Donald Leon Farrow is not only a leader in the engineering industry; he also has a big heart. Since 2006, Donald Leon Farrow has worked as a pet rescue volunteer, first in Jacksonville, Illinois for the Pet Pen Dog Rescue. Currently, Donald Leon Farrow is an animal rescue volunteer for the Excelsior Springs Dog Shelter and the National Animal Welfare Society. In his time working as a volunteer, Donald Leon Farrow has learned lessons important to anyone considering dog rescue.
For those interested in helping to rescue a dog, Donald Leon Farrow offers these tips:
- Mental Preparation
Dog rescue is an unpleasant but humanitarian activity, these dogs are often the victims of cruel circumstances – and you have a chance to help. Successful rescues are rewarding experiences. It’s important to understand that you will not rescue every stray dog that you encounter. If you rescue even half of those that you encounter – you are beating the odds. Dogs stray for a number of reasons – none of them good. They may have been abandoned, neglected or abused. If they have strayed for days or weeks, they are probably sick from eating road kill or garbage. In many circumstances humans have not been their friends up to your arrival – so most strays will not trust you. Sometimes, the dog will have been injured, whether hit by a car or other means. If they are hurting and you can approach the dog – try not to contact the injury – as it can hurt the dog causing them to instinctively bite. Most dogs that you can rescue will come over to you. Many dogs will run from you – usually it is best not to chase unless you are not near roads and the dog is small or not that fast. If the dog appears to have rabies (look up symptoms) or runs from you your recourse is to report these dogs to the experts (dog shelters). Always state the date, time, location and direction in which the dog is headed.
- Basic Do’s and Don’ts
Every year people with good intentions are injured or killed trying to assist animals – so here are a few rules. Know the difference between dog rescue and putting yourself in serious jeopardy. Never enter a dangerous situation to attempt a rescue. Understand that your default is always to contact the shelter and report the situation. Animal rescue is not a good idea if you have children with you. Your priority is to keep the kids safe. Stopping along the road is not a good idea under these circumstances. Unless the dog is a puppy or small, it’s probably best to take the kids to the sitters and return alone to try and find the dog after phoning the dog rescue. It’s a good idea to keep a leash and collar in your car, a bag of quality dog treats, good quality wet and dry dog food, a dog dish and a container of clean water (especially during the hot season). Sometimes if you leave food and water for a dog and back off, it will come over to eat it when it senses you are far enough away, or the dog may come to you right away. If the dog is jumpy but eats – this may give you some time to plan or for the rescue to get there. Also keep in your car a can of sanitary wipes and / or sanitation solution and towels for yourself. When you pull over to attempt a rescue, make sure you are well out of traffic and your car is turned off, with your window down, doors unlocked and parking brake set. Its good to have an old blanket in the trunk that you can spread on the seat for the dog during transport. Talk to your local dog shelter to determine if there is an open cage that you can access at the facility when the shelter is closed – in which to place a rescued dog.
- Contact Your Local Shelter or Animal Control to Understand the Process
Its best to do this at your leisure – before you encounter a stray dog. The experts at Shelters and Animal Control are trained in capturing dogs, explains Donald Leon Farrow. They can walk you through the steps of how to approach a dog for rescue without putting the safety of either of you in jeopardy. Many stray dog encounters are at times when your local Shelter or Animal Control personnel are not available, or would take too long to get to your location cautions Donald Leon Farrow.
- Approach cautiously
Always try to think through the situation. Try not to be impulsive – this is how accidents happen. Your sense of urgency should fit the situation – but not put yourself or others in danger. If you’ve pulled over in your car, stay in your until you’re sure the dog won’t become afraid and run into traffic, Donald Leon Farrow cautious. Approach the dog slowly, speaking to the animal in a calm, even voice. If the dog is frightful and retreats, let it alone – especially if you are near major roads. Never chase the animal – especially near roads as this increases the chances of the dog being hit by a car or causing a traffic accident. On the other hand, if the dog is in the road you may attempt to chase it off the road if you can do this in a safe manner says Donald Leon Farrow. Also, if the dog snarls at you or acts aggressive, stop and leave immediately, it may attack and bite for any number of reasons including potential rabies. If you cannot rescue the dog, always report the dog’s location, the date, time and direction to the dog shelter immediately.
- Don’t try to block the dog
Donald Leon Farrow believes blocking and chasing tactics are for the experts. Unfortunately, many dogs have been neglected and / or abused and have no interest in approaching humans. If you try and block or chase the dog – it may even bite as a defensive reaction. These dogs are best left to the shelter or animal control to apprehend. Report the dog’s location, date, time and direction to the dog shelter immediately Donald Leon Farrow says.
- Use food as bait
Unless a dog is sick, they love food and it preoccupies them. If you have food, Donald Leon Farrow advises you to use it to lure the dog toward your car.
- Take the dog to a no-kill animal shelter
Donald Leon Farrow recommends taking all rescued dogs to No-Kill Shelters if possible. It is a double tragedy to rescue a dog only to have it euthanized because a home could not be found. Also, depending on the type of dog – there are rescue societies that specialize in specific breeds and you can find these on the internet. These shelters are in need of your financial and volunteer support – even if you just have extra dog food from your dogs, usually all such gifts are welcome. They will have the rescued dog examined, provide any medicine needed (for any worms, fleas, etc.) and search for a good home for the dog. If the dog has a microchip, Donald Leon Farrow says that the shelter may be able to locate its owner. You can create a temporary shelter at your home or yard with a cage appropriate for a large dog to walk around in, such portable cages are available for purchase at any dog supply store. This is particularly convenient if the shelter is closed when you rescue a dog. Keep a dish of fresh water, food and comfortable blankets in the cage.
Dogs are incredible and very special creatures. They are best friends, companions and in many cases servants by nature. They do not complain and are always gracious. If only we humans could treat each other the way dogs treat us. I believe in dog rescue because of these things says Donald Leon Farrow.