Friday, July 18, 2014

Nekita, husky mix

Woman, with help from the Network, reunites with lost dog after more than a year
Samantha Wright Allen
July 18, 2014

More than a year-and-a-half ago, Hope Cadieux opened the door for her dog, Nekita, like she had so many times before, so the husky mix could take a run on the family’s St. Albert farm.

Nekita never came back.

But two weeks ago, with the help of the Ottawa and Valley Lost Pet Network, that lost cause became a found dog.

Nekita went missing more than a year ago, but with the help of the Ottawa and Valley Lost Pet Network, owner Hope Cadieux was reunited with the husky border collie mix two weeks ago.

“They gave me hope when I didn’t have any,” says Cadieux of the Facebook page where she posted a picture of the husky border collie cross and its two puppies that went missing in January 2013. Days later, one puppy came back but the other, Ace, is still missing. Up until early July, that was Nekita’s story, too.

“I thought we would never see her again,” says the 18-year-old of the first dog she bought with her own money.

One day Cadieux opened her Facebook feed to find her name tagged many times to a photo of a familiar-looking dog. The woman who found that dog took it to bylaw officers in Casselman, where Cadieux now lives with her family.

Cadieux says she’d been through that drill before, visiting potential pups that never turned out to be hers.

“I didn’t really get my hopes up. I thought it would be a lost cause again.”

But when Cadieux walked in the room and said Nekita’s name, she knew it was the right dog.

“She just lit up and it was really nice to see. She came up to us and started jumping on us,” she says of the dog, who is almost four. “I was overwhelmed.”

Cadieux says she never would have found her dog without the network.

“They work miracles.”

One of those miracle workers is founder Gisele Villeneuve, who started the page in December 2012. Before, Villeneuve managed a lost pet group closer to her home in Renfrew, but she thought, given how far animals can roam, the group’s reach needed to be wider.

“You never know where a lost pet will end up,” says Villeneuve, who owns four dogs. Since then the page has grown to more than 10,000 likes. She says the site tracked more than 150 reunions of pets and their owners in the first five months of 2014. They’ve since stopped counting.

“We have to go through hundreds of notifications every day,” she says, adding the group contacts the owners with any leads posted to make sure all leads are followed up. Villeneuve manages the page part-time with 15 other administrators, four of whom volunteer full time.

Villeneuve lists success stories like so many memories.

There have been feral dogs, caught and adopted or returned. An orange cat, missing for two years, returned to a “little boy who was heartbroken.” And then there was a woman who searched for a stranger’s dog for three days because the Ottawa owner was stuck in Ottawa. She found the dog.

There was also Katy Meredith, who lost her cat on her wedding day. Because of the network, Max was home three days later.

“It’s just amazing. They reconnect animals every day, and people need to know that because those people are the ones who are going to find your pet.”

Now Meredith is a regular poster, and hopes more in the Ottawa Valley will like the page and keep an eye out for missing pets.

“It works like magic, sometimes within hours,” says Villeneuve, adding it’s important to be sure the owner is the correct one — ask for vet bills, pictures and watch if the animal responds to its name. “That’s the power of social media.”

The organization even posts when deceased animals are found because it can give the family closure.

Villeneuve is quick to add it’s important to report through the proper channels as well, like the local animal shelter or the Ottawa Humane Society. She also stresses that a microchip is important to help bylaw officers identify lost and stolen pets.

“This network is a community hero. It’s so heartwarming,” she said, to see strangers helping strangers. “It will restore your faith in humanity.”

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Donald's Story
July 8th, 2014

Donald started out at a high kill shelter on the put to sleep list (all dogs are on the pts list there) when a wonderful rescue stepped in to save him.

He was put on the transport van, labeled as a flight risk, which traveled from SC to DE on Saturday, 6/28.

Donald - before, during and after trapping
Once he arrived, he was placed into the backseat of a car to head to his overnight stop.  An inexperienced volunteer opened the car door, with Donald in the back, and that is when he made his escape.  People took off after him, but he was off into waist high weeds.

Later that night a search was on for him, with a dog friendly dog (since he loves dogs), but it was getting dark and the ticks were everywhere.  The search was called off.

The following morning at 8:30am, 6/29 Donald was spotted in the same spot where he escaped from the night before. But took off once he saw people.

A trap was borrowed from a local rescue, a trail was set up with food to lead him back to the area he escaped, and to lure him near the trap.  It was baited with food and left set up overnight in hopes of catching him.

That same day 6/29, two volunteers spent over three hours in the woods looking for him, and spotted him with on the top of the hill far away.  The pink slip lead is what allowed the volunteers to spot him in all the green.

Another volunteer traveled from NJ set up a camera, donated two cases of dog food and supplied the two volunteers with 200 large posters with protective covers to hang and tons of hand out posters.  The volunteer from NJ also spent hours waiting on Donald, but he never showed up.

On 6/30 at 7am Donald was spotted in the same spot as he was previously seen, but didn't go into the trap.

The food was changed and later that day the area was blanketed with the posters. Neighborhoods were walked and people were told of Donald's escape by the three volunteers.  The trap was checked three times before it got dark; no Donald.  The clock was ticking.  Fourth of July was just around the corner and the fear was that the fireworks would scare him from his spot.

The plan for the next day, 7/1 was to change the food again, but this time with freshly cooked fatty bacon including the grease, and KFC honey BBQ tenders due to the pungent smell.  Since Donald's feeding time at the shelter was 7:30, the idea was to place the food a couple of hours before his normal feeding so it would be fresh when he came to eat.  Another trapper said that dogs usually come out at dawn and dusk so the plan was changed to dawn.

Dawn the next day, 7/1, was at 5am. So the KFC was purchased the night before, the bacon was cooked the following morning at 3:30am, and the KFC was heated to bring out the aroma.  Both items were packed up and by 4am, two volunteers were at the trap.

Since it was dark when the volunteers arrived, the headlights were pointed in the area of the trap.  As the volunteer's approached the trap, they could see the trap door was down.  At that moment they knew something was in the trap.  Further into the weeds, suddenly barking!

It was Donald!  He was super scared, but safe.

A call was made to a volunteer with a SUV to transport Donald. Another volunteer was called to help lift the trap with Donald in it.  Trappers warned the volunteers never take a trapped dog out of the trap at the spot they were caught.  If they escaped again, the chances of them being trapped again are very slim.  The dog should be taken in the trap to a safe place and then taken out of the trap.  When the two additional volunteers arrived, Donald was loaded into the SUV and escorted via caravan style to a volunteer's house.

The SUV was pulled into the garage where Donald was safely taken out.  Donald was scared and very thirsty.  He was taken to his own room, put in a large crate with fresh bedding, food and a lot of water.  The volunteer stayed with him downstairs as emails & texts were sent out that he was safe.

Later that day he was bathed, had over 300 ticks removed from his body, played with some of the volunteers dogs and was taken to his temporary foster home until he can join the transport next weekend. He will then, finally make it to his rescue.

So many people were involved in his recovery.All the advice given made the difference in his safe capture.

Donald's normal life can now begin!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fonzie, greyhound therapy dog

Angus family finds missing dog five days after tornado
By Cheryl Browne, Barrie Examiner
Monday, June 23, 201

After nearly a week of searching for her best friend, even Master Seaman Roxanne Cronk admits she was beginning to wonder if she'd ever see him again.

Cronk's dog, Fonzie, took off running out the front door of their home on Banting Crescent when an EF2 tornado blew through Angus last Tuesday evening, taking most of the second floor of their home with it.

Roxanne Cronk, of Angus, is glad to have 'Fonzie', her nine-year-old greyhound, back home after he went missing for five days after a tornado struck their home last Tuesday.
Cronk was hustling her partner Master Cpl. James Wood's children down to the basement as the twister hopscotched down the street wreaking havoc on more than 100 homes in their neighbourhood.

“The door burst open and he ran by us out the front door,” Wood said Monday afternoon.

Resting on the back lawn of CFB Borden's emergency housing unit, which was provided to the young couple after the tornado, Cronk rubs Fonzie's ears as if to reassure herself he's still there when she talks.

Fonzie, aka Cocktail Decoeyes, was adopted by Cronk through the Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada five years ago as a retired racing dog when she was stationed at CFB Greenwood in Nova Scotia.

Now nine-years-old, the calm, well-mannered greyhound has a grey muzzle and the gentle disposition needed to be a St. John Ambulance therapy dog at the Riverwood Retirement Home in Alliston.

The tall, long-legged greyhound walks shakily across the lawn and sits down, tired but composed after a week on the lam as Cronk tells the tale.

“I was out driving around Sunday since about 6:30 a.m. and a few hours into it I called James blubbering. It was so late in the week and everybody was looking for him and nobody had seen him in days and I just couldn't take it anymore,” Cronks grins through her tears as she remembers the desperation she felt Sunday.

“And I said, 'it's OK, come home',” Wood said, and then they laughed.

“And just then I saw him and yelled, 'There's Fonzie',” she said.

Just ahead of her, Fonzie could be seen loping down the 25 Sideroad, near the 7th Line, as if out for a jog.

Two cars were pulled over to the side watching him, and as Cronk ran after him and called out to her dog – who kept running – one driver offered to drive her closer to the frightened pet.

“He looked like the Littlest Hobo,” Cronk said of the 1980s TV show of a dog who travelled alone from town to town.

“I yelled 'Fonzie stop!' and he finally slowed down. I said, 'Come on Fonzie', and he turned and put his head down but his tail was wagging and he came back to me,” she said. “I just hugged him crying and I think I've been blubbering with relief ever since.”

Another kind stranger drove them back to her car and her brother Rockwell Cronk – who'd arrived from CFB Trenton and had been looking for Fonzie since Friday night – arrived with Wood and his sons for the family reunion.

A quick check by a Mill Street veterinarian found that he'd lost about three pounds and had a stiff leg, but was otherwise in good condition considering he'd spent five days alone in the woods just a few kilometres from home.

As Cronk and Wood set up their temporary home at CFB Borden, they want to express their gratitude to the hundreds of people who participated in the search for their missing dog.

“So many people did such great work looking for him, it was just a fluke she found him running along that road,” Wood said.

Seniors and staff at the retirement home were passing along the information to their friends and family, another friend had set up an Facebook account, as well as a Twitter tag #helpfindFonzie, while posters were made and shared by Angus residents.

An Ontario greyhound organization was sending out updates about the missing canine, and police and hydro workers were keeping a lookout for him as well, Wood said.

“People took days off work to look for him. It was amazing,” he said.

“We had a call from a woman in Oakville this morning, asking if we'd found him yet. We told her we had and she was so thrilled. Another woman wrote an e-mail and said her daughter wants to come meet 'the dog who is a hero'.

“It's just incredible the amount of support we've had.”


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lily, min pin

Lily's story shared from her Mom & Dad's perspective
Posted to the Lost Dog Advocates FB Page
June 21, 2014

"I want to start off by saying I truly thank all of you for your help in getting Lily home, whether it be by prayer, sharing, looking or watching, and calling in when you spotted or thought you spotted you. You all are a big part of us getting Lily home.

This was a very long 33 days of heartache, worry, tears, high emotions, and low emotions: long and hard miles of searching, and tracking her scent.

After the first of searching we realized we could not possibly do it on our own. There was just too much wooded area to cover. Lily was scared and in hiding.

In our search we came in contact with a very special lady (Liz) who told us of a lost dog tracking service out of Geneva. We contacted Lost Dog Advocates right away and hired them for their help.

Amy came with her scent dog, Debbie, and we started at Jessica and Tim's house where Lily went missing. Debbie picked up Lily's scent in the back yard where she had of course been, but the next place she went after getting scent from the scent article was right where our grandson Timmy had told me Lily went after leaving the garage. I never told anyone that Timmy had showed me that area so I knew that Debbie had in fact had Lily's scent.

We immediately put out a lost dog amber alert in the area she was last spotted about a mile away from Jessica's. We set up equipment to track if Lily came into that area and a Catch and Release Trap.

Amy (Lost Dog Advocates) had been through this entire process on a personal level because of searching for and locating her own dog. She was always there guiding us and checking and tracking every day.

With the help of everyone calling us when they spotted or thought they spotted Lily we were able to see the path Lily had taken and try to guess where she may be headed so we could get ahead of her.

She is a very smart dog and the same thing that kept her alive in the woods is the same thing that made it very hard to locate her. She is a survivor and learned real quick what she had to survive on her own.

After Lily was spotted on Rte. 193 in Kingsville, Ohio Amy did a Track with Debbie. We had already gotten a positive scent so the next step was to track. This led Amy and Debbie down the tracks and into the woods again.

They then picked up scent in a Wheat field in the 3000 block of Creek Rd in Kingsville where we did what is called a push. When I learned Rich thought he seen Lily in the Wheat Field chasing a Turkey I believed we would catch her.

Again, thank you all who answered my plea for help and came out to that location.

We spent a few hours in that location with Debbie and Amy tracking. Lily must have slipped by all of us and went into the woods again. Our hopes of bringing Lily home were crushed yet again. We came home that night without her.

Amy had received a text from a girl on South Ridge Rd in Kingsville, Ohio that Lily was playing in the yard with her dog. Even though it was pouring down rain and looking like a tornado might hit, Amy collected the Safe Trap and moved it to the new location.

We could not get positive scent because of the severe storm and Debbie being exhausted from the push. We could do nothing but pray and wait again.

Rich and I put another Lost Dog ad in the paper, bought more posters to put up and also bought 2 more safe traps to help catch her.

We went to the location where the girl had seen Lily and talked to her sister as she was at work. It gave Rich and me joy to know that Lily was playing with her dog.

We then had to come home to tend to our 13 year old Black Lab who is blind and has diabetes. Amy called and wanted to meet us at the location of the last sighting so we headed back there when we were done tending to Jenny.

On the trip back to that location Amy called and asked that we meet her at Liz's house, it was very important. We didn't know if she had gotten Lily on camera, seen Lily in person, found her alive or dead. We were on pins and needles.

When we arrived at Liz's house Amy was not there yet. Liz acted like she did not even know Amy wanted to meet there. Liz called Amy and then asked us to have a seat. That made our hearts sink.

Liz said Amy was on her way and needed a phone number from Liz. She should get the actress of the year award by the way.

When Amy got there she came in the house with little expression on her face and said that she had told us she would never quit looking for Lily until she found her alive or dead. Then she said she quit. That hit us like a brick. We asked excitedly "Did you find her?" and " is she alive?". Amy responded with a YES!

I took off out the door for Amy's vehicle like a lightening bolt. Lily was in the safe trap in Amy's car. I did not want to open the trap until we had her safely enclosed in the garage. Lily recognized our voices and was just as excited to see us. We all hugged Lily and Thanked God for bring Lily home. I will ad pics later today. Thank you all!!!!! "