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Schuylkill County Dog Warden’s Recent Amazing Rescue Highlights the Benefit of Licensing

A Shiba Inu was missing for weeks but a license helped reunite it with its owners.

Schuylkill County Dog Warden Rich Hine recently got a call asking for assistance with a stray dog. Later, he learned that this dog had been missing for weeks.

While it didn’t happen in Schuylkill County, this story could serve as a reminder to local dog owners of one benefit of licensing your best friend.

Shiba Inu Reunited with Owners After Going Missing for Weeks

The call back in late-April was in regard to a missing dog in Mifflin County. Hine was covering that territory while another warden was on leave at the time.

A farm’s landowner had been spotting a stray dog for several weeks but couldn’t get it to come to her.

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Hine traveled to Mifflin County to see if he could catch this stray dog.

“I went out there and spotted it and I was able to catch it,” Hine said. “And it had a license.”

The dog was a Shiba Inu. According to the American Kennel Club, the Shiba Inu is the smallest of the Japanese native breeds of dog and was originally developed for hunting by sight and scent in the dense undergrowth of Japan’s mountainous areas.

“Since the dog was wearing a license, I was able to get the phone number for the owner, but the number had been changed,” Hine said. “I also was able to get the owner’s address, and that was only about a five-minute drive from where I’d caught the dog.”

Hine loaded the dog, which is 10 years old, into his state vehicle and drove to the owner’s address.

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“When I pulled in, the family was in the driveway with one of their dogs, a golden retriever,” Hine said. “They were very surprised and happy – the dog had been missing for several weeks.”

If the dog hadn’t been wearing a license, the protocol for Hine would have been to take the dog to an animal shelter.

Dog owners who have lost a dog typically check animal shelters early as part of their search efforts but given the amount of time the dog had been lost, it was unlikely that the dog and its owners would have been reunited that way.

There are many duties that are part of a Dog Warden’s routine, such as investigating complaints about aggressive dogs, inspecting dog breeding/boarding kennels and more. Reconnecting the family with their dog, Hine said, was very rewarding.

“The owners had speculated that something must have happened to the dog, and they had given up hope,” Hine said. “But it had a license, and now it’s back home.”

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