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Episode of the abandoned dog illustrates big problem

May 28, 2014 - Linda Rood, Riverton

Editor:

This letter is being written to clarify several points raised from my @257;rst letter and to heighten the awareness of the "dumping" of unwanted dogs and cats in the Riverton area.

The little dog I wrote about had been dropped off on Cooper Road sometime on a Tuesday and watched for her "owner" to come back for her the rest of the day as well as Wednesday. She was approached on Wednesday but to no avail.

She had disappeared on Thursday and Friday morning. The assumption was made that someone had rescued her or something untoward had happened. She reappeared around noon on Friday at which point I called the Fremont County Sheriff (Cooper Road is considered county and not under Riverton's jurisdiction) and wrote the letter to the editor.

The sheriff's of@257;ce sent a deputy Friday afternoon who was unable to coax her out of the culvert in which she had been hiding. On Monday morning I was informed that she was in the middle of the road when a family stopped for her, opened their car door, and she climbed in. Why she chose this particular car is anyone's guess. This occurred Friday about 5:30 p.m. Thank you to this family, and all those who cared enough to write letters, called or drove by looking for her.

This is just one example of the many cases of dumping in the area. It is fallacy that abandoned animals are perfectly capable of surviving on their own, that someone will rescue them, or that a rancher can always use another barn cat. Those that do survive disease, starvation, being hit by a car, or a predator attack will breed, exponentially increasing the overpopulation of unwanted animals.

The obvious answer is spaying or neutering your family pet or humanely euthanizing those you can't keep. It is not better for the female to have a litter before being spayed, and you are preventing mammary and testicular cancer. There are kind, caring people who spay or neuter homeless animals out of their own pockets just to keep the population down.

Responsible pet ownership also means vaccinating your pet. A fully vaccinated dog will have had three shots beginning at six weeks. Unfortunately, the ef@257;cacy of the over-the-counter vaccine is not good for the parvo strain found in this area. Those who have seen parvo know it is hideous and preventable. Once parvo is contracted it is too late to vaccinate. Parvo is spread in the feces of an infected dog and can survive in the solid for months, leaving an unprotected dog susceptible.

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