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You may be kidnapping that dog you think you’re rescuing…

This is Henry.

He came to us as an old dog but I suspect used to be a hunter, as he never wanders except this time of year & then he roams up to a couple miles, chasing small game, returning home around dark.

We’ve tried to stop it but no fence can keep him in & sometimes he slips away. For example, he got away early one morning when he insisted on going outside in the middle of the night to inspect where the raccoons had been feeding on the muscadine vines. He's crafty & can dig out of any enclosure meant to keep him safe.

Recently, he had slipped away from the house and a tourist saw him beside the road (he checks for traffic before crossing) & picked him up, then drove him 4.5 miles away to the local store & left him there, so he had no scent trail to follow home.

He had a tracker on his collar but it had been removed in another location, before he was picked up. Had he stayed in the vicinity of the store, the owners would have had to put him down because they could not keep him nor would they allow him to starve to death. Animal control does not exist this far out in rural areas.

Fortunately everyone knows everyone, so someone took him home for the night, to buy him some time & I was able to track him down the next day.

Those “rescuers” put him in danger by stealing him off the road & they simply wouldn’t hear otherwise when folks at the store tried to convince them. Instead they argued that dogs cannot live outside & they would not put him back where he could find a scent trail to go home.

Do NOT pick up working dogs. Whether it be hunting hounds or livestock working/guardian dogs. Leave them alone. It usually doesn't take long to distinguish between a dog that is suffering & lacking a home & one that has a family they're going back to. Even if you don't understand or approve, they aren't yours to take and, in Oklahoma, stealing them is a felony. Unless they're in distress, thus needing care, let them be, so their people can find them.

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