Pets: Identification and Maintenance
Pet owners...it is NEVER acceptable to substitute a microchip for an identification tag! The microchip should be complimentary to the tag(s).
I'm starting this thread because two purebred dogs (husky and pit bull) showed up together at our house Sunday morning with collars and no tags. If anyone has every had this issue, you'll know that there are no facilities open on Sunday that check for microchips in San Marcos. We searched diligently for "lost dog" signs, knocked on peoples' doors, posted on craigslist and this forum, and reported the dogs to the police to no avail. Because the dogs were not injured or aggressive towards people, the police department refused to take possession of the dogs. As such, the options we were left with were to either keep the dogs overnight and take them to the pound in the morning or to let them go to continue their wandering (and possibly get hit by cars or otherwise injured). We are dog owners ourselves, so we were hesitant to let the dogs continue their wandering and opted to keep them overnight. Interestingly, when I took them to the pound this morning, the employees recognized the dogs immediately as regular escapees and told me that the husky is microchipped. I'm glad that the dog is microchipped, but the knowledge that the dog regularly escapes his owner and still is not wearing an identification tag infuriated and frustrated me. If he had been wearing a tag with the owner's information, we would not have been forced to house the dogs overnight, which brings me to my second concern: Maintenance of pets.
While we housed the dogs yesterday and overnight, we were forced to restrict their activity to the backyard and garage due to the fact that they were infested with fleas and ticks and because of one of the dog's temperament. While our dogs are on preventative flea medication, we had no desire to encourage a possible house infestation. Additionally, the dogs appeared to be slightly malnourished which may partly explain their willingness to escape their home confines. Who in their right mind spends hundreds of dollars on pure bred dogs and doesn't afford proper food and flea and tick preventative medicine every month?! The condition of the dogs alone did not tempt us to let the dogs go until their temperament became apparent. These dogs had not only never been trained (basic sit, no, walking on leash stuff), but the pit bull puppy, despite being less than 4 months old, was very aggressive towards our dogs. At one point it even attacked our most submissive and docile dog (an Aussie mix) for no other reason than that she was there. This behavior in such a young dog is a clear sign of severe future aggression/dominance issues and is unacceptable. Period. Breeds like pit bulls are built for power, and while they can be the sweetest pets in the world, have to be carefully reared in conditions that consistently curb any natural aggressive/dominant behaviors. If a pet owner is not up to that task, they shouldn't own a dominant/aggressive dog. When we realized this issue, we sadly enough, became tempted to simply release the dogs because they were not our problem. We didn't, and I'm sure the owners are grateful, but the fact remains, many people would have.
Proper training and maintenance is an essential task required of pet owners. For those that ignore it, your pets pose a greater risk to themselves and others. For anyone that reads this...ID tags, flea meds, and training are a must!