Saturday, June 27, 2015

We Called the Sheriff

We were at a small county park outside of Shelley, Idaho Friday night. There is no one on duty at the office, and check-in is via an envelope drop in the door.

During the night we were awakened by the mournful howls of several dogs. Not barking. Crying! We heard them several times. 

In the morning it became apparent that they were locked in the older class C camper in the spot next to ours. No people were present, but there was a BBQ on the picnic table, and a leash tied to the tree. The dogs continued to cry on and off. 

I met the couple who were in the rig on the other side of the Class C as they were preparing to pull out. They said there were three dogs inside, they had seen a car there Thursday, but not since,  and that they had called the park office and left a message about the dogs.  It was now 9:30 Saturday morning.

What to do? 

The windows were open, but it had to be hot in there during the day. If the person responsible had not been there for at least 36 hours, the animals must have gotten short on water. Not to mention needing to go potty. To hear them cry was heartbreaking.

We speculated the owner might be in trouble somewhere and unable to get back. A car breakdown or accident? A heart attack? There were two doggie biscuits on the picnic table next to the BBQ. He must love his companions. 

Since we were planning on pulling out within an hour, we did the only thing we could think of, and called the county sheriff to check the situation out. If the owner is OK, he will be in some trouble. If he is not, the dogs will be taken care of.

The sheriff stopped by before we left and told us the rig was registered to someone in Shelley, and that he would call the police to contact them if possible.

As we were leaving the park we saw a car pull into the spot with the class C and someone go to unlock the door. We did not stop to find out what had happened, it was enough to know someone was taking care of the pups.

What would you have done?


  1. I would have done exactly what you did...either way something had to be done.

  2. Good call, like you said if they just left them unattended without cause then the poor pooches needed someone to intervene. If it was an emergency on the owners part, I sure would be thankful someone saved my pet.

  3. I worry that if something happens to Carm and I when we are out and about there will be no one to look in on the pets. We've left contact information visible in the door, but come to think about it, I think it is just our cell numbers which would be no good at all if we were in the hospital. Thanks for the story - I'll go and update that info asap.

    I can only hope that someone as observant as you are our neighbors if this ever happens.

  4. You definitely made the right decision. That is something I always worry about when we are traveling. We keep an updated 3x5 card in the truck with the information about where we are parked and that there are two dogs inside along with our son's phone number. Sure glad somebody showed up to check on those pups.

  5. We' think we would do just as you did, but there's the always present --- do we want to get involved. Good for you to "get involved!"

  6. You absolutely did the right thing and we would have done the same thing. I always worry about what would happen to the cats if something happened to us. I think I need to find something to put on the door.

    Good job.

  7. I would definitely want someone to do that if that were my rig and my dog. Thank you for doing the right thing for those pups who had no one else to speak for them.

  8. I just think of the recent demise of our friend Hazel Bluhm. She had a stroke in her RV and fell down in the stairwell. She was alive but trapped inside for 3 days with her two dogs and a cat and nobody to help her. finally on the fourth day someone realized they hadn't seen her in a while and contacted the ranger at the park where she was volunteering. they got her out and flew her into the hospital, but it was too late she later died in a coma. So sad.

  9. Thanks for the reminder that we need to have contact info for our dog and signs on the rig and in the truck.


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