Max, a dog at the shelter this past year, helped a lost dog come home.

Shelter dogs have many skills and talents. While we seek to hone these skills to prepare dogs for adoption, sometimes a dog is called upon to perform an important job while he is still at the shelter. Such was the case with Max, a small shelter dog who helped a lost, scared pup come home.

It was just a normal day when Bethany, a Kennel Attendant at the Lycoming County SPCA, was driving to work. She had pulled onto Reach Road and was driving not far from the shelter when she noticed a small dog running alone along the busy street. She quickly pulled over and tried to coax the little dog to her. Terrified, he bolted and ran behind a large building. Determined not to let the little dog out of her sight, Bethany followed. She called the shelter to let them know of her situation (and explain that she would be a little late to work). Staff decided to help out, so they grabbed a leash, treats, and Max, a friendly shelter dog.

Nervous and scared, the lost dog sat down in a parking lot and just stared at the staff. “It would bark, but it wouldn’t come,” staff remember. Workers at a nearby building noticed what was going on and halted their noisy machinery. “Max didn’t notice the other dog at first,” Bethany and Kelli, another staff member, explain, “but then it barked again and Max got really excited. He started to play bow and bark and get hyper.” The little dog’s antics began to draw the lost dog in. “He got within arm’s length of me,” Kelli recalls, “but he wouldn’t come any closer. I wasn’t sure how he would react to Max, so I didn’t let them get too close. Eventually, though, he seemed friendly enough so I let out Max’s leash a little.” The two pups touched noses and staff quickly looped a leash over the lost dog. He was safe!

A happy Max got richly rewarded for his efforts.

Elated, Bethany and the staff members headed back to the shelter, dogs in hand. The lost dog hopped right in the car and appeared well taken care of. At the shelter, he was checked for a microchip, and lo and behold, the dog was found to have the important chip. A short call to the microchip company revealed the owner’s name and within minutes, the dog’s relieved owners were on the phone. The little dog had been lost early that morning and his Dad was still out looking for him. “When his Dad walked into the lobby, the little dog got so excited,” Kelli recalls. “Both dog and human were really glad to see each other.”

The importance of a microchip, and updating the microchip information over time, cannot be underestimated. A significant number of the stray animals that come into the shelter have microchips. Unfortunately, they often lead to outdated information. Luckily for the pooch and his parents, they were reunited.

It is SPCA supporters who supply the shelter with the tools we need to reunite lost pets and their owners. Without your support, this vital service would not be as readily available in Lycoming County. As #GivingTuesday nears, please consider giving on this special day to ensure that lost pets in Lycoming County have a helping hand in their time of need.

Read more #GivingTuesday animal stories

Just Hours to Live - Lost Kittens Saved - #GivingTuesday
Investigation Story - 3 Dogs Given New Leash on Life - #GivingTuesday
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