On Sept. 21, I was driving home late from work like any typical Friday. I noticed a line of cars in both directions quickly braking and swerving out of the way. As I approached I noticed two dogs running frantically down the middle line of 122. They were obviously lost and seeking someone to help them find their way home. I quickly pulled over and they came running towards me. As I grabbed both of their collars traffic quickly began to move. A very nice woman pulled over behind me to help me move both dogs to my car. I cannot thank her enough.

I drove both dogs to Blue Ridge Animal Hospital where we were greeted with kindness and a wonderful receptionist( I wish I could have gotten her name) came to my car ( because I unfortunately didn’t have a leash or two) and scanned both dogs for a microchip. After finding out neither dog was chipped, she directed me to the Bedford County Animal Shelter on Falling Creek Road.

Pulling up to the animal shelter I noticed an employee outside. When I stepped out of my car she greeted me with “ what do you want?” I stated that I had picked up two dogs on the road and could not locate their owners. She replied with “We are not taking stray dogs.” I asked her what my next plan should be to which she replied “well you should just take them back to where you found them and leave them there.” I said “So I should leave them in the middle of a very busy road?” And she replied yes. This was not an option for me, as a dog owner I would hope that if something had ever happened to my dogs someone would treat them with kindness and not just leave them on the side of the road.

After trying just about everyone SPCA, Humane society, and animal shelter I could find them number too, I realized I was too late. It was almost 6 o’clock on a Friday. Everyone was at home by now. So I called Bedford County Animal Control. I was transferred to dispatch. I asked for Animal Control to which she replied they were gone for the day and would not be back until Monday morning. I then asked her what I should do. She advised me to shoo the dogs away and hopefully they would go home. I explained to her where they were and she said well can you keep them and feed them until Monday? Now by no means would I have ever just let these dogs go or not feed them if could not find their owner — but not all dogs get along. And 4 dogs in 1 house is a lot. Especially dogs that are not familiar with each other.

So after leaving the animal shelter in tears, I decided to just drive down the roads nearby the place I found them. I was lucky enough to see and knock on some of the kindest peoples doors. Thank you to everyone who treated me with kindness and love as I knocked on door after door. I am so blessed to live in a place where people will help any stranger they meet. After quite a few knocks I found the owner of these very sweet dogs. She met me with a hug and I was happy to finally learn both of my new friends names.

I am absolutely appalled at what we call an animal protection system in this county. How can it be a system if all we tell people is to turn these poor animals back out to suffer? Why do we even have these governments in place if this is what they tell us in a time of need? Why would anyone help an animal if this is the negative repercussions we are met with?

We have to fix this. These animals were not strays. They were pets. They were loved and cared for. Why is our system so broken that helping someone or something becomes an impossible task.

Devon Tuck

Moneta

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