them. This circumstance almost made people connect with one another to not only be vigilant, but to share information. It seems we can get stuck inside our own bubble and spend more time interacting on someone’s online posts than actually stopping in the driveway to say ‘hey, how’s it going?’

I believe a community can be judged on how it treats those who are vulnerable, this includes the elderly, those who have special needs, children, and animals. If we can’t protect and meet their needs, there is a huge issue.

I hope the missing dogs are found safe and returned home very soon. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have a family member missing, especially amidst the winter weather. My heart breaks every time I see a “missing” poster.

I am always moved by those who find and give temporary shelter to missing pets, and make an effort to find their homes, utilizing social media or the local animal control officer. I have seen pets reunited with their families as a result.

A good tool to have at your disposal are your dog tags. This isn’t a plug for the municipal program. I have been able to return dogs out on a romp to their homes because of their tags. That’s their purpose. And, the funds support animal-related necessities within the municipality, such as the dog park’s maintenance, having an animal control officer, utilizing the Lakeshore Dog Pound as needed, and the spay/neuter voucher program. All of these are great services for our furry family members.

I hope, when things begin to settle, we can get our Council to again consider lowering the consecutive number of hours dogs can be tethered outside from its current ten-hour max.

As the Windsor/Essex County Humane Society Executive Director Melanie Coulter said in last week’s EFP article on the missing dogs, canines left unattended are the most vulnerable to dangers, including unwelcomed interactions with strange humans or other animals, such as coyotes. It could also present an easier opportunity for them to get away and become lost.