This happened a couple of months ago, and I'm curious how you all would have handled it.
<BG>I am allergic to both cats and dogs, so when DH and I moved in together, the month of me + him + cat was pure hell for me. He wanted her to be an outdoor cat eventually, but he's always lived in small apartments in downtown cities, so no place for a cat to wander around. When we moved in to a place in the hills, we decided to let her roam around during daytime and then put her in at night to sleep, in our detached garage. (The garage btw is really nice, carpeted, with a bathroom, not that she uses it
and some furniture and hidey holes. Essentially, a cat's heaven, except there are no people in it, although he spends time with her every day.
Our kittie is terrified of most people, and of all other animals, so we decided to make our home pet-free and to tell people with pets in advance that pets aren't allowed, when we invite them over for bbqs or whatever. We blame it on kittie as even if we don't let her out for the day, she'll smell their scent in her territory and she doesn't like that at all. And also, I'm terrified of dogs.</BG>
We had friends (Mike, Eleni, and their 2 year old son Ike) from another country a couple months ago, and they stayed with us for two weeks. They were moving to our area from a country in Africa, and transitioning here to find a semi-permanent place to live. We actually stayed with them last year while visiting their country. They had an open invitation with us, and we were happy to host.
They are very animal friendly, and I am both allergic to and scared of dogs. One night we encouraged them to go out to a concert after they put Ike to bed, and we stayed back "babysitting" which meant checking up on him and watching him change sleep positions. It was basically their first date in 2 years, so we really wanted them to enjoy it. Couple things happened that night. First, they got back pretty late, and it was 1AM on a weeknight (and we didn't want to go to sleep just in case Ike woke up), and second, they brought back a stray dog with them!
DH went out to talk with them and was basically like, dude, no dogs or any pets allowed because of Lorelai's allergy plus this is Kittie's territory! But it was so late in the night to do anything about it. It just seemed like there were no good options for us. The dog was found 2 blocks from our house. They didn't want to let the dog free in case some harm came to it (we didn't like that either), but we also didn't want it in our yard. It was too late to call any neighbors about it. And DH didn't want to call animal control in case they put the dog down.
Houseguests were really apologetic for crossing the line, but in their eyes I could tell that they had a lot of empathy for the dog and that if they saw a stray dog of course they would stop to pick it up, and it never even occurred to them that it would upset us. Whereas if I see a stray dog sometimes I might think about calling animal control or calling a neighbor, but I would never stop to pick a dog up. Because Mike & Eleni don't own a dog, we never told them about our rule in advance, so I don't blame them for their actions. And in every other way they were wonderful houseguests.
I started to think maybe I was rude for even being the way I am, and that maybe I could cultivate a little more empathy for the dog. When I see cars stalled on the highway I don't stop - because I'm suspicious and feel that I need to protect myself from crazy people. This is a bit of a stretch, but the whole thing made me wonder. Is it rude not to extend kindness to others when it inconveniences you or puts you out, when the other (in this case the dog) truly needs help? I wonder what you all might have done in this situation.