Last week, I was walking my dog, when we came upon a very sweet puppy. She was playful and active (not shy at all!), but she didn’t seem to have an owner. The nearby people said she wasn’t their dog. I ran upstairs to get some food and water. As she ate wet dog food, I leashed her. The next morning, I took her to a local hospital for a check-up and was advised to keep her quarantined from my dog. I also posted a notice on the Beijinger, beijingkids and Weibo. A neighbor helped me make and post a bilingual flyer – to help this dog find its owner.
If I found the dog in the US, perhaps it would be tagged. And I could contact local authorities, while keeping the dog in a shelter until the owner was found. But here in China, the shelters are overwhelmed with their fair share of abandoned dogs and cats.
While I wish it weren’t common to find abandoned or stray puppies, this scene is entirely too common. Should you come across a stray puppy yourself, here are some steps to follow:
Quarantine the dog from your other pets for three weeks. This means a separate room, water and food bowl, and bed than your other pets. Even if the dog has a clean bill of health on the first day, a disease might be “incubating,” so keep the animals separate to be safe.
Before you even pet this dog, you should have your rabies vaccination. Even if the dog shows no symptoms of rabies, it might just be that the symptoms haven’t set in yet. Since rabies is highly contagious and untreatable for dogs and humans, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Get your vaccine!
Take the dog to the local animal hospital as soon as possible. You will need the dog to be checked for these three things: parvovirus (细小病毒), canine distemper (犬温热病毒), and coronavirus (冠状病毒). More information on parvovirus and distemper provided on the ICVS website.
If you fear that this dog is lost, and not just a stray, post bilingual flyers with the dog’s photo and contact info around the neighborhood.
Post a Classifieds ad on the Beijinger and beijingkids websites. Repost the link to the ad and a picture on Sina Weibo. Local animal hospital ICVS will also help post the information on their site.
Contact your local police station. If the dog is registered with the police and the owner filed a missing dog report, then the “mystery” is solved!
While 毛毛 (as she was recently named) has found a loving foster family that is willing to keep her,* I can only feel extremely fortunate that I’ve found her a good home.
*We are still holding a flicker of hope that her owner (were she not completely abandoned to the streets) will find her. Please PM me if you recognize the dog in the photo above.