It was a dark and stormy night on Friday, and on my way home through a less salubrious part of Queanbeyan, I came across two dogs wandering in the road. I pulled over and the dogs came to me willingly. They had no collars and were in a precarious position, so I took them home. They stank like a garbage dump, so I gave them both a bath. They are shih tzu, and obviously related, as they’re near identical, except the female is much smaller. To say their condition was disgusting is no exaggeration. The female in particular had matted fur over her entire body. I cut the hair away from their eyes, then spent hours and hours cutting the matted fur from the female. It was so bad, that her front legs were partly fused to her chest by the matting. They are both very placid dogs, and she was content to lay still for long periods of time while I worked on her. They also both have extremely overgrown nails. They are not, however, underfed.
So I went into a local vet the next morning, and yes, they’re microchipped. My options as explained by the vet were a couple. First, I could leave them there and they would contact the owners who could collect them. If the owners didn’t wish to do so, the vet would then surrender them to the Queanbeyan Pound. Otherwise, I could surrender them myself.
I took them home again while I ponder what to do. I don’t wish to keep them, but I am loathe to surrender them in the expectation that they’ll be returned to owners that for whatever reason don’t have the capacity to properly care for them. The very poor condition of the dogs didn’t come about in a short period of time. It was months if not more of neglect of grooming.
My thinking at this point is to surrender them to the RSPCA in Canberra in the hope that if they are returned to the owners, they will have the opportunity to try to educate the owners.