Before my divorce and layoff, I had a veritable zoo of rescue animals, in addition to my two dogs, Sun Conyer and daughter's chinchilla. I had one rescue rabbit, an aquatic turtle and a starving, abused Papillon and several feral cats. Prior to losing my job to the economic downturn, I spent 2-hours commuting to and from work. I lived in rural Jefferson County, MO, where many unwanted animals ended up abandoned. I learned to keep dog food and treats in my car for those occasions when I came across an animals left alone to fend for themselves.
One day, after noticing an obviously long abandoned, small, collie dog for sometime (he would run into the woods when I approached), I stopped, bringing my dog treats. I threw some treats and the collie retreated taking the stash, when out came a friendly Jack Russell terrier. The little terrier trotted back with me to the car and hopped in. I took him back home, put him in the backyard with food and water, changed my clothes and headed back to work. One weekday morning, during the second week with "Jack", it was raining, so I had no choice but to leave the rescue dog in the house with my Golden Retriever. The house did not allow me to separate the very congenial dogs. When I got home, the Jack Russell had gotten sick in the living room. I unknowingly had exposed my Golden Retriever to every parasite known to man. My husband had already found a great home for our rescue pup with a co-worker who had always wanted a Jack Russell. She came that evening and after taking the dog to the vet, let us know that her new best friend had been in the wild for quite a while as he was infested with parasites from eating whatever small, wild animal he could find.
A trip to the vet with Leo confirmed a costly mistake. Leo was prescribed medication for parasites and was fine. When my daughter asked to bring the Papillon she rescued from the an abusive, heroin user, I said yes, after she got her to the vet. She checked out malnourished, but parasite free and lived with us until I divorced and left our Hillsboro home. The apartment I moved into only allowed one dog, and I brought my Scottie, so I was left with the sad task of findng good homes for the rest of my critters.
I now live in St. Louis City, where the leash laws are strictly enforced and I have not seen any stray roaming critters. However, I still carry dog food and treats, just in case.