Who Let the Dog Out? Our Ridealong with Animal Rescue

VIDEO (4:25) - We ride shotgun with Animal Rescue Officer Ted Adams as he responds to a found pet call in Spokane County, Washington.

We spent the day with Ted Adams, an Animal Rescue Officer at the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) to learn more about his day-to-day working with escaped pets.

It’s about problem solving

Animal rescue has its challenges, and as Ted explains, each day is unique:

“You can have a plan on what’s going to happen that day, get up, and as soon as you start driving into work, you get a call and you’re there for four hours... Then you have the case where you spend two hours in the vet clinic with a dog, giving it more fluids and pain meds, and helping the vet staff.”

A typical situation

Ted’s first call was from a homeowner who found someone else’s dog wandering around their property.

It’s unsurprising given that, according to the American Humane Association, approximately 10 million dogs and cats go missing in the United States every year. That averages out to over 27,000 pets a day. Yikes.

When arriving on scene, the first step that Animal Rescue takes is to try and identify the pet. Pets with tags can be ID'd quickly and returned home, skipping the shelter altogether.

In our video, it’s clear from the collar and the dog’s temperament that he belongs to someone and decided to take a self-guided tour of the neighborhood. But, no ID means no ride home. Since there weren’t any lost pets reported in the area, Ted didn’t even have a lead to chase.

“If there’s a tag or a license number, then it gets the animals back home. That’s the best thing about licensing. Day or night, night or day, and holidays. You can check it and we can get these animals back home,” Ted explained.

Without anything to go on, Ted had no choice but to take the captured canine back to the shelter. Once there, the pooch would receive a round of vaccinations and be held in the hope that his owner would come looking for him.

We don’t know if the dog in our video made it home.

Why pets escape… and how we can get them home

Our pets are intelligent, curious creatures that love exploring. They get themselves into situations that are both unpredictable and unpreventable. Stories like the one from our video happen every day and it’s not the pet owner’s fault.

The dog in our video escaped, as one third of pets will during their lifetime. If they want to get out, they’ll find a way.

The onus is on us, however, to make sure that they’re wearing their tag if they do escape. So, go give your pet a hug and make sure they’re wearing their tag. If they do get out it’ll be much easier to reunite you.

Learn more about our HomeSafe™ Lost Pet Service.