Sharing. Very well written.
Many of you that find pets are quick to try to reunite them with their owners. You go to great lengths to make sure they get back home safely. For you I have endless respect and gratitude. You have no idea how much your thoughtfulness means to these pet owners, until your pet is missing.
This letter is to those that find a pet and decide NOT to try find the pet's family. Put yourself in the family's place. How would you feel? Their 4 legged family member is missing. They look for them everywhere. While looking and not finding their pet, they look at the leash, bed, bowls, and toys, a constant reminder that their family member is missing. They have no idea if their pet is living with someone or has been hit by a car, or even worse. There is a loss that can not be filled. All the tears shed will not bring their four legged baby back.
Think of the pain families have as they search for their pet every day on the streets, on line and in shelters with no answers. The sleepless nights. Every bark or meow they chase down hoping it is their baby, only to find it isn't.
The dog or cat you found may be sweet, purebred or young. But they aren't your pet. The pet isn't legally yours to keep, give away or sell. If you know who the owner is that is looking for the pet you decide to keep, that's even worse and is actually illegal as animals are lawfully considered "property". That pet you decide to keep or sell is now considered stolen property.
Perhaps you found a pet in terrible condition, appears neglected or possibly abused? Your first thought is the owner shouldn't get their pet back. You judge or punish the owner without knowing the circumstances. Maybe that pet has been lost for a long time, far from home, perhaps was stolen and mistreated and what did they go through just to survive while trying to find their way home? What do you think the owner has been going through for months not knowing what has happened to their pet?
Please search your heart and look for the owner. You can post on Facebook on any Lost & Found Pet page. If you don't want to post on Facebook send the owner a private message. You can have animal control come pick up the pet as a stray if you can't contact the owner.
Everyone that has lost a pet wants one thing, their pet back, it doesn't matter who returns them.
If you have a pet you found and are keeping it, please think about the family that pet belongs to and how you would feel if it were your pet someone was keeping.
Please please give pets back to the people who love them"