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!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Josie, border collie mix

Dog Missing for Nearly 2 Months is Found, Reunited With Owner
By Tracy Bloom & Kimberly Cheng
June 21, 2014

A pet owner who was devastated when her dog went missing for nearly two months after escaping from a Culver City boarding facility got the happy ending she had badly wanted: a reunion with her precious pooch.

Lori Tritel was reunited with her dog “Josie,” a Border Collie mix, about two weeks ago after an exhaustive search that ended up costing her thousands of dollars, she told KTLA on Saturday.

Josie went missing on April 18 after she jumped over a 12-foot-high fence while in the care of Doggie Central.

Tritel, who was at the facility at the time in another room and had watched in horror as her dog jumped the fence, was devastated when Josie escaped.

“She ran toward their back fence. I started screaming,” Tritel tearfully told KTLA after her dog went missing. “We just have a bond. I think people with animals know that bond… and I just want to bring her home.”

Desperate to get her beloved dog back, Josie hired a team to find her. After seven weeks of following tips, handing out fliers and searching for her beloved pet, all of the efforts paid off — Tritel and Josie were finally reunited.

Josie went missing on April 18, 2014, after escaping from the Doggie Central boarding facility in Culver City. (Credit: Lori Tritel)

“I reached out, I held more chicken out for her, and she came right into my chest. It was amazing,” she said, her eyes filling with tears.

Tritel spent about $7,000 of her own money to hire the team of experts and to pay for the cost of supplies that led to Josie being found.

And while she is overjoyed at having Josie back, Tritel — who blames Doggie Central for losing Josie in the first place — said she believed the facility should reimburse her for the expenses related to locating the dog.

“What I want is compensation, I want reimbursement for the cost of the search,” she said. “I think it’s a dog facility’s responsibility to have a fence that cannot be jumped.”

However, Faith Mantooth, the owner of Doggie Central, disagreed that the facility should have to cover the full cost.

Mantooth, who is billed as the “Chief Cuddler” on the company’s website, also contended that the facility had proper precautions in place designed to prevent dogs from escaping.

“She went out the back and scaled a 12-foot fence with barbed wire on the top of it,” Mantooth said.

Mantooth told KTLA in April that no dog had ever gotten over it before Josie did. .

“We’ve never had a dog ever go over that fence, that’s the reason it’s so high and has barbed wire on it. I was in shock,” Mantooth said.

But on Saturday Mantooth said similar situations have happened four times.

“We have been a business 16 years. We have had hundreds of dogs here. To have four dogs get over or out the fence, especially in the beginning years … is to me a perfect track record,” she said.

One of those dogs was killed after running out the facilities front door in 2007 and getting hit by a vehicle.

Mantooth told KTLA on Saturday that she had added additional safeguards to the facility. She also said she has apologized.

Doggie Central has shelled out $2,000 to Tritel, and Mantooth said she did not believe the facility should have to pay her any more than it already had.

KTLA’s Ashley Soley-Cerro contributed to this report.


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.”