Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Roxanne, American Staffordshire Terrier

I'm certain that this story is an old story. But there must still be some dogs around that have tattoos. (My dog still has his, though by now it looks like a barcode after ten years.) They were the only form of permanent identification for a pet before microchipping. This story also involves a research lab; research labs legally purchase animals from animal control facilities that legally sell them in lieu of euthanizing them. This is yet another reason why it's so important to microchip companion animals, keep the registry up to date, and periodically have your microchipped pet scanned to ensure that the chip is still where is was injected (they can migrate, making it important that an animal's full body is scanned if the chip is not found in the neck area).


Unconscious, just moments from the beginning incision, an eight-month old American Staffordshire Terrier lay on the operating table of a mid-western research laboratory. As the researcher shaved the dog’s abdomen (preparing it for surgery from which it would never awaken), tattooed numbers were uncovered on the skin of the dog’s inner thigh! The surgery was instantly aborted.

The doctor performing the research went right to the phone and called a toll-free number he had used several times before. Within minutes, a comprehensive nationwide search began for the owner of the tattooed pet. The number the researcher called was a 24-hour pet identification hotline operated by the National Dog Registry, the oldest and largest missing pet recovery system in the world, which is headquartered in Mesa, AZ.

When the operator at NDR ran a database search for the pet’s ID number with no successful match, she began the arduous task of networking with all other cooperating organizations that might have records on the number. The operator knew that without a registration in a national database (such as NDR’s), the tattoo was virtually worthless as an identification and recovery tool, and the dog on the table at the research laboratory would surely die.

NDR’s operator persisted in her efforts. One of the calls she placed was to the Breeder’s Action Board (BAB) in Michigan, a group that regularly works with NDR. (BAB is a non-profit organization promoting responsible dog ownership and public education.) Believing that the tattoo number might be part of their state pet ID system, BAB’s Betty Melia called the Michigan Department of Agriculture. The Department had the number on file, but had no current information on the owner. Persevering, Betty called the veterinarian listed as the dog’s tattooer and uncovered more recent information.

When she contacted Miron Duncan of Detroit, his shock and amazement confirmed that Roxanne, his AmStaff, had disappeared from his back yard three months earlier. Although he had searched the neighborhood and put up signs, Miron despaired of ever seeing Roxanne again. He almost could not believe that she had been found in a research lab hundreds of miles away, in another state.

BAB called NDR with Miron’s name and phone number. NDR notified the doctor at the research lab that the owner had been located. Roxanne was saved! "The research staff was overjoyed to hear from us," said Bette Rapoport, President of the National Dog Registry. "They said, ‘Don’t worry--Roxanne will be well taken care of until you come for her.’"

NDR called Carolyn Brown in Illinois, a pet tattooer who is part of our extensive international network of Authorized Agents. Carolyn agreed to take time off from work, travel to the laboratory to retrieve Roxanne, purchase a shipping crate, and place her safely on a plane home to Detroit.

Even though they had purchased Roxanne legitimately from a USDA-licensed animal dealer, the research lab requested that their name be kept anonymous. The lab contacted the dealer and was told that the dog had been purchased from a Detroit pound three months earlier. NDR’s follow-up investigation showed this to be true.

"Were it not for the absolute cooperation between NDR and BAB, no one would have ever known Roxanne’s fate," said Ms. Rapoport. "The research lab was kind enough to provide her with rabies shots, medications, and health exams, in addition to the necessary certificates to allow her to travel by plane."

On June 29th, near midnight, Roxanne was reunited with her delighted owner in Detroit. NDR continually explores ways to convince pounds that a tattoo search is absolutely necessary on every animal picked up. The one minute required to check for a tattoo can save many pets’ lives.

NDR’s non-profit Rescue Fund paid all the expenses for Roxanne’s return home, since the owner was unemployed and did not have the funds available to claim his pet.

NOTE: Special NDR awards of thanks were presented to Carolyn Brown in recognition of her outstanding help and professionalism and to the research facility staff for their extraordinary efforts and assistance in saving Roxanne’s life.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rocco, schnauzer

Family reunited with missing dog
Schnauzer is one of two being sold at Jackson Heights
By Mark Bell
August 28, 2009

The Brown family of Murfreesboro was ecstatic Friday to be reunited with one of their two missing miniature schnauzers, believed stolen from a Snyder Court home they were visiting Wednesday.

After an article concerning the missing dogs, Rocco and Jemma, ran on The Daily News Journal’s Web site Thursday and in the print edition Friday, Carrie Brown said she received a call from Frank Burks, of Rutherford County.

“He called me at 10:30 p.m. last night (Thursday) ... I had already gone to sleep because I was really stressed out about the dogs and had a headache,” Brown said. “He said he had some good news for me.”

Burks proceeded to tell Carrie that he had bought a miniature schnauzer from a woman at Jackson Heights Plaza on Wednesday.

“It didn’t strike me as odd when I bought the dogs, but the woman had two of them and both didn’t have collars on them,” said Burks, who had bought the dog for his daughter. “The woman said she had bought expensive collars with rhinestones for the dogs and she said they were going to keep those collars as a reminder of the dogs.

“She said (she) had to get rid of (her) pets for financial reasons. She said she hated to do so.”

It wasn’t until Burks read The DNJ Web site Thursday that he realized something was amiss.

In Thursday’s story, Carrie explained both of the family’s dogs were inside a fence at the home on Snyder Court Tuesday evening. When she went back to check on the dogs Wednesday they were missing and both of the dog’s collars were lying on the ground outside the fence.

The “light bulb kind of went off in my head” and that’s when Burks knew something wasn’t right, he told Carrie.

Burks called the newly-bought schnauzer Rocco. Rocco responded with a bark and tail wag.

That’s when Burks knew he was dealing with one of the Browns’s missing dogs.

Burks said the woman who had Rocco and Jemma didn’t tell him her name.

“She was about 5-feet tall with shoulder-length, curly-brown hair and a slender build,” Burks said. He gave her $175 for the dog.

The Browns gave Burks $75 as consolation for returning Rocco, and Burks plans to file his own separate police report at MPD for fraud.

“I’m so thankful for what the gentleman did,” Brown said. “He is a good Samaritan. I wish we could afford to give him more.”

Even though Carrie and the rest of the Brown family are delighted to have Rocco back, they still worry about the safety and welfare of Jemma, who has been known to have seizures.

“We still want our other baby back, too,” Carrie said. “We’re almost a complete family again. Things just won’t be the same without sweet little Jemma at home, too.”

Carrie filed a report with the Murfreesboro Police Department concerning the missing dogs Friday and hopes police will aid in the effort to find Jemma and her alleged dognapper or dognappers.

Police are attempting to pull video footage from the area where Burks bought Rocco from the unknown seller. The Browns said they hope police can get a photo of the seller or the seller’s vehicle and license plate.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Holly, terrier/poodle mix

Holly The Prodigal Pooch Is Reunited With Her Owner
John Kelly, Dublin
UK, Monday April 07, 2008

Holly the missing dog has been reunited with her overjoyed owner after nine long months apart.

Holly and Laura are reunited

Laura Cleary's beloved pet was stolen from her house in Dublin in April. But she never gave uphope she would see the six-year-old terrier-poodle cross again, despite fearing she had been stolen by a gang.

Then Battersea Dogs Home got in touch to say they had found the dog - 279 miles from Dublin in Harrow, west London. As Laura waited for her long-lost dog to be brought to her, she admitted to being slightly nervous.

"I was kind of prepared for her not to remember me because she's seen so many people over the last nine months," she said.

"That's why I brought her favourite toy and blanket with me, because she responds to them, but she was just fine.

"When she comes home now it'll all come back to her. She was a bit stunned by the cameras I think.

"I can't believe this is really happening and I'm just so happy."

When dog and owner were finally reunited, at Battersea's unit in Windsor, there was no need for props - both were evidently happy to see each other.

"She looks great, I've missed her so much and I'm so excited," said Ms Cleary.

"All my family and friends are at home and we're going to have a small party tonight and lots of fun tomorrow with her."

And there could be romance in the air for Holly, because Laura rescued a Yorkshire terrier named Harry while Holly was missing.

"Holly's getting a boyfriend!" said Ms Cleary.

"Harry can be a bit jealous of other people getting attention from me, but I'm sure it'll be fine.

"Battersea gave me tips about settling them down together and I'd like to thank them for reuniting us."

Ms Cleary also has some sensible advice for other dog owners who find themselves in the same situation.

"If you had the dog chipped notify the company and put up flyers, try to get some publicity and never give up hope," she said.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Maddie, white dog

This guy even got his business clients to help him search for his lost dog? That's it, the next time someone tells me there's no one that can help them search for their lost dog, I'm pointing them to this article!

Jacksonville man finds dog missing since burglary
Owner got call late last night that Maddie was in the woods
By Jim Schoettler Story updated at 7:14 AM on Friday, Aug. 7, 2009

Kirk Chamberlain’s faith has been rewarded.

The Jacksonville man and his dog, Maddie, were reunited about midnight Thursday after a woman’s call led him to thick woods less than a mile from his Lake Shore home. The 4-year-old white dog vanished Saturday after a burglar broke through Chamberlain’s front door on Park Street.

Chamberlain found her at the Oak Tree Apartments on Lake Shore Boulevard. The caller, a resident of the complex, got his name from a flier he posted and called after she saw the dog.

Chamberlain used a high-beam light to scour the woods for about 30 minutes before finding his dog. Maddie hesitated to come to him at first, but they soon had a heartfelt reunion.

“I put her on my shoulder and just held her,” said Chamberlain.

Chamberlain, 58, said the dog had a sore on one leg and was a little shaken and dirty. After a full meal, she fell asleep in his bed, something he normally doesn’t allow.

“It’s wonderful,” Chamberlain said Thursday morning.

It’s unclear what exactly happened to Maddie. A flat-screen TV was the only other thing Chamberlain found missing after the burglary. He speculated that Maddie was stolen, but couldn’t be sure.

Chamberlain said his faith was restored in humanity after people came out from all over to help him find his dog, including old girlfriends, business clients and simple strangers. That faith kicked up a notch with a late-night phone call.


Spanky, a jack russell terrier

Spanky and his ‘gang’ reunited at Azle shelter
Jeri Field

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Spanky ran away July 4 from the home on Veal Station Road he had shared with his people for two years. Becky and Marty Shelton and the kids – Joshua, Angela, Amanda and Colby – had left that evening, to celebrate Independence Day. With all the fireworks popping and lights flashing, Spanky apparently got so worked up he lit off down the road to an unknown neighbor’s house.

The neighbor, who had no idea where the unidentified Jack Russell terrier lived, kept Spanky for nine days before dropping him off at the Azle Animal Shelter.

Spanky's gang

Marty Shelton had spent two of those nine days searching for Spanky. Becky called area shelters, and Angela posted a “lost dog” announcement, along with a photo of Spanky and a phone number, on CraigsList.

Weeks passed.

Between out-of-town trips, the family continued searching for Spanky, eventually giving him up as lost.

By the time Azle Animal Shelter volunteer Dawn Conner had spotted the “lost dog” posting on CraigsList and verified that Spanky was indeed their Jack Russell, the Sheltons had left for church camp.

Days passed, and Conner’s emails and phone messages went unanswered.

“What makes it so bad is that we are full back there,” said Rhonda Braudis, another shelter volunteer who pointed to the dog kennels in the back of the shelter. With no word from his people, Spanky’s time at the shelter was about to run out.

“If he couldn’t be adopted he was next in line for the big shot,” Conner said.  “Dawn convinced us to put him on hold,” said shelter director Wanda Skaggs. “If it came down to it I was willing to take him home to save his life,” Conner admitted.

That wasn’t necessary because the Sheltons got back from camp on Monday and the first thing they did was check their messages. By Tuesday afternoon Spanky had been reunited with his gang – and a humbled Becky Shelton admitted that it was a lesson learned.

“We’ve had two dogs to run away because of fireworks,” she said. “But I never even thought to put him inside the house that night.”

Shelter director Skaggs said the best thing to do whenever a pet is missing is to stay in touch with the local shelters.

And always keep in mind that one call is often not enough.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bailey, labrador mix

Incredible journey
On a dark and stormy night, an old dog finds a new way back home to Mom
By Monica Collins, Globe Correspondent January 30, 2005

Anyone who has ever loved a dog imagines the animal's memory begins with human touch. We like to think domesticated dogs don't pine for birth families, nor do they yearn for the comforts of their first home because we humans provide all the home they need. Nicole Walsh believed this of her Bailey, the lean Labrador mix she got from her college roommate nine years ago when the dog was a puppy -- until the night last month when Bailey found his way back to his birthplace.

The story of Bailey is one of those weepy film features, except this true tale of love, loss, and reclamation happened in Hyde Park and Milton. The saga brings renewed respect for the profoundly mysterious call of the wild. What else don't we know about them, our pets?

The tale begins on Dec. 7 in Hyde Park's Fairmount Hill neighborhood on a weeknight notable for ferocious weather. All the witnesses remember it was raining cats -- and dogs.

After Thanksgiving, Nicole and Jay Walsh had just moved with toddler Emma and dog Bailey from West Roxbury to Hyde Park. They were in a tumble of resettlement chaos. Their phone hadn't been hooked up yet. Stuff was scattered everywhere. When nurse Nicole, 33, left for her usual 3 to 11 p.m. shift at Brigham & Women's Hospital, Jay, 34, who works in neighborhood services for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, minded the baby and the dog. As he hurriedly carried Emma into the house to get out of the rain, the dog ran out the open door and disappeared.

No big deal. Bailey usually comes when called. On this night, the dog didn't respond. He had vanished. Jay Walsh kept yelling for him through the rainstorm. When Nicole returned at midnight, she "wasn't overly nervous," she said, at first. She figured Bailey was in a new neighborhood and must have gotten lost. She got in her car and drove up and down Fairmount Hill looking for her dog. After awhile, she began to cry. "Oh my God, it was awful," she recalls. "I said to my husband, 'Jay, I fear the worst has happened.' " It was too late to call animal shelters. To complicate matters, Nicole had recently put a new collar on Bailey with no tags or identification. She and her husband finally went to bed without the dog who usually sleeps on the bed with them. She was desolate.

Across the city line in Milton, over a mile away, Maureen Little, 33, remembers hearing the scratching at her front door. Her dogs, Jesse and Molly, were roused by the sound. They usually bark at intrusions and are hostile to other dogs at first. On this fierce night, the animals did not seem disturbed. Maureen and her husband, Chris, 43, a Milton firefighter, peeked out at the forlorn soaked black dog on their front stoop. "We tried to tell him to go home and we went up to bed," she says. Later, they heard another scratch at the slider to the back porch. The stranger in the night wasn't going anywhere. "My husband went down and put one of our old dog beds outside on the porch [under an overhang] with some water and biscuits. We were hoping he would go home and we just felt bad for him because it was pouring buckets."

But Maureen couldn't sleep. Pregnant with her second child, she had undergone a disquieting medical test that day. About 2:30 in the morning, she heard more noises and went downstairs to find her dog Molly lying up against the slider where the black dog was just behind the glass. Molly usually sleeps in a bed upstairs. "She was lying by that door, which was very unusual," says Little. "And the dog was lying out back next to the door. I couldn't believe he was still there. It was very, very strange."

In the morning, the rain had stopped and everyone saw the light. Maureen went downstairs. Her husband had opened the slider, letting Molly into the backyard. "I came downstairs and saw the two dogs sitting out in the backyard. They were sitting side by side, facing toward the house. And I just knew. My husband said, 'Do you think that's Bailey?' And I said, 'Oh my God, that is Bailey.' I just knew because they were so peaceful and calm together. Molly is never like that with another dog immediately."

Bailey had been born under a neighbor's shed on the same street nine years ago. Purebred black Labrador retriever Jesse had been impregnated by a rogue mutt when she was 8½ months old. She produced eight puppies. Maureen gave the puppies away, but kept a golden-haired one, Molly. She allowed Nicole, her former roommate at Bridgewater State College, the pick of the litter. Nicole chose the black puppy that looked the most like its mother.

On recognizing their next of kin, the Littles invited Bailey into the house where, over biscuits and lots of reassuring sniffs, the prodigal dog continued his reunion with his sister, Molly, and his lookalike mother, Jesse. It had been at least five years since they had all been together briefly in Milton for a visit. Since then, the Littles had drastically renovated their house from a one-bedroom ranch into a four-bedroom Colonial.

Maureen Little dialed her friend's cellphone. She knew Nicole had recently moved nearby, but they had not had a chance to get together yet.

Across the Milton line in Hyde Park, it had been a bleak morning for Nicole and Jay Walsh. Baby Emma cried for Bailey. They called shelters with no result. And then Nicole's cellphone rang around 8:30. Her former roommate's number popped up on the screen. "I was bawling," she says. "When I saw Maureen's number come up, I couldn't answer it. I said to my husband, 'Jay, I know she has Bailey. We need to go get him.' " Maureen left a message and called again. "Nicole," she says, "was hysterical when she picked up the phone."

The Walshes went to retrieve their dog, but everybody knew this exuberant reunion left more questions than answers. How did Bailey find his way back to his mom and sister? In the pouring rain? In foreign territory? "It's just so remarkable," says Nicole, "that he picked up the scent. He lived in West Roxbury for most of his life. We had just moved to Hyde Park. I can't imagine he would ever remember."

"I'm just amazed at their innate sense of smell and belonging," says Maureen. "I never knew they would have such a connection to each other. My dogs did not have the same reaction to Bailey as they do to other dogs. There's definitely something between these dogs," she says. "There's definitely some kind of real feelings there."

According to renowned "dog whisperer" and author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, canine familial feelings are very real and strong. "They wouldn't be able to love us if they didn't learn it from somewhere," says Thomas, speaking by phone from Texas. "You have to be able to love members of your own species before you can branch out and apply that to other species."

Thomas, an anthropologist who has written books about dog behavior, including the tender classic, "The Hidden Life Of Dogs," savors the saga of Bailey. "I think this story is of the best and it's very indicative because it shows you what dogs are going through." Thomas's basic premise in her writings holds that dogs experience truest happiness when surrounded by their own kind.

During our conversation, she recounts a reunion between a mother and daughter dog. "They took to each other immediately and they were very peaceful together," Thomas says. She describes that calm as spiritual -- "Oh, at last, you're here." It sounds like the same serenity seen by Maureen Little when she glimpsed Bailey and Molly sitting quietly together in her backyard.

Since that first journey in early December, Bailey has escaped the Walshes' house and run away three times to his birth family in Milton. The Walshes are somewhat embarrassed about their dog's escapades because they know they should keep better control over their pet. Bailey now wears a current city license on his collar. Still, the owners thought they knew their dog's habit of simply hanging around if he should get out of the house unleashed. Now they know better.

It's become routine for Nicole or Jay to call the Littles asking after their dog. Bailey has shown up there three times, hanging out with Mom and Sis. A couple of weeks ago, the dog almost made it a fourth time until Nicole got in her car and followed him en route. She discovered Bailey doesn't take the Mapquest straight shot, but has developed his own doggy back road strategy. The trip is 1.3 miles one way. "When I finally stopped and told him to get in the car, he looked at me like, 'Oh no, you're here,' " says Nicole.

She worries about her relationship with her dog. "Part of me feels so guilty. Am I not providing a good home for him? If I had the money, I would hire a dog psychologist."

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, director of the Tufts University Veterinary Center Animal Behavior Clinic, is a national authority on dog psychology. He has written books on the subject, including "The Dog Who Loved Too Much" and the recently published "If Only They Could Speak: Stories about Pets and Their People." Hearing the story of Bailey, scientist Dodman says, "It's important to realize different animals have different gifts. [Dogs] are almost savants in certain areas. We can only be in awe of their sense of smell."

Canines also have an acute ability "to make mental maps," says Dodman. "Whether it's [magnetic] or some other mechanism, a dog can find its way from point a to point b in a pea soup of fog if it really wants to." Obviously, Bailey had a powerful impetus. "When he came back for that visit [five years ago], it must have been deja vu all over again."

Dodman suggests there could have been a jarring "gap" when Bailey was taken from the litter that compels him to seek out his kin. "This dog may have had some experience that predisposed it to very fond memories," he says. His advice would be for the Walshes to "paddle the canoe in the same direction. The dog has indicated it likes to return to its family. So I would schedule regular visits, playtimes, and reunions. Maybe there should be a permanent reunion. If it went down to live in Milton, they might find it would be making its way back home."

Nicole Walsh doesn't like to hear Bailey might prefer living with his dog family, but she will soldier on, because her pet means the world to her. She and Maureen have agreed to give their animals regular playtimes together. "Is it a huge loss to dogs not to have their people? I don't know," says Thomas. "Obviously [dogs] have the ability to be happy and enjoy and to override the longings they have, as people do."

On a recent morning, Nicole Walsh loaded Emma and Bailey into the car for a canine confab in Milton. She followed Bailey's walking route. When she turned onto Metropolitan Avenue, the dog started panting with excitement. When they pulled into Maureen's house, Bailey bounded out of the car to greet Jesse and Molly. Tails wagging, with no barks exchanged, the dogs romped in the snow together. Later, they came inside for biscuits and bonhomie.

We humans sipped our coffee and expressed our amazement at the whole thing. The blood-relation rovers carried on comfortably, weaving into our midst for treats or pats, but circling back to each other for reassuring sniffs of noses or hindquarters: "Oh, at last, you're here."


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lucky, the foster dog

Amazing story of lost dog finding her way home today in Santa Fe
Posted by Julie L on June 6, 2009 at 9:09pm

For those who have lost dogs in the past you may appreciate this story.

I've been fostering a dog for about 3 months now and today took her to a potential adopter's home in Tierra Contenta (Airport Road & Country Club), which is about a 6 mile drive from my home near Yucca & Rodeo. They are a great young couple with another dog and a cat, and I felt a GREAT home for this dog. We spent about 30 minutes there and I felt they needed a feel for how she'd do without me there, so offered to leave her there for one hour while I ran an errand. That was the first time I've done that with a foster dog but at the time I felt the couple needed a better feel of the dog's personality without me there.

30 minutes later, at noon, they called; the dog had gotten spooked and scaled a wall. She'd never jumped a fence since I've had her. She was wearing a collar and bright pink and yellow scarfs so I was hopeful she'd be easily spotted.

After searching for an hour I went home to print fliers, filed a lost dog report with the Shelter then spent the rest of the afternoon until 7pm posting fliers around Airport - Jaguar - Paseo del Sol - Meadows.

For 7 hours today I was trying to think like this dog. Where would she go? Would she follow Arroyos? Would she avoid neighborhoods and stay in the open spaces? She's very shy, so I guessed she'd avoid people and playgrounds. She wasn't starving so she probably wouldn't be coaxed into a car with a stranger.

 At 2:30 she was spotted by two helpful teenagers at Airport & Paseo del Sol, but by the time I got there, no sign.

At 7:30 tonight I pulled into my driveway and THERE SHE WAS! This dog who has lived with me for only 3 months, who has never been west of Richards, must have headed east down Airport Road, crossed Cerrillos, continued down Rodeo to Yucca, then south and back to my house all in one afternoon.

So, I wanted to share a happy story. Shame on me for that momentary lapse in judgement. Lucky's still available for adoption (the couple are still thinking about it) and will be at the big multi-shelter adoption event at San Ysidro Plaza on June 14.

By the way, the people in the Tierra Contenta neighborhood were all very kind and helpful. Tomorrow I'll be back out there removing fliers.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Piper, a border terrier

Stolen dog reunited with his family
by Lizzie Struthers, Irvine Herald
Sep 4 2009

Piper is back home

A STOLEN dog has been reunited with his family after his disappearance caused a STINK.

Pedigree pooch Piper, who suffers from the bowel disorder colitis, was snatched from outside his home in Livingstone Terrace, Irvine, three months ago.

The thieves could not cope with the Border Terrier’s non-stop pooing caused by the stress of being dognapped.

Piper, who needs a special diet of organic food, was sold on twice through the popular classifieds website Gumtree because of his messy condition.

The Gorman family feared they would never be able to trace their beloved five-year-old dog, who is worth £500.

After a three month hunt, Piper was reunited with owners Tracy and Gus Gorman and their children Kieran, 16, Amy, 11, and Emma, nine.

Piper’s new owner, who stays in Kirkcaldy, had spotted the Gorman family’s appeal for the dog on the Gumstree website.

Tracy, a hairdresser, said: “The woman did not know the dog she had bought was stolen. She was as much a victim in this as we were. I paid her what she had spent on him. I did not see why she should be out of pocket. She had taken good care of Piper, who she called Freddie.”

Tracy added: “My family has been through hell and back for the past 12 weeks but I never gave up hope that we were going to get him back.”

The 36-year-old spent hours putting appeals on the internet and enlisted help from the charity, Dog Lost. “It is such a relief to have Piper back where he belongs,” said Tracy. “The kids are absolutely delighted and Piper is happy too.”


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Smokey, looks like a pit mix to me

Field Notes: Little dog lost — and found
August 23, 2009
By Amy Bennett Williams

There was a terrible storm the night she disappeared — strobed slashes of lightning, window-rattling thunder, cold rain in roaring sheets. Still, we called and whistled, waiting for her to return. When she didn’t, we figured she was tucked in a dry place somewhere, sure to show up first thing in the morning.

She didn’t. We started to worry in earnest.

This was our beloved Smoke, after all, the dog adored by ducks and cats alike, the dog who grinned and wriggled with pleasure when sweet-talked, the dog who tail-surfed behind our cantering paint mare, the dog who’d submerge herself completely in the Orange River, disappearing like an otter to retrieve a tossed shell before sputtering to the surface a few seconds later.

Sleek and ginger-furred, I’d always claimed Smoke favored Florida’s venerable cattle breed, the black-mouthed cur, but her pricked up ears and bunched muscles hinted at a more complex lineage.

Actually, with her swooping ribcage and thighs a speed skater would envy, Smoke could have been a sawed-off greyhound — 40 pounds of nerve and heart.

Smoke was Nash’s Christmas puppy almost five years ago, though why he named a red dog Smoke remains a family mystery — a squirmy, licky sweetheart who, early on, took to leaping into our arms in greeting (and while this never failed to charm, it was one thing when she was a 7-pound pup; quite another once she reached full size. We got good at bracing ourselves.) We had other dogs, also much-loved, but Smoke was the alpha, the one who curled under the dinner table, rolled and tussled with Nash, slept at the foot of D.P.’s bed.

And she hadn’t come home.

We began canvassing the area, quizzing neighbors, struggling through palmetto scrub, looking for vultures, scanning road shoulders, dreading the thought of a lifeless red form.

Animal Services had no news; I filled out their paperwork, checked their lost pets Web site faithfully, became a frequent visitor to their kennels. She was, after all, microchipped, but with no dog, what good was the chip? We scoured the FOUND ads.

Weeks passed, then months. We imagined nightmare ends to Smoke’s story: she’d been hit, snakebit, lightning-struck, kidnapped by dog fighters.

Even with the daily reality of Smoke’s absence, it was hard to believe she was gone. At Christmastime, we opened an ornament box and there was the little stocking Nash had made for her. She showed up in our dreams. We looked for her in the back of pick-ups, half expecting to see her, yet as time wore on, our lives did too — the ache notwithstanding.

We acquired a few more dogs (one from the Humane Society, one dumped on our dead-end road; one left on a trailer porch after his family moved away). The horse’s tail got long again. Nash made Smoke a little grave, marked with a tied-stick cross and a white shell. The impact of our grief was sharper than any of us — all experienced with animal loss — would have imagined.

Thirteen months passed. Then last Friday, I got a call from our neighbor, Larry. There was an Animal Services van in the street and a note saying they’d impounded one of our dogs. Gulp.

But the officer was still there, Larry said — would he like me to bring his cell to her so we could talk? Of course, I said, expecting to hear that one of our pack had slipped away and needed to be bailed out.

“I have your dog, Smoke, in my truck,” officer Sharon Hausgen told me.

It didn’t even register at first, then I figured it was a computer mixup and someone else’s tag number (we do have six canines licensed in Lee County, after all) was showing up.

No, Officer Hausgen told me, it was Smoke — the little red one. She’d scanned the microchip, and though it’d taken a few calls and dead ends, eventually she found us.

Seems Smoke had been getting into people’s garbage across the river and the officer had been trying for a week to trap her.

“But she’s a smart one,” she told me. “She figured out how to get the food and get out.”

Finally, Officer Hausgen captured her and was heading to the south Fort Myers headquarters where we could retrieve Smoke later that afternoon.

Stunned, I assured her we’d be there, then she handed the phone back to neighbor Larry, who peeked into the truck and said, “Yep, I know that dog.”

Not, it turns out, because he remembered Smoke from before she vanished, but because he knows the family across the river who took her in.

In short order, I found myself on the phone with Gary Grindell, stammering my gratitude and commiserating with him about this wonderful red dog.

“We tried not to get attached to her at first,” he said. “We just called her Other Dog, which became O.D. and then that was her name.” And by then, the Grindells were attached too.

“Man, this is going to be hard,” Gary told me. “There’s something magic about that dog.”

Oh, yes.

Which was confirmed for us just hours later, when Officer Hausgen led Smoke off the truck.

My husband had positioned himself with Nash near the off-loading bay at the back of the building.

Roger told me Smoke didn’t see them at first. Then little Nash called her name. “Smokey!”

She turned, broke from Officer Hausgen’s leash-hold and ran to them, jumping into Roger’s arms, before leaping down to lick Nash’s face.

The same thing happened minutes later, when Smoke spotted me and D.P. in the lobby. Whining, grinning, tail whipping furiously, she flung herself into my arms.

Smokey was home.


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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Benji, a bichon

Weeks ago, my friend Mary had sent me an email with a picture of a lost dog, and the following appeal:

Guardians of Animals is Offering $1,000 Reward for Information Leading to the Safe Return of Benji
A couple's car is stolen with their dog in the backseat, and Best Friends was contacted by Ray from Guardians Of Angels to help find Benji. The owner is desperate to get their dog back. And authorities from Georgia to South Carolina and Indiana are desperate to get their hands on the South Carolina man, who they believe stole the car, the dog and is wreaking havoc across the U.S. "There's a lot of good people in this world," Linda said on Wednesday, as she choked back tears. She is hoping one of them will find her dog, Benji. "He slept between us for the last nine years. He’s our whole life," she said. Schneider told us, "We were gone 20 minutes. We had left our Honda CRV with our pet Benji. When we came out it was gone."

Then while searching for stories for my blog, I was thrilled to find an answer to the appeal, in the story below.

Dog reunited with owners after month-long, multi-state search
Posted at: 09/18/2009 6:59 AM

For the first time in nearly a month full of drama, Benji the dog from Wolcott is back with his owners. He was found at an animal shelter in Virginia Wednesday and a microchip was used to confirm it was him.

"We came for Benji. Got a little white dog here that you don't know what to do with?" Benji’s owner Linda Schneider said. Sometimes happy endings really do happen. Benji and his owners Bob and Linda Schneider were reunited in Edinburg, Virginia after being apart for a month.

The couple was in North Carolina when police say a wanted criminal, Jason Osborne, stole their vehicle with Benji inside.

"It was the worst, emptiest feeling you could ever imagine," Schneider said. But they didn't lose hope and started searching. Meanwhile, Ernie Walters with animal control in Shenandoah County, Virginia found Benji and knew something was up.

"This is the type of dog you don't just drop. Something else was behind this story," Walters said.

Then as luck would have it the Schneiders saw Benji's picture online on
Petfinder and learned he was at the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter.

Many animals are taken to the shelter and they are all checked for microchips but microchips can be missed. Sometimes they migrate after they've been in for a while. So, sometimes it’s necessary to scan the animal more than once, which is what helter workers did and confirmed they had Benji.

"Overjoyed, overjoyed,” Schneider said. We just weren't ready to let him go yet, we just weren't ready."

Benji is safe and sound with his owners again, and police recovered their stolen vehicle but the suspect, Jason Osborne, is still on the loose. Police say he's wanted in at least 12 states.

Reunion video at:
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Another story here with video:

And from the website of the Guardians of Animals, one of the organizations assisting with the search:

Benji was found at a Virginia shelter yesterday. This morning, Benji was reunited with his ecstatic family and we were there to witness this joyous occasion. Tears and laughs flowed simultaneously by the family and by-standers. "I usually don't cry or get emotional, but this (watching the reunion) got to me," said Ray Jones, Vice-President of Guardians of Animals. Founders of Guardians of Animals searched endlessly along the interstate and highways of NC and southern VA, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning, searching for Benji. We here at Guardians of Animals would like to thank all of those who called or emailed us with information. We were brought in on the case after we were contacted by the Jonesville Police Department and asked to help Linda Schneider find her missing dog, Benji. We met with Linda and let her know we were doing all we could to help reunite her with Benji. We gave her a ray of hope that Benji would be found. We also advised Linda that Benji could be in a shelter and they missed the microchip when they scanned him. Best Friends Animal Society ( also helped in the search by putting out an email blast to 20,000 people regarding Benji's plight. While Guardians of Animals was posting fliers along the interstate, Linda was printing more fliers for us to distribute and searching the internet, Linda saw Benji up for adoption at the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter. Guardians of Animals was also alerting state and federal authorities in the Eastern U.S. to be on the lookout for Benji and the suspect, Jason Osbourne. Guardians of Animals will continue to assist law enforcement until Jason Osbourne is apprehended. Please consider donating so we can continue to help animals and their families have happy endings like this one. Every little bit helps!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sadie, a German shepherd

Woman reunites with dog that ran away from PetSmart
BY BLANCA CANTU / The Dallas Morning News
Monday, March 2, 2009

Sadie, a 6-year-old German Shepherd mix, happily reunited with her owner this afternoon after running away from a PetSmart in Southlake nearly a week ago.

Sadie, a German Shepherd mix, disappeared from a PetSmart store in Southlake on Saturday.

“I am just so relieved,” said Libby Lostetter, Sadie’s owner. “I feel like I have the biggest weight off my shoulders. This is proof how prayer works.”

Kathy Mast found Sadie on the back porch of her Southlake home today and contacted a neighbor. The neighbor soon showed her a copy of today’s Dallas Morning News, which included a story about Sadie running away from the PetSmart on Saturday.

Mast contacted Lostetter about 1 p.m. and she quickly reunited with her dog.

“She was just right there at the door waiting for me to come in,” said Lostetter, an Irving teacher.

Sadie had been missing since Saturday evening when she jumped off the grooming table at PetSmart — without her collar — and took off out the front door. PetSmart staff had helped Lostetter and her boyfriend look for the dog.

Lostetter took Sadie to the veterinarian today for a precautionary checkup, but she is now home and in good condition.

PetSmart confirmed that Mast would receive a $1,000 reward from the store.

Mast said today she was happy to help out.

"It’s always nice when you can help someone," she said. "Pets are just like family."


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shya, a hound

Bothell search party finds lost dog
posted on Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
by Baci

My dog friend, Shya, was rescued a few months ago after being abandoned by her owner. She had been neglected and abused and was very shy around people. She lived her entire life outside attached to a chain or in a small kennel. She never went to a park or rode in a car.

Since her rescue she moved into a new home and is extremely connected to her owner.
Now Shya enjoys swimming and running at local parks. She smiles and soars like the wind through the park trails.

Disaster struck on Sunday, June 14, when Shya escaped from her dog-walker at Penn Tell Park in Bothell, WA. Her leash was still attached, which added the concern that she would get it caught on something.

Within minutes of her escape dog owners visiting the park began searching for her. The search party grew to over 10 people, plus me…my job was to find her scent and sniff her out. Unfortunately, as daylight gave way to night, Shya was nowhere to be found. I miss her so much.

This is Baci, missing Shya
Monday, June 15, the search continued. Signs were posted and neighbors were alerted. Members or the search party scoured the neighborhoods by car and by foot all day Monday. Finally there was a ray of hope when somone called and reported a sighting of Shya back at the park at abouth 12:30pm Monday. I was so happy we might find my friend.

By Monday evening everyone was worried we would never see Shya again. She didn’t know the area at all and because she was always locked up she doesn’t know anything about life on the streets. Her distrust of people only added to the worry. Boy! I really need my friend back.

The search continued into the evening. Shya’s owner stayed at the park while friends of Shya refused to give up. We drove around the neighborhoods and talked to everyone out walking their dogs. We gave our cell numbers to about 50 people. The search party included Tracey and Jeff, Wanda, Marilyn, Joey, Crystal & Brian, Rick & Elizabeth, Mo and me. It was getting very late and dark and I worried that she didn’t have any food or water.

And then, a miracle happens, while the search party was out searching for her, Shya returned to the park and sat by her owners car. Everyone in the search party was called with the good news.

The lost dog Shya in the background; the author Baci in the front

As for me, I was never so happy to see my friend. I’ll never take her for granted again. And I was amazed by all the people willing to look for her. Thank you.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spirit, a black lab puppy

The saga of Maddy: the lost dog of Montauk
By Carolyn Kormann, the East Hampton Press
Feb 10, 09 8:09 AM

When Montauk resident Kristine Lardner heard that a female black Lab puppy was on a New Jersey animal shelter’s kill list because she was shy, she and her husband, Doug Neitzel, drove four hours to rescue the pup. That was on October 25.

When they returned home, they got out of their car and put her in their fenced-in backyard. Within 30 seconds, Ms. Lardner said, the puppy hoisted herself over the 4-foot-high fence and disappeared into the night.

“No dog had ever done that before!” said Ms. Lardner, who has had black Labradors with her husband all their lives together. They were shocked. They hopped back in their car and searched for her until 5 in the morning, when they finally returning home, devastated.

That night began an epic, all-consuming three months and two days of non-stop searching and worrying for the puppy, named Spirit. But thanks to the Montauk community, a juicy rotisserie chicken, and Max Luetters of East Hampton Animal Control, Ms. Lardner now has her dog back, more than three months later.

After that first night, Ms. Lardner said she called radio stations, took ads out in newspapers, and papered the town with fliers. “Hunting season was upon us and I was terrified for her,” she said.

After two weeks of spreading the word that Spirit was on the loose, she received a call from Pat Wilkinson reporting that Spirit had been seen on Montauk Mountain, a hill near the Second House Tavern on Industrial Road. Ms. Wilkinson had found out about Spirit from Nancy Sandvik at Pampered on the Pond, where Ms. Lardner gets her nails done.

“Nancy told everybody who walked in the door,” Ms. Lardner said.

Ms. Lardner said her real luck began when “this unbelievable, sensitive, compassionate, determined young kid, Max” began to help her out. Mr. Luetters, an East Hampton Town Animal Control officer, was dedicated to the search for Spirit, Ms. Lardner said.

Mr. Luetters was able to draw up almost daily reports of where Spirit had been seen, he said this week. Even though he left for a four-week trip to Japan over the holidays, Mr. Luetters communicated with Ms. Lardner via e-mail, giving her ideas for continuing the search. He even called Ms. Lardner on Christmas to see how the search was going.

On Christmas Eve, Ms. Lardner said that her nephew, who was home from college in West Virginia, sat in a tree with a net for three hours on Montauk Mountain, watching and waiting.

Every morning and night, Ms. Lardner would park next to Debbie Kuntz’s house and climb the hill to bring food, blankets and even squeaky toys, in the hope that Spirit would appear. The food would disappear, and occasionally Spirit was spotted, she said, so they knew she was alive.

“But there were nights when the temperature dropped so low and the sadness was overwhelming,” Ms. Lardner said.

The weeks passed and the word spread that Spirit was still missing. Then, the Saturday after Christmas, she received a call that someone had seen Spirit on Essex Street, near the town skate park.

“I said, ‘That’s impossible! That’s miles from the mountain,’” Ms. Lardner said. But I went over there and spotted her. I chased her and she ran away into the Shadmoor Woods.

“There were so many times I felt that I was going to give up, because it was 5 degrees out, and I thought she had to have passed away,” Ms. Lardner said. “But Max kept reminding me that they knew she had already survived temperatures far below freezing. He’d say, ‘If she can survive that, she can survive anything.’”

In January, Ms. Lardner started getting regular calls from people who had spotted Spirit between the skate park and the library. The problem was that Spirit was too smart to be caught. She wouldn’t go anywhere near the humane trap that Mr. Luetters had set for her.

“Max said that the only shot we had with this dog was to get her in a contained place,” Ms. Lardner said. “And for the first time in my life, I realized that there are no fences in Montauk! The school isn’t even fenced in.”

The skate park was their only hope. They began to realize that she was following a pattern of visiting the skate park in the morning and late at night.

Last Tuesday, Ms. Lardner called Mr. Lueters right after spotting Spirit by the park. “Max said to me, ‘This is it, this is where we have to get her. This is our best shot,’” Ms. Lardner said.

He drove to the IGA and returned to the park with a steaming rotisserie chicken. He made a trail of chicken pieces into the hockey rink, and they returned to their car, where they waited.

“At one point, she was literally next to the right front tire, slowly making her way along the trail of chicken toward the rink. We were holding our breath, so she wouldn’t know we were there,” Ms. Lardner said.

When she entered the rink, Mr. Leutters got out of the car, took off his shoes, ran and jumped over the skate park fence and slammed the fence door. He chased Spirit into the penalty box and slammed its door.

“That was it. We had her,” Ms. Lardner said.

They took her to the vet, but other than being skinny, Spirit was remarkably healthy.

Ms. Lardner said that without Mr. Luetters, she never could have gotten Spirit back. “Max is the hero. It’s all because of him—his professionalism, his dedication and his compassion,” Ms. Lardner said. She also said that she had been completely overwhelmed by the number of people who called when Spirit was lost and who have called since, saying they had heard she had been found wanted to say congratulations. “I’m so very grateful,” Ms. Lardner said.

Ms. Lardner has a French gift shop, At Home in Provence, on Duryea Docks in Montauk. Spirit is going to be renamed Madeleine, after the little French storybook girl who was always getting lost.

Mr. Lueters said that the Lab had obviously been abused before she landed in the shelter in New Jersey. “But with time, she’ll be a great dog,” he said on Monday. “It’ll just take a little work.”

“Turning to the shy pup on its leash, she said, “You ready, Maddy? We’re going home!”


Monday, September 14, 2009

Charlie & Scuffy, cavalier King Charles & bichon

Reunited! Stolen dogs found
Published: January 27, 2006

A GRANDMOTHER-OF-SEVEN, who had her car and dogs stolen on the way to visit family in Kingsbury, was reunited with “her babies” on Thursday last week, following a Harrow Times’ appeal.

Gwendolynne Smith, 65, of Great Yarmouth, was overjoyed when she saw her beloved pets Charlie, a seven-year-old King Charles cavalier, and Scuffy, a 14-year-old bichon frise, for the first time since the theft on January 5.

Missing puppies returned

“I was just crying and crying,” said Gwendolynne, who picked up her pooches after driving to her daughter Beverley’s house in Belvedere Way. “I’ve been so worried about my babies. I want to thank everybody who helped find them.”

A new year’s trip to see her daughter and grandsons ended in disaster when Gwendolynne stopped her silver Vauxhall Agila on nearby Ormsby Way to ask a dustman directions.

Seconds later, an opportunistic thief jumped in and sped away with her dogs and possessions, including cash, credit cards, clothes and a state-of-the-art satellite navigation system.

After family and friends had searched the area and pinned up posters, a distraught Beverley called the Harrow Times.

Mother-of-three Beverley, 39, said: “I’m convinced the appeal helped get them back.”

Seven days after their disappearance, a woman walking in Borehamwood woods discovered the animals and alerted the dog warden at Hertsmere Council, who took them in. After hearing nothing for a week, warden Lyndsey Marchetto contacted a nearby rescue centre, who recognised the dogs’ descriptions.

Beverley said: “I was really excited. I rang my mum and told her. She was laughing and crying at the same time.”

Lyndsey, of nearby Belmont Circle, drove Charlie and Scuffy to Beverley’s home on January 18.

“This is my fifth year in the job and it’s definitely one of the happiest stories I’ve been involved with,” she said.

Beverley said: “Scuffy was quite dirty, had two black eyes and seemed a bit traumatised. He also had a scratch mark on his back. My heart went out to him.

“But Charlie started licking everybody. He was so happy. I made them a bowl of chicken and gave them some chocolate as a treat.”They were exhausted and went to sleep at 9pm. The next morning, they woke up early and were pining. I think they were worried they’d been left again.”

Gwendolynne, who returned to Norfolk after the theft, drove back to Kingsbury in a replacement car fitted with a neighbour’s sat nav system the next morning.

“When I first saw Scuffy, he just wanted to curl up next to me,” she said. “You could see he was happy. Charlie was really excitable. I brought a big box of treats and have been spoiling them.

“I always thought they would come back.”

The loss of her dogs ended a miserable 12 months for Gwendolynne.

Her husband Bill, 68, died in January and a month later she found out she had breast cancer. She has been given radiotherapy treatment and is due to have chemotherapy. She was also coming to terms with the sudden death of her other daughter Debbie Tant, who died of a brain tumour in 2000, aged just 38.

She hopes her happy reunion will spark a change in her fortunes.

She said: “We didn’t have a nice time when I came here two weeks ago. It was horrible. But I am much happier now and want to celebrate. This is the best possible outcome.”

Beverley said: “We have got so close since this has happened.

“I really hope this will be a good year. Things have started well, she’s just had a check-up and the doctor said the cancer hasn’t spread. The insurance company have also agreed to pay out on her car.”

Neighbour John Gibbs, who called the Harrow Times after the theft, said: “She has been so depressed without her babies. We’re a close community and are all really pleased for her.”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kobe, a yorkshire terrier

Here are the before and after stories of this dog lost and then found. Enjoy.

Beloved Yorkie Is Kidnapped From Arundel Mills
Suzanne Collins
Oct 24, 2008

An Odenton woman says she's devastated by a theft from her car at Arundel Mills Mall. That's because the property stolen is her beloved dog.

Suzanne Collins reports every day the owner visits the shelter to see if the Yorkie has been found.

Lisa Anderson is back at the Anne Arundel County animal shelter for the fourth day in a row looking for Kobe. Her little Yorkie was stolen from her SUV at the Arundel Mills Mall Monday around 8 p.m.

She left him for about an hour. When she returned, he wasn't there jumping up and down as usual.

"That's when I put my hand on my chest and said, 'oh my God, oh my God.' My little dog is gone. I called him around the parking lot. I was just devastated," said Anderson.

Lisa checked the aisles of abandoned and stray dogs Friday with a shelter supervisor. But she didn't have any luck.

Property crimes are up around the state, especially thefts from cars. But Anne Arundel County Police say it's highly unusual for someone to steal a pet.

Kobe's owner has posted flyers many places. Lisa is mourning over his favorite items and says he doesn't have his seizure medication.

"But if that was to come up, they wouldn't know how to care for him. That's a big concern for me," said Anderson.

Lisa says she's put up online notices on and Craigslist. She has a message for the thief.

"You don't know the lives you're affecting. You don't know what animals mean to people. Sometimes an animal can be your everything," Anderson said.

Police and mall officials say please lock cars on shopping center lots and don't leave valuables in sight.

Kidnapped Yorkie Reunited With Owner Reporting
Gigi Barnett
Oct 25, 2008

After days of searching, it's a happy reunion for pooch and pet owner.

As Gigi Barnett explains, the remarkable reunion may have been captured on tape.

A simple message on a box: "His name is Kobe, the lost dog from TV. See that he gets home. Sorry!!!"

Inside, workers at Falls Road Animal Hospital found a five-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, wearing a grey and purply argyle sweater.

"Very friendly and he was shaking a lot, so he was nervous," said receptionist Danielle Council.

That's exactly how Lisa Anderson described her missing pet on flyers and to police. She searched for days after someone snatched Kobe from her car while she shopped at Arundel Mills Mall on Monday.

"I felt sick. I felt empty inside. I haven't eaten. I couldn't eat anything. It was the fact that I didn't know his fate. That was the part that scared me the most," Anderson said.

That's until police called late Friday night.

"They said they may have my dog and they may have dropped him off at an animal hospital," Anderson said. "I didn't hear anything else after that."

When she arrived, it was her Kobe, the same missing pet featured on Eyewitness News.

"You guys were the ones who were actually able to link it because he was in Baltimore the whole time," she said. "This is my kid and I love him so much and I take care of him like he was a little human."

Anderson says whomever dropped her dog off at Falls Road Animal Hospital may have been captured on surveillance video.

"I don't want to see that. The only thing that matters to me is that I got my dog back. They possibly have their own reasons. Maybe someone is lonely and they wanted a pet," she said.

Anderson says the next step for Kobe is a visit to the vet to make sure he's OK.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jarvis, jack russell terrier

Shaggy dog story: Lost dog Jarvis hitches his way home on the ferry
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:02 PM on 03rd August 2008

Jarvis the Jack Russell stunned his owners after getting lost on a day out miles from his home - and finding his way back alone on a ferry.The owner of the six-year-old pooch, Vivienne Oxley, was frantically searching for her pet after he disappeared into undergrowth while walking on a country estate.Vivienne, 56, had taken Jarvis along with her two-year-old granddaughter Kaytie for a day out at Mount Edgcumbe in Torpoint, Cornwall, when the dog bolted into undergrowth.

After half an hour of looking for him Vivienne enlisted the help of a warden and together they spent over two hours scouring the grounds of the 865-acre country park in vain.

Devastated, she decided to take her granddaughter home and they started making their way back to Plymouth, Devon - situated across a stretch of water where the River Tamar meets Plymouth Sound.But before Vivienne arrived back she received a call from the warden to say that staff on the ferry that runs between Devon and Cornwall had reported seeing a Jack Russell Terrier like Jarvis onboard. She set off to find him but then had a second call from her astonished husband Tony, 58, who said Jarvis had turned up alone at their home.

The plucky pooch had found his way onto the Cremyll passenger ferry, where he had made several crossings before hopping off on the Devon side and trotting the two-miles back home.Pharmacy worker Vivienne said: 'I was totally, utterly astounded when I heard Jarvis had come home without us. I rushed back to the house and there he was sitting in the window, wagging his tail as if nothing had happened.

This is the ferry that Jarvis took to get home ahead of his family.

'The cheeky little thing had me out of my mind with worry, I thought we'd lost him forever. I was very upset.

'Although he has gone off a couple of times before he never goes out of my sight - something must have spooked him.

'I didn't think we'd see him again because I was sure he'd get run over, I was so relieved.

'The staff on the Cremyll ferry - who said he had made several trips back and forth - just laughed and said "Isn't he clever?"

We don't quite know how long he was sailing around for, or what route he took home. It's a big journey for a little dog though.'The foot ferry runs every 30 minutes between Mount Edgcumbe and Cremyll Quay in Plymouth and the crossing takes around 10 minutes.


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Monday, September 7, 2009

Lizzie, jack russell terrier

Lost dog reunited with Mapperley family after two years
Thursday, August 06, 2009, 07:00

WHEN their dog went missing from Mapperley Park more than two years ago the owners never stopped thinking about her. But just days ago they received a call from a vets in Wolverhampton to say Lizzie the Jack Russell had been found safe and well.

No one knows how she travelled the 65 miles from Nottingham, but the four-year-old pet is now back at the family home in Warwick Road.

Her amazed owner, Chris Day, 40, said: "It's absolutely fantastic, she just came in, sniffed the other dog and the cats and sat down on her favourite pink sofa."

He remembers vividly the day they lost Lizzie in June 2007. Mr Day said: "She and her brother Stubbs got out of the gate and were seen running down Woodborough Road. Stubbs was found straight away.

"Lizzie is more nimble on her feet and raced into St Ann's and that was the last we saw of her," said Mr Day, who lives with his wife Fi and their children Nat, 12, Ben, 15 and Mimi, 11.

Despite putting up posters and placing notices with lost dog websites, the family never heard of her whereabouts.

Mr Day said: "Time drifted by and we thought she would have been picked up. It plays on your mind and we hoped she'd gone to a good home and stayed out of harm's way."

The reunion took place after she was brought into a Wolverhampton vets as a stray by a farmer who found her in the area. She was scanned for a microchip and staff realised her home was in Nottingham.

Toni Colbourne, who works at George's Veterinary Group, said: "She was brought in as a stray and we automatically do a scan. We were all surprised when we realised where she was from and the time and distance she was found from home.

"The dog has been somewhere but we don't know where. I think this really highlights why people should get their dog microchipped and that people should never give up hope."

The Day family are at a loss to where Lizzie has been for the past two years.

Mr Day said: "We've got no idea where she's been. The vets at St George's said, judging by the marks on her elbows, she looked like she'd been a working dog.

"I think she was found, set to work and escaped."


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fatty, English Staffy

Now let's get this straight . . . the dog got out of the yard, took up residence with a not too distant neighbor, basically, that I guess never walked her or made an attempt to microchip her or have her scanned for a microchip, but they did take her when they went on vacation, and lost her there. OK, just checking, I think that's what happened.

Missing dog recovered and returned... after eight years
Tuesday, 30 June 2009

An English staffy by the name of Fatty has been recovered after running away from home… eight years ago.
Fatty turned up at a pound in Yamba on the NSW far north coast, some 670 kilometres away from her home in Blacktown, Sydney.

Clarence Valley ranger Jon Hallam, who called owner John Jahshan after checking the dog’s microchip, says he had a hard time convincing him the story was true.

“He was absolutely gobsmacked,” Mr Hallam told the Blacktown Advocate.

“This is pretty much one out of the box. Eight years is a long time for the dog to go missing, and for the dog to not ever be checked in that eight years for the microchip… is pretty unusual as well.”

A two-year-old Fatty wandered off from Mr Jahshan’s backyard in 2001, before setting up residence at a nearby home.

But when that family was holidaying in Yamba, Fatty decided it was once again time to go walkabout.

Mr Jahshan, a truckdriver, said he had long ago abandoned hope of finding his pudgy companion.

“I went to the local vet at the time, looked at the shopping centres and whatever, went to the local pound for six, seven months; a couple of times a week [I] popped my head in to see if she was there.

“Then eight years later, she shows up.

“She looks great. She’s the same, (but) she’s put on more weight.”


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Luna, a beagle

Luna's Recovery
September 2009

Many of the volunteers in our lost dog recovery network look at Craigslist every day, and one day there was a post about a stray beagle hanging around a neighborhood in Alexandria (in our Northern Virginia area) for several weeks. Seems that a lot of the neighbors were feeding it and working together to try, unsuccessfully, to capture it. I guess they finally got the idea to post a Craigslist ad looking for someone trying to find their lost beagle.

Up to this point, we had only looked for people’s lost dogs, never the owners of stray dogs. But in that process, we’d learned about capturing at large dogs. So we decided to respond to the CL ad by offering help even though the dog wasn’t ours and we didn’t know who it belonged to.

So some volunteers were assigned to seek out people who had lost a beagle, such as checking shelter reports and online missing pet ads. Other volunteers began participating with the neighbors to monitor the feeding station. With our knowledge of trapping and camera use, and our connections to procure loaners of these items, we expanded the operation by bringing them in.

When the camera we installed captured a few shots of the dog, one volunteer was assigned to post another appeal on Craigslist to someone looking for a lost beagle, but this time with a couple of photos.

A woman responded pretty quickly by email, saying she had been staring and staring at the picture, and she was 99% sure it was her dog. She shared a picture of her Luna, and our many volunteers that studied the pictures of the two dogs were kind of split, with a few more agreeing it was possible that the two dogs were one and the same.

I saw numerous similar markings between the dogs in the two pictures -- a smudge on the face between the eye and the ear, a marking around the shoulder or above the elbow, the way the black faded to tan along the dog’s hind leg. On top of that, the woman mentioned that her dog is crazy about tennis balls, and we’d just finished reading a volunteer’s report of his overnight monitoring, during which he had tried interesting the dog with a tennis ball. While the dog didn't come to him, it was obvious that this dog is crazy about tennis balls. Sure, lots of dogs are, but it was a little bonus.

The stray beagle; photos captured by a motion sensored camera:

Luna; photo provided by her family:

But the Alexandria neighborhood where the dog had taken up residence is 22 miles from the woman’s Woodbridge home. To travel between the two towns by car, most people take Interstate 95 (which actually connects Maine and Florida, as well). But the simple fact is, Route 1 does run between Alexandria and Woodbridge (and I think also Maine and Florida). It’s a pretty busy route as well, but infinitely more possible than I-95 for a dog to use to travel between the two towns. This woman’s beagle could, without question, get from Woodbridge to Alexandria using Route 1.

So, since the dog was seen constantly at any and all hours of the day and night, we advised the woman that she could come at ANY time and most likely be able to see the dog, although the sooner the better, of course.

She came out with Luna’s favorite treats, and her own smelly t-shirt in case the dog didn’t show and she needed to leave her scent. She initially said she would bring the other dog at home that hasn't been eating much since Luna disappeared. Instead, she showed up without the companion dog, but with her two small kids and her disabled mother. Two of our volunteers were on hand. The family walked up and down a couple of the roads the beagle has been seen on, calling Luna’s name. (I don't think our volunteers wanted them to do that, but they did.)

As they were walking back up one road, the dog popped her little head out of the woods just around the corner from where they were. She stood in the ditch watching them, and our volunteers instructed them to get down on the ground. At this point, they were on the sidewalk, across the street from where the dog was watching them. As the dog slowly emerged from the woods, her tail was tucked and she was hesitant at first. When she was about half-way across the road, I guess they came into focus, or she finally recognized them for sure, and she tore the rest of the way across the street to them! The woman scooped her up, and Luna was licking the kids like crazy! She was just so excited and happy!
The woman told our volunteer that when she first posted on Craigslist after Luna went missing (thanks to the gate having been left open and no one knowing it when they let her out in the yard), she received two sightings via email. She followed up on them, and they both placed a dog matching Luna's description along Route 1, part way between Woodbridge and Alexandria.

So this was a new experience for our group -- helping a stray dog find its family as opposed to helping a family find its lost dog! As it happened, Luna's mom was the most ungrateful person I've probably ever met in all my life, which didn't add to the experience. But if I forget about that, it's a nice memory.

The blog maintained by the volunteers for the stray dog is at

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ekko, a german short haired pointer

Ekko's Story
September 1, 2009

Ekko's life could have been much worse when he was rescued and rehomed; he'd always had a home, and lived with a litter mate, but they lived outside. When medical issues caused that family to have to give up their two dogs, Ekko was adoped by a Northern Virginia family that included a mom & a dad, and for a short while after the adoption, a college age son who was due to head back to school about five weeks after he came to live with them.

2+ weeks in to his new life, Ekko got spooked by a loud noise outside the family home, and he managed to break free from confinement. He took off and was seen VERY few times over the next four weeks.

But there was no shortage of volunteers working to find him. A tracking dog team that had trained specifically to track missing pets came out several times to trail Ekko's scent. The tracks showed that Ekko was staying in the general area, though in a large loop that took quite a bit of work to cover in fliers.

At one point, because there had been no sightings for so long, volunteers tried to scare up sightings by staking out four points along the track for five hours straight, two nights in a row. Nothing. Talk about grim.

Meanwhile, on the morning that marked the 29th day that Ekko was lost, a man living about 5 blocks away from Ekko's home was leaving for work when he saw a dog in the bushes in his back yard. He went into the house and told his 7 year old daughter that there was a dog in the bushes in the back yard. (The mother was in the shower.) And then he left to go to work.

The girl went out and saw the dog. Smart enough to know that the dog's rescue couldn't wait for her mother to get out of the shower, this amazing young girl took immediate action. She reasoned that since they didn't have a dog, there was no leash she could pick up to go and contain the dog. But the next door neighbor had a dog, so she figured they should have a leash. So this angel called the next door neighbor and asked if she could borrow a leash.

Of course the neighbor said, "Sure, but what do you need it for and where's your mother?"

"She's in the shower, and there's a dog in my back yard," the young girl said.

The neighbor got a leash and some ham, and then made a detour between her house and the girl's house next door to go to the telephone pole and grab a tab with the phone number off the lost dog flier that had been posted for weeks. When she reached the area where the dog was hiding in the bushes, she knew immediately that it was the elusive Ekko.

Apparently, it took a little effort to leash him, but she did. And not two or three minutes later, some workmen showed up to get started on a construction project for the day, at the girl's house or the neighbor's house. So as it happened, there was really only a very small window in which to have safely contained this dog. Had the girl waited for her mother to get out of the shower . . . well, I prefer not to think about it.

Ekko still had his collar and tags, and the neighbor called his family. As she'd been instructed to do, Ekko's mom immediately called a volunteer to meet them at the house. The volunteer arrived first, and whisked Ekko off to the vet, where they met Ekko's mom & dad. He was very docile, and very good, but he didn't show much emotion with the girl, the neighbor or the volunteer. But he went crazy when he saw his mom & dad! He kind of jumped on Maureen -- he put his paws up on her, which wouldn't have made me wince if he didn't have a broken leg!

Ekko was doing both better AND worse than he could have -- he was flea & parasite free, thankfully, and not dirty or smelly. But he was dehydrated and emaciated and he had a front leg broken in two places -- probably by a car within the first few days that he was on the run.

Ekko's recovery was yesterday, and here's the post-surgery report:

After 3 hours of surgery, Ekko is doing fine. Yes, it took longer than expected. The objective of the surgery was to install a bone plate (8 pin) under the skin. The doctor at Suburban Animal Hospital (Arlington) said that is took longer than expected because there was some dead bone in the center of the leg. He estimates that Ekko broke the leg on or soon after he got away on 8/03/09. He may have been hit by a car and hid while he tried to heal. That is probably why it was difficult to locate him. (It is amazing that he tracked as far as he did with a broken leg.) Unfortunately, the bone started healing, over those four weeks, in the wrong way creating a deformity, or almost an extra joint in the bone. It was not a strong mend. Doing nothing and putting on a cast would have handicapped Ekko for the rest of his life. The doctor removed about one inch of the bad bone and replaced with a synthetic bone that is better than actual bone. Also a 12-pin bone plate was installed because of the loss of the extra bone. Ekko is resting comfortably with ice on his leg with the help of pain killers at the hospital. He might be home on Monday. The doctor expects him to fully recover in 8-12 weeks.

Another lost dog safely recovered. And we helped!!!

More info at: http//

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Scobby, a Black Lab

The Case of the Missing Dog and the Kitty Held Hostage
by PetSugar

Thu, 07/03/2008 - 7:00am

There must be something in the water down there in Florida to cause a woman to hold a cat as ransom! This story is a bit tricky, so stay with me here:

Linda Urioste's black lab Scobby went missing several weeks ago, but instead of searching for him right away, she assumed he was stolen and gone for good. In the meantime, Scobby had turned up at the animal shelter and was adopted by Jutta Hollar and her husband after being unclaimed for weeks.

Eventually Urioste did check the animal shelter, and the couple learned that the rightful owner was looking for the pup.

Upon meeting Urioste, the Hollars decided not to give back Scobby (now renamed Buddy), since Urioste was "extremely rude and threatened to sue."

Here's where things get interesting: Mizy, the Hollar's cat went missing a few days after meeting Urioste, and they received a message from her stating she had Mizy, and wouldn't give her back until they returned Scobby!

After confessing, police arrested Linda Urioste for holding lil Mizy ransom in exchange for the dog. Charges included theft and extortion! Yeesh! What's the lesson here? Always look for your missing dogs, and don't use other pets as ransom!