Courtney Gresham put her 5-year-old Boston Terrier, Emmie, in her crate as she left her North Carolina home to head to work. This was a normal occurrence; she had done it many times before. But this time when she returned home from work, Emmie wouldn't be there to greet her.
“I opened the back door and immediately saw Emmie up on her back legs in the crate,” Gresham said on Facebook. “I ran to her to find that her collar was hung on a part of the metal crate near the top. In tears and screaming, I opened the door and unhooked the hung part of her collar. She was unresponsive.”
Gresham made a mistake that many dog owners inadvertently do every day. She put Emmie in the crate but didn't remove her collar. The tags on the collar got stuck between the bars of the crate. As Emmie struggled to free herself, she ended up being strangled before Courtney Gresham returned home.
Gresham was devastated. The heartbreak only grew when she discovered that this is quite a common occurrence. Dogs are routinely strangled by getting their collars caught between the bars or door latches.
“We had no idea of the dangers of having a collared pet in a crate,” Gresham said. “I have since read so much on the internet about how this can happen. We learned this the hard way.”
You might be inclined to blame crates, but they can be great housebreaking tools. They also help keep dogs who like to chew household items safe. Many a dog has ingested pieces of furniture, causing an impaction. Many more have choked to death on random chewed up pieces of household items because they weren't crated as well.
The issue is the collar. Collars have strangled dogs in their own yards after being caught on trees or bushes. They've strangled dogs left out of a crate by getting snagged on furniture, door knobs, and more.
Many kennels, shelters, vet offices and doggy daycares remove collars upon taking possession of dogs to ensure this doesn't happen.
Gresham put out a warning on Facebook in Emmie’s memory, instructing pet owners to remove their dog's collar or invest in breakaway collars that will come off if they get snagged on anything.
“[Emmie] brought so much fun, personality, light, and love into our lives,” Gresham said. “I feel so guilty that it happened. Now in hindsight, I see so many ways it could have been prevented. I beg you to never put a collared animal in a crate.”
Wise words learned through difficult circumstances.
For those worried about their dog being lost without its collar, don't worry. Advancements in technology means that microchipping your dog is often cheaper than a high-end collar. It can't strangle your dog or fall off before your dog can be found. They are often a lifesaver for lost dogs, and the best option to make sure your dog can be identified if and when you remove your dog's collar for safety purposes.
And as always, hit the 'LIKE' & 'SHARE' buttons to spread the word of caution with your friends and family. Thank you.