I almost decided against writing this article for PoC because it tells of the tragic death of a crated dog. Then I got to thinking a bit. A lot of my cat loving friends also have dogs. Many run rescues, and it’s routine to “crate train” a dog before offering it for adoption. Cats are often quarantined for a few weeks, many times in cages. So when I read about this sweet dog dying because his owner didn’t realize the danger of having on a collar in a cage, I had to share it with as many people as possible. Please distribute this article to your cat and dog loving friends, in the hopes it can save a life.
I’ve included a photo of a dog crate and a cat crate. The cat crate is identical to the ones we use here at home. Our cats on special diets eat in a cage, then the door is opened for them to come out once they finish their meal. The cages are representative of the standard used for the purpose of crating, training and quarantining a pet. Now for what happened.
Orion was a Great Pyrenees, only 7 months old and nearly 100 pounds. His owners would place him in a crate while they were at work. This is common practice in the United States. Most dogs actually stay calmer and enjoy the experience. Today his pet parents returned from work and found Orion dead. He had somehow gotten his cage unlatched and his collar had tangled up in the latch, and he choked to death. Some friends of Orion’s mom suggested a break away collar be used if you crate your dog, but these can also break away if you have a rambunctious, high-spirited animals. You don’t want the collar to break away while walking a dog, and it would be trouble for some to constantly change collars.
It’s recommended to take the time to remove the collar completely before crating your pet.
I’m writing this because we’ve had a similar problem when Sealy was living in a cage. He was wearing a collar just in case he managed to sneak out the door. We were afraid he’d manage to get out, and whoever found him wouldn’t realize he was a special cat, despite the missing ear.
Sealys collar was made of a stretchy material, and would come off in the cage if it latched onto something. Since Sealy doesn’t deal with closed cages except for eating his meals, it’s not an issue for us anymore. Our cat Jasper can open the latch on a wire cage in less than half an hour. He’s been put in there at times while Laura cooks, because he likes to be underfoot (or should I say on the kitchen counter) while Laura preps the food. So I can see where a cat collar could be dangerous to a caged cat.
A lot of my friends are in rescue, meaning they crate the dogs and cats they have up for adoption and take them to local pet stores on the weekend for adoption events. While I assume it would be rare for an animal to become entangled on the way to an event, since most are close to where the pets are being kept in a home environment, it could be an issue for dogs and cats being transported to other parts of the country. These animals must be checked on a regular basis, should the unthinkable happen. I’ve heard of many animals dying while on transport recently, but I don’t believe this was the issue with those.
I was glad a friend of mine passed this information along to me. I’ve always known not to put a dog on a chain inside of a fenced in yard because dogs have literally hanged themselves when trying to jump over the fence. The problem of strangulation with a collar in a cage is something I’d never heard of until today. I feel for the family of this sweet dog, who will likely blame themselves for years to come. It was a tragic accident, and one I hope this article will prevent from happening.
If you must crate a cat or dog in a wire cage, please remove the collar first. It only takes a few seconds to take the collar off and put it back on when the animal is let out of the cage. A few seconds that can save a life.
Please feel free to leave a comment, and be sure to mention any similar problems you’ve heard of involving crates or cages.