Written by Ed Kostro of Illinois
The new year had barely begun when I got a telephone call from someone asking if they could borrow one of my dog traps to catch an extremely skittish stray dog. I often lend out both dog and cat traps to fellow pet rescuers since I have several of both.
“A young female Shepherd has been hanging around a park field house for the past few weeks, and no one can catch her. A park employee has been putting food out for her, but she won’t come near anyone. We’ve also been canvassing the neighborhood searching for her owner, with no luck at all. She very sadly seems to be yet another abandoned dog. And someone has now suggested that we try to catch her with a dog trap. Can we borrow one of yours? And what kind of bait should we use?”
As I started to explain the different baits that I use to trap dogs, I soon decided to go out to this dog’s location myself with one of my dog traps. I then called the kind-hearted park employee who was feeding this street orphan, and I told her that I would meet her there in the morning.
When I arrived the next morning, this poor dog was nowhere to be seen, and the wind chill was now horrifically below zero. I immediately assumed that this homeless canine was now hunkered down somewhere out of the wind.
She Was Racing Across a Windswept Golf Course
After some time, I eventually did spot her. She was already out on the road adjacent to the park, in heavy rush hour traffic, dodging vehicles in her attempt to get across it to an adjacent golf course. Thankfully, she made it across without getting hit, and the last that I saw of her, she was racing across the wind-swept golf course, most likely in search of food. Now what, I thought.
Luckily, a kind-hearted man soon approached us, and he told me where this dog was now sleeping every night. As I had suspected, this orphan had made a nest for herself in a small clump of trees near the park that provided some protection from the arctic wind and frigid temperature.
I now quickly decided to set and bait my dog trap adjacent to her sleeping area, in the hope that she would soon return to it. And thankfully, within a half hour, she did return. And I was now already hunkered down in my truck out of the cold, waiting and watching.
The Smell of Food Was Too Much for Her To Resist
It didn’t take very long before she detected the heavenly smell of the roast beef, salami and fried chicken trail that I had carefully laid down just outside her den. And in her great hunger, she now eagerly began following the scent trail, scooping up every delicious morsel that she found along the way. And very soon, she was standing directly in front of my dog trap.
And there before her, inside the trap, was a huge plate of extremely enticing food. Thankfully, in her immense hunger, she immediately threw all caution to the wind, and she rushed right into the trap to enjoy her newly found feast. The trap door immediately sprang shut behind her, and soon, this starving street orphan was out of the cold and inside the warmth and safety of my truck.
On the way to the animal hospital, I decided to name her ‘Jackie’ and as I now petted her and talked to her soothingly, she quickly began to relax and to enjoy the ride. But when we arrived at our destination, she now refused to get out of my truck. Its warmth must have seemed heavenly to her after being out in the frigid winter cold for so long.
Despite my many coaxing efforts, Jackie simply would not budge from the safety and warmth of my vehicle. So I eventually had to carry her into the animal hospital.
She had no micro-chip or collar, and we soon discovered that she was covered from head to tail with burrs. We also discovered that she was extremely docile and timid, and now, extremely grateful to be in from the cold.
Jackie will be spending the next several days at the animal hospital, being cared for, spayed, groomed and vaccinated. And soon, she will be happily residing at her new foster home, anxiously awaiting the person who will give her the love and the loving permanent home that she, like every homeless dog today, truly deserves.
We have hundreds of happy endings to share. Check out more uplifting stories from everyday heroes at The Great Animal Rescue Chase website, and please don’t be shy about contributing a rescue story of your own!