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What is it with Orange and lost dogs?

June 21, 2022

By Peter Holmes

Dogs are fantastic.

But they can also be pretty daft.

Excitable, they can forget what they’re doing. And where they are.

This is fine - if they remain enclosed within a fixed area.

But dogs get out. It just happens.

Some people don’t care if their pooch roams. But most do.

When doggo gets out, the excuses - I was bringing the shopping in, the side gate latch must be busted, the visiting mother-in-law doesn’t fully understand screen door etiquette, it must have been the toddler, and so on - are myriad.

There will be time for raised eyebrows and snide remarks later, but for now the panic sets in.

The absolute worst case scenarios loom large in your mind’s eye. They involve vehicles and pain and loss and grief.

When you’ve been down this path before, and doggo didn't come home alive, you can get very anxious very quickly, and the most likely outcomes - the dog has wandered into someone’s yard for a good long sniff, or been taken by a concerned citizen to the pound or a local vet - fade from view.

How long has Glenn the beagle been gone? He has no road sense. He just follows his nose.

Would Lady, the cross-this-and-that toy thing, head left or right out the front door? No-one will catch this yappy bundle of nerves, it’s way too zippy.

Where is Brock the blue heeler? Haven’t seen him since lunch. Last time, we found him 9km away.

People fan out, by foot and car. Windows down, calling out. Shooshing each other, straining to hear a response.

You begin to realise how large their playground has suddenly become. They could be anywhere.

What if they manage to avoid being hit by a vehicle, and stumble across someone who’s been looking for a dog? Or someone who doesn’t like dogs?

Social media, in this moment, is your friend.

You post on various forums. Has anyone seen Beyonce, my huge Scottish Deerhound? You’ll know if you’ve seen her.

Those who have lost four-legged friends post, as do those who have found them. There is a lot of love and empathy and relief in these threads.

You’ll see local titans of industry, celebs and everyday folk working together to locate their dogs, cats, rabbits and birds.

We can safely assume that no scientific studies have been conducted looking at whether Orange has a higher than usual number of lost pets per capita. But some days it sure seems that way.

In recent years we've had three dawgs just hang about our place during a wander. We keep them safe, give them water and find the owner.

So, for no other reason that dogs are fantastic, even if they have no idea what is happening, here is our gallery of lost Orange dogs from recent days and weeks who were either reunited with their owners or handed in to a vet.

These are the happy stories.

As of Tuesday night, there were still plenty of pets missing in Orange - including Rosie (below) the partially deaf dog, who escaped from Seymour St/Dalton St area on Tuesday morning - and lots of worried owners.

Keep an eye out.

For more information on what to do if you lose or find a dog see below.



Q: I have found a stray dog or cat. What do I do now?

A: You should contact the Orange City Pound and make arrangements to deliver the animal to the pound during normal business hours.

If you are able to keep the stray dog/cat safely until you can deliver it, that would be best way forward. If you can’t take it to the pound, you should ring the council during business hours and a ranger will collect it.

If you have found a stray dog after-hours, it is best if you can keep it until normal business hours. If you cannot, you may take it to the pound and leave it in one of the after-hours drop-off kennels. Please phone the number on the kennel and leave a message. Pound staff do not attend to animals overnight.

If there is a risk to the safety of a person from a stray dog, and it’s after-hours please call Council’s after-hours and emergency number 1300 650 511.

The Orange rangers will only attend an after-hours call-out if there is a risk to a person.









Q: I have lost my dog or cat. How can I find out if it's been found and taken to the pound?

Staff at the pound will check the animal’s micro-chip. If the owner’s name and contact details are up to date, they will make contact with the owner.

If the ranger collects the animal, the ranger will check its micro-chip details and make contact with the owner directly before it goes to the pound, if the animal’s details are up to date.

All images of stray dogs/cats will be posted on the Facebook page Reuniting Orange’s Pets.

Owners can then contact the pound and make arrangements to collect their pet. Depending on whether or not it has a micro-chip and is registered or desexed, there may be fees before the animal can be returned to the owner.





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