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MadRiver
05-11-2006, 08:11 AM
Rather than repost the original scenario which seemed to confuse a few people, let me rephrase. What would you do if you happen upon a lost dog on a summit (no owner present for over 45 minutes) and evening was approaching? Do you let the dog fend for him/herself as one person suggested, or do you intervene? And if so, how?

jade
05-11-2006, 08:26 AM
MR....as I reflected in my PM to you when you shared this story with me, you have quite the imagination and perhaps have watched one too many science fiction monster dog movies....

I suggest this thread is promtly deleted.... :(

...Jade

Dugan
05-11-2006, 08:33 AM
I would dress her in the spare collar and leash that I always carry (though I finally got the emergency muzzle and booties out of my pack after Dugan four-legs was sidelined), then hike out with her.
I would leave a note with thorough description, if there is a signboard at the trailhead to do so.
If the hours were such that I could notify the local authorities, I would do so. Otherwise, I would bring her home, keeping her isolated from my pets (better safe than sorry until a health screening occurs), then call the local police during their next business hours.
If she hadn't been reported, my next step would be my local shelter or vet, to scan for microchip. I would check the dog for a tattoo (lip, ear, or inside of rear leg are the most common places).
If still nothing, I would make a flier with a color picture and full description, then post them at the trailhead and closest towns where I found her. I would also notify all the local vets, shelters, and hiking organizations in the area.

I would do this even if the dog had a collar and tags. One piece of advice with tags - MAKE SURE they are ALWAYS up to date. Dugan doesn't hike without: rabies tag, town license, id tag with his name and my name/address/phone, microchip notice, tattoo notice. If you let your dog hike off leash, it isn't a bad idea to add a small cowbell. If you can find one of those little pouches that attaches to a collar, it could be useful to keep a small note with emergency contacts, health information, and such. And as always - carry a copy of the rabies certificate. A rabies tag or town license is NOT proof of rabies vaccination in all states.

If this sounds familiar, it should, considering the recent lost dog thread. This is looking for a lost dog... in reverse.

DougG
05-11-2006, 08:39 AM
morality and a hiker’s code of honor

Based on these few words I agree...........delete the thread.
Whose morality?............and what the dickens is a hikers code of honor?
And slighting the hapless Hiltons?

kmorgan
05-11-2006, 08:40 AM
As a dog lover and regular rescuer of wayward pooches, I would secure "fluffy" with a makeshift leash if possible, or coax him/her to follow me to my vehicle. I would try to leave a note at the trail head describing the dog. I would then look at any nearby trail heads for possible owners and leave notes on any vehicles with contact information should the "fluffy's" owner be among them. If no owner is found at this point I would take "fluffy" home with me and find a safe spot indoors to secure the animal. Feed and water Fluffy then take a quick photo and make up some flyers. Notify all your local shelters and bring the flyers to any area veterinarian's offices and post them up around the area where Fluffy was found.

Post on any newsgroups and forums, especially VFTT which any hiker worth his/her salt reads regularly.

At this point you just have to wait. Take Fluffy to a vet to have him checked out and to be sure he has no fleas or other parasites. A vet may recommend vaccinations just to be on the safe side. Hopefully you'll hear something before this becomes necessary.

Now you have to decide if you want to adopt Fluffy if the owner is not found. If Fluffy is a 'good' dog this is what I would do. I am against euthanizing any animal unless they are in hopeless pain or are vicious, in which case you wouldn't have had much choice about sharing that sandwich on the summit!

I currently have 3 dogs (my 4th was lost to cancer 2 years ago), 2 Siberian Huskies and a Poodle/Terrier mix. One of the Huskies was adopted from a blind rescue orgainization (he'd lost one eye to glaucoma at 6 months and they thought he'd lose the other one within another 6 months, it's been over 6 years for him and he's doing great). The poodle/terrier was a street rescue. My wife was heading to work one morning and he was running around in traffic. No one was stopping and he was at risk of being struck by a car. My wife stopped in the middle of the road and no sooner had she opened her door to get out then he ran over and jumped into the back of her car! We did the whole notification/flyer/vet thing but never found an owner. He's one of the best dogs we've ever had.

Kevin

dvbl
05-11-2006, 08:47 AM
I can read all the replies, but the original post is deleted, by the author !?!?!?!? Oh man, what a tease!!! I haven't felt like this since my junior prom :eek:

jfb
05-11-2006, 08:47 AM
The first thing I'd do would be to change the dog's name to Spike. ;)

Next, I'd lead him back down to the trailhead. I'd find a piece of paper under the windshield wiper on my car with the dog owner's name, address and phone number. I'd find the nearest phone and leave a message, then drive to the home and reunite the dog with his owner.

Dugan
05-11-2006, 08:55 AM
Next, I'd lead him back down to the trailhead. I'd find a piece of paper under the windshield wiper on my car with the dog owner's name, address and phone number. I'd find the nearest phone and leave a message, then drive to the home and reunite the dog with his owner.

Unfortunately, this assumes that you will find the dog's owner immediately. In my experience in dealing with unidentified strays, this is typically not the case. The chances are further decreased in a situation like this, where the dog is likely not in its home town, where the animal control officer or other local folks might be familiar with it.

If the dog is an identifiable purebred, I would also notify the appropriate breed rescue group.

MadRiver
05-11-2006, 09:04 AM
Thank you Dugan and Kmorgan for your thoughtful analysis of the lost dog scenario.

--M.
05-11-2006, 09:15 AM
MadRiver, I encourage you to reinsert your piece. Edit if you must, but, as you can see from the thoughtful replies you received, the group is capable of adult interaction. I support your privilege to comment freely, paid for by your responsible good judgment. Let others worry about their own behavior!

Humbly,

--M.

jfb
05-11-2006, 09:17 AM
In my experience in dealing with unidentified strays, this is typically not the case.

That may be true, but be realistic. It's not typical to find a dog with no apparent problems (other than hunger and thirst) at the top of a remote mountain. If I got separated from my dog while hiking (which I have done), I wouldn't go home until I found him/her. I'd drive to every trailhead and leave messages like the one I described on every car I could find.

MadRiver
05-11-2006, 09:39 AM
It's not typical to find a dog with no apparent problems (other than hunger and thirst) at the top of a remote mountain. If I got separated from my dog while hiking (which I have done), I wouldn't go home until I found him/her. I'd drive to every trailhead and leave messages like the one I described on every car I could find.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Sparkdog’s dog go missing for over a day. And didn’t some one else find him/her? Finding a lost dog on a mountain top is not out of the realm of possibilities. I have seen a number of dogs on a summit without the owner being present. Fortunately for the dog, the owner wasn’t too far behind.

David Metsky
05-11-2006, 09:48 AM
<mod hat on>
Guys, this thread is on a very short leash. (pardon the pun) Dog threads almost always degenerate, and this one started out in the wrong direction.

It is a reasonable scenerio to discuss what you'd do if you found a dog on the summit with no owner in sight. Stick to that and the thread will be fine.

If this thread turns into a discussion of should dogs be allowed on trails/leave your dog at home/dogs love to hike, or attacks on individual posters, it will be shut down. We've done that enough times, we don't need it again.

-dave-

<mod hat off>

MadRiver
05-11-2006, 09:54 AM
I agree with you David. I simply want to know what, if anything, one should do if they find a lost dog. Jade might have been correct with her apprehension about this thread, but so far so good. I can recall at least five lost dog posts between VFTT and AMC in the past three years, so I believe it is a reasonable question.

dr_wu002
05-11-2006, 09:59 AM
I found a dog on Greylock a few years ago. It was following hikers around but obviously had no owner. We saw it at the summit and then a few hours later at another point on the trail following different hikers. We assumed responsibility of the dog at that point, brought it to the trailhead. Once at the trailhead we knocked on a few doors and asked if anyone recognized the dog. Nobody did so at this point we took the dog in our car to Adams. Somehow we either located a local animal shelter or hospital and left the dog there. It was a great dog, no tags or anything, so if it turned out to be abandoned we told the people we would be interested in adopting it. The owners claimed the dog the next day though.

Interesting enough, the dog vommited in my car and I never cleaned it up. If you sit in the back seat of my car (which is virtually impossible anyway) now you know what that stuff on the floor is.

Either way though, we did what we thought was right and I would apologize to nobody. Even if the owner was actively looking for the dog the bottom line is that the dog was safe and they got it back. We had to make a decision and we decided to take the dog with us instead of leaving it in the woods. I heard from the shelter that the owner was annoyed though and my reaction was "too bad."

-Dr. Wu

jfb
05-11-2006, 10:05 AM
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Sparkdog’s dog go missing for over a day. And didn’t some one else find him/her? Finding a lost dog on a mountain top is not out of the realm of possibilities. I have seen a number of dogs on a summit without the owner being present. Fortunately for the dog, the owner wasn’t too far behind.

Exactly. Finding a lost dog on a summit is possible, and the owner likely knows the dog is missing and is actively looking for him/her. Don't forget that your original post presumed that after attaching a lead to the dog, you'd be accused of dognapping by the owner.

If I found a stray dog while walking along the railroad tracks in downtown Poughkeepsie, I'd be more inclined to just leave it be.

MadRiver
05-11-2006, 10:13 AM
Don't forget that your original post presumed that after attaching a lead to the dog, you'd be accused of dognapping by the owner.
.

You are correct. The only reason why I added that little section to my original post was the incident last year or two years ago where someone lost a dog near Zealand and wrongly assumed the dog was dognapped. Everything turned out ok in the end, but I wouldn’t want to be walking with the dog on a lead and encounter the owner who wrongly believed I stole his dog.

The Sikes
05-11-2006, 10:23 AM
Thanks for pointing out the dognapping thing. I would not have thought of that!

I probably would have tried to coax the dog to come with me and try to find the owner. Being a dog owner myself and not trusting my dog off leash at all...if he did get away, I doubt he would even have a clue he was lost or in danger. So, I would be happy if someone helped him down the mountain.

WhiteMTHike
05-11-2006, 10:34 AM
Rather than repost the original scenario which seemed to confuse a few people, let me rephrase. What would you do if you happen upon a lost dog on a summit (no owner present for over 45 minutes) and evening was approaching? Do you let the dog fend for him/herself as one person suggested, or do you intervene? And if so, how?

For that long a period of time I'd intervene and try to find the owner. If I coulnd't find the owner in the immediate area, I'd take the dog with me and go through whatever legal procedures and proper authorities I had to in order to locate the owner. After exhausting all legal appoaches to locate the owner and if nobody ever claimed the dog, I'd make him my pet and name him after whatever summit I found him on. The guy in my avatar wouldn't like any of this but he'd get over it.

jade
05-11-2006, 10:45 AM
As the original post has been deleted, my response may appear to be out of bounds. I have conveyed my feelings/opinions to Mr. Mad River and that will be all for now.....thank you very much......... :rolleyes:

...Jade

pedxing
05-11-2006, 11:00 AM
I encountered two dogs without owners hiking the long trail last year. The first seemed to be waiting at a trail head and followed me for a while before turning around. The trailhead was in a fairly residential area (there were houses nearby) and I wondered if the dog had come from one of the houses. I considered taking more control of the situation, but I had no means of transport in Vermont and the dog seemed to want to be at the trail head. I alerted hikers coming the opposite direction, so that if they ran across the dog - they'd know if had been separated from its owner for some time. I also left some written notes.

The second had adopted some Thru-hikers coming the opposite way - who asked if I knew the dog. We conferred - they were closer to a trail head than I and we agree to post notes in opposite directions.

Both dogs seemed to be in good condition, and not very anxious, neither had tags. It seemed strange to me that two apparently well cared for dogs would be out and about without leash or tags.

I've found both the lost dog threads useful in thinking about what to do should I be separated from one of my dogs on a trail, or should I come across another separated dog.

jbrown
05-11-2006, 11:28 AM
Very fair question, MadRiver. The overall responses (with a couple of exceptions) have been right on the money in my mind.

I've encountered a couple of dogs that were running free on trails in the Dacks. Both times, the owners were about 100 yds behind the dogs and caught up in a few minutes. Both times I hung out with the dog and made sure that their people were around and then kept going when they came around. (Both times the dogs were very friendly and seemed happy to make a new friend.)

I think I'd handle myself in a very similar way to dr_wu002 when he found that dog, except I'd probably clean up the puke...probably.

David Metsky
05-11-2006, 11:54 AM
There's a dog who lives across the street from the Mt Kinsman trailhead. He came around from behind the house as I started up once, and followed me all the way to the summit of North Kinsman. He was good company, a fine hiking companion. When we got back to the trailhead he just wandered off back to his home, having had his exercise for the day. He seems to do this on a regular basis.

Moose, the dog who lived at the Ravine Lodge went up the mountain by himself everyday for nearly a decade to visit with the campers who hiked the mountain all summer. His collar made it clear to send him down the Gorge Brook trail as he'd occasionally follow hikers down the other trails and then Jack would have to drive around and pick him up.

Not all who wander are lost. :)

-dave-

carole
05-11-2006, 12:00 PM
My course of action is based on many dog encounters. I would not encourage the dog to come with me nor would I bring it home. If it follows me I wouldn’t ignore it but would probably still leave it at a trailhead. If I had a means to lease it, I would, and would let the local police department know of the situation.

Am I unkind? I don’t think so. I’ve had kids, dogs, cats (and more) and loved them all and took my responsibility seriously. On the other hand I have had enough encounters with dogs to be near fed up – not with the dog but the owners.

I used to road run (and bike) but do so little to none now (I stick to trails) mostly because of dogs. Not just the ones that charge you but more so because of the ones that want to run with you (and in front of you, and around you, and out into traffic which causes drivers to blow their horn and get irate at me, when I have no control over the dog).

What’s this got to do with hiking? I have faced similar on the trails. While trailrunning I deal with dogs who would rather run with me than walk with their owners, dogs that don’t like people running, dogs that think I’m a threat and the owners are far behind (leash in hand!!), dogs that like to jump all over you (even some on leash)…the list goes on.

I have encountered dogs on summits that get there long before the owner, dogs coming up to the summit at the same time as I do and cause problems for other hikers who want me to control ‘my dog’, and dogs left on the summit because “the owner left but the dog didn’t”.

One occasion I was met by two dogs in a lightly traveled area who decided to join us. Fortunately they had tags and we had a cellphone and were able to get in touch with the owner who met us later in the day at the trailhead to pick up her dogs ‘who went out for a run’. We did share our food and water.

I also have seen my share of “lost dog” signs at trail heads.

I could tell you about the lost goat…but this is about dogs.

MadRiver
05-11-2006, 12:01 PM
There's a dog who lives across the street from the Mt Kinsman trailhead. He came around from behind the house as I started up once, and followed me all the way to the summit of North Kinsman. He was good company, a fine hiking companion. When we got back to the trailhead he just wandered off back to his home, having had his exercise for the day. He seems to do this on a regular basis.
-dave-

I know that dog! My wife and I did that trail several years ago and I remember the dog. He lived right across the street. We ended up losing the trail, but that is another story.

Tom Rankin
05-11-2006, 12:21 PM
I know that dog! My wife and I did that trail several years ago and I remember the dog. He lived right across the street. We ended up losing the trail, but that is another story.

If you ever encounter a sheep dog while climbing Balsam Lake, Graham or Doubletop, it's perfectly capable of finding its way back to its home...

Dugan
05-11-2006, 12:30 PM
Either way though, we did what we thought was right and I would apologize to nobody. Even if the owner was actively looking for the dog the bottom line is that the dog was safe and they got it back. We had to make a decision and we decided to take the dog with us instead of leaving it in the woods. I heard from the shelter that the owner was annoyed though and my reaction was "too bad."

-Dr. Wu

No arguments from me. You didn't immediately march off with the pooch. You made reasonable attempts to find the owner within the vicinity.

I too would be frantically combing the area if I lost my dog. However, if I saw my dog on lead and attended by a human, I'd be so relieved by finding my wayward pooch that I would be grateful to the human - even if they unwittingly interfered with the search process.

dr_wu002
05-11-2006, 12:43 PM
No arguments from me. You didn't immediately march off with the pooch. You made reasonable attempts to find the owner within the vicinity.

I too would be frantically combing the area if I lost my dog. However, if I saw my dog on lead and attended by a human, I'd be so relieved by finding my wayward pooch that I would be grateful to the human - even if they unwittingly interfered with the search process.
Well, the dog followed up a few boys riding their bikes up the summit. Then, a few hours later we saw the dog again on another trail. The dog had followed some hikers. Said hikers told us that the dog had followed several people all over and they had recently picked up the dog. These hikers weren't interested in having the dog with them so we took the dog with us. We decided to take it with us based on the fact that it had been all over the moutain that day... it was also hungry and thirsty so we gave it some food and water, some of which is still in my car in a semi-processed form 2 years later. We spent about an hour going to people in the area and asking them if they recognize the dog which had no tags. Finally we took it to the vet and they verified that the dog didn't have a microchip or tattoo either.

Turns out, the dog lived on the other side of Greylock. Apparently this dog was free to wander around Greylock whenever he pleased. The owners were annoyed that they had to go pick him up at the vet in Adams. Since the dog had no tags and was hungry and thirsty and roaming all over the mountain I feel like we did the right thing and wouldn't have done it any different. Not a big inconvenience for the owners either -- awww, they had to drive 20 minutes to pick up their dog? Maybe if they put tags on the thing we could've delivered it to their house. As for us just leaving it in the woods -- I didn't like the idea. In hindsight, I know the dog could've gotten back to it's house most likely. But I didn't know that at the time.

-Dr. Wu

woodstrider
05-11-2006, 01:17 PM
;), don't any of us have a life?

MadRiver
05-11-2006, 01:24 PM
;), don't any of us have a life?

I gave my final last week and the library is quiet so why not post a few comments. Besides, I’m heading for Greenleaf this weekend to be cooped up in a hut on a mountain in a rain storm.

4000'er
05-11-2006, 02:08 PM
I feel like we did the right thing and wouldn't have done it any different. -Dr. Wu
No good deed goes unpunished.

Shewolf
05-11-2006, 02:31 PM
First and foremost, I think any responsible owner would darn well make sure their dog had, at the very least, a collar with a ID tag attached. Like Dugan, my little buddy has his ID tag, the county license tag and his rabies vac. tag. Of course, at this stage in his life, he's not about to wander away from my property, much less hike...I can't imagine losing him.

I have yet to encounter a "lost" dog on my hikes. But I know if I did, I'd make a concerted effort to find his owner. If unsuccessful, I'd speak to all I encounter to put out the word I'd found the pooch, leave a post at the trailhead and make a beeline to the nearest vet, contact/notify other local vets of my discovery and his whereabouts...If I had no other choice, I'd then leave him at the local shelter...if I had a choice, he'd come home with me until either he's claimed or Dakota and I have another addition to our family...