The SPCA and Palmerston North veterinarian Malcolm Anderson are pleading with people to have their pets microchipped so they can organise reunions when cats and dogs go missing.
Their latest rescue is a 4 or 5-year-old white bichon frise male they are temporarily calling Casper.
Manawatu SPCA manager Danny Auger was alerted to Casper's plight when a motorist came in to report that he had hit and thought he had killed the little dog in the Brightwater area.
He returned a short time later to report that the dog had moved.
It had been temporarily knocked unconscious, was found by the SPCA and taken to Anderson's veterinary clinic.
There, he was checked over, no major injuries or fractures were found, the bleeding around his mouth was declared not as bad as it looked, and he was spending yesterday under observation and on pain relief for a suspected headache.
"He's a classic example of how most car accident victims are males," Mr Anderson said.
"It's like they have their beer goggles on."
The mission now is to find Casper's owner.
"These are usually well-loved little lap dogs, but it's very difficult when we don't know who the owner is, and it's up to us at the moment to call the shots," Mr Auger said.
In this case he was hopeful Casper would recover without too much further treatment but in some cases, if lost animals needed surgery, the SPCA was in a difficult situation.
The organisation was responsible for the animal's welfare, and with surgery often being an expensive option with no guarantee of recovering the costs, sometimes the hard choice had to be made about whether to treat the animal or put it down.
"Microchipping is good in so many cases. Whether it's us or the city council, we can contact the owner quickly, and that's best for the welfare of animals that go missing."
The cost of microchipping is usually between $40 and $60.
- Manawatu Standard
Does more need to be done to protect NZ passports?