Monday, November 30, 2009

Casey, chow shepherd mix

Man Charters Helicopter to Find Pooch
Family that eventually found the dog turned down a $3,000 reward
By Andrew Greiner
Nov 24, 2009
When Shawn DeAmicis' dog went missing, he didn't just walk the streets yelling her name.

Instead, he chartered a helicopter. And contacted a telemarketing service. And offered a $3,000 reward. And was just about have a detective from Nebraska drive to Chicago to track down his 3-year-old Chow/Shepherd mix, Casey.

“I think it should be obvious what she means to me with how much I’ve invested in her search,” DeAmicis said.

But after employing all those high-tech options, it was a simple flier -- made for free, by a woman who didn't even know DeAmicis -- that helped find his best friend.

"She went crazy when she saw me," DeAmicis said. "She was whining with joy for about a half an hour."

The week-long ordeal began last Sunday, when Casey jumped a four-foot fence at DeAmicis's pet sitter's facility in Berwyn. She took off running into the southwest suburbs.

DeAmicis, an options trader who lives in downtown Chicago, received the call about her escape while visiting his cancer-stricken mother in Boston. He was distraught, and so was his other pet dog, Curtis.

“Curtis wouldn’t even eat a piece of cheese the other day,” DeAmicis said. “They’re like brother and sister.”

After ensuring his mom was doing well -- "She told me to go find my dog," DeAmicis said -- he immediately hopped a flight back home.

He contacted a dog-finding service,, and instructed them to offer a $3,000 reward for Casey's return. The service began making calls and sending emails to 25,000 homes. Total cost: $2,250.

Not satisfied, DeAmicis then chartered a helicopter from Sun Aero Helicopters in Lansing, Illinois, to canvas the area -- to the tune of $500 per hour.

But the flyovers failed to find Casey and DeAmicis, at his wit's end, was about to hire pet detective Karin TarQwyn, from Nebraska, to come to Chicago and track down his pet. TarQwyn charges $125 an hour.

That's when the phone call came.

A bar patron at The Friendly Tap, a watering hole in Berwyn, said he'd seen DeAmicis's missing dog on a flier above the bar. Casey, the man said, was shacking up with an Oak Park family that he knew.

The flier had come courtesy of one Johanna Roth, a stranger to DeAmicis, who had received one of those cold calls. Using her expertise from working at Press Tech, a local printing company, Roth made some fliers and sent them to DeAmicis. DeAmicis posted the fliers around Berwyn.

“Before I found Casey, the only good part of this story was all the Samaritans that came forward,” DeAmicis said.

After a few phone calls confirmed that it was Casey, DeAmicis went to get her immediately.

Turns out Casey latched on to a Berwyn woman after her escape from the pet sitter's. She followed the woman, whose name is Tosha, for about an hour, but the woman couldn't take Casey -- who she assumed to be a stray home because she already has a dog. Tosha called another family who contacted the Martin family.

The Martins were the people who eventually returned Casey to an exuberant DeAmicis.

When all was said and done, it wasn't the helicopter or the pet detective or the $3,000 reward -- which the Martins declined to accept -- that led to her return.

It started with a phone call, and ended with the largesse of a stranger.

"She's got some blisters on her feet," DeAmicis said of Casey. "But other than that she's in good condition."

As for DiAmicis mom, turns out she's doing well, too. Her latest tests show her tumor has shrunk. DeAmicis, it seems, could get two holiday gifts this year.


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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tanner, Golden Retriever

This story isn't really a story; it's a series of three Craigslist posts about a family's lost dog. You can see from the last post that there were many people that reached out to this family as a result of their first posts to Craigslist. So, those who need help looking for their lost dog should bear in mind that it's okay to ask for help. People -- even total strangers -- do want to help people in need.

Golden Retriever LOST 11/19/09 (Gainesville)
Date: 2009-11-19, 10:18PM EST

Our Golden Retriever, Tanner, was accidentally let out of the house by our 3 yr old this morning at approximately 9:30am and has not returned. He was last seen in the Brookside and Bridlewood communities in Gainesville around 2pm. If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Tanner (male), PLEASE contact us immediately as we are worried sick. You can reach us at 703-555-1212...with thanks and appreciation.

Tanner is a very large, full bred Golden and is very dark golden in color...he is wearing a blue leather collar with silver dog bones on it and a tag in the shape of a dog bone with his name on it & old phone number. The number on the tag is not in service any longer as it was changed recently...please call the above number or email me if you have any information.

GOLDEN RETRIEVER DOG - LOST (Gainesville/Linton Hall Corridor)
Date: 2009-11-25, 3:40PM EST

If anyone has seen or has information on the whereabouts of a male golden retriever running loose in Gainesville, VA, please call 703-555-1212 IMMEDIATELY.

Our beloved Tanner has been missing since Thursday, November 19th and was spotted this afternoon at the corner of Brookside (subdivision) and Linton Hall Road making his way toward Glenkirk Road. Please, if you have seen him or think you may have seen him, please contact us...we are worried sick and are very concerned for his safety.

He is wearing a BLUE LEATHER COLLAR WITH SILVER DOG BONES ON IT and also has his tags; however, the phone number on the tags have recently changed and do not work. Tanner is a large golden who is darker in color (dark blonde/brown) and I was told by the woman who saw him this afternoon that he is frantic and very frightened...he was last seen around 2:30pm WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25th.

Thank you so much.

GOLDEN RETRIEVER DOG - FOUND (Gainesville/Linton Hall Corridor)
Date: 2009-11-25, 8:40PM EST

I want to thank everyone who helped with finding our Golden Retriever who had been missing since Thursday, November 19th. It is with great joy that we found Tanner late this afternoon after someone in Brookside (off of Linton Hall Road/Gainesville) called us to let us know that she had seen him heading toward Glenkirk Road.

We have been searching day and night since last Thursday, posted hundreds of flyers around Gainesville, knocked on strangers doors and went on many long walks through the fire paths that connect the many subdivisions off of Linton Hall Road searching for our boy.

Saying thank you is not nearly enough but please know, we are grateful to all of you who kept an eye out for Tanner and for the many, many phone calls we received over the past 6 1/2 days that helped with our search. We are relieved and so incredibly happy that our Tannie is home and most of all, safe. He has had a rough week to say the least with all of the rain and the cold weather and is happy to be able to rest in the warmth of his home :) Bath time will surely come later this evening, though I can honestly say that I have never been happier to see a more filthy, smelly and tick infested boy in all of my life!!

Thank you again for your continued prayers and outreach...God heard every one of our prayers and he is home now where he belongs.

With much thanks and gratitude,
Chuck and Jeni and Family
(RyanMichael, KayLeigh, Brandon, GraceLynn, Mattie and Tucker)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Otto, American bulldog

This story comes straight from the blog of Kat Albrecht, founder of the Missing Pet Partnership.

The Story of Otto
November 27th, 2009

Look at this picture and tell me what you see. An abused dog? A neglected dog? A dog that deserves a better home?

If you found this dog wandering in your neighborhood and he was wearing a collar with an ID tag, would you call the owner and return this dog to that family? Or would you work to re-home him, knowing he would get a better life? Read on…

This photo is of Otto, an American Bulldog and he is most definitely loved and NOT neglected or abused! The above photo was taken in an emergency vet’s office after Otto was humanely captured in a dog trap. He had been “lost” for two months during which time his family was frantically trying to recover him. Otto lost 33 pounds (he went from 90 to 57 pounds), but he is currently recovering from his terrible ordeal.

Here’s his story. Otto was traveling with his Daddy on an Interstate in Arkansas when they were involved in serious car crash. Sadly, Otto bolted from the crash in raw panic and would run from anyone who tried to capture him. Ultimately the sightings dropped off and his owner had to continue on with his move to Houston, Texas. But then during the 7th week Leslie Mann, an avid animal lover just passing through the area, sighted the skinny white dog in the middle of a heavily vegetated median on the same Interstate where the accident took place. Leslie did some detective work and discovered that this dog was likely the missing dog Otto. She called the owners in Houston as well as Missing Pet Partnership in hopes of finding a pet detective who could help in the recovery.

Pet Detective Lisa Bukowczyk from The Feline Finders lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. Although Lisa’s business title sounds like she only works lost cat cases, she is a certified Missing Animal Response Technician with Missing Pet Partnership and takes on dog cases as well. Among her services, Lisa offers “Trap and Reunite” (TAR) which are highly effective techniques (attract, detect, then capture) used to recover panicked lost cats and dogs. Lisa responded immediately and met with Linda, Rob, and Margarita (Otto’s human family who drove 8 hours from Houston) to plot out a recovery strategy.

First, they set up feeding stations accompanied with digital wildlife cameras in order to verify whether or not the dog sighted was really Otto and to condition him to come back for a source of food. The strategy worked, because within two days they captured a very skinny Otto on camera! Everyone was elated to discover that the skinny dog that Leslie spotted was, in fact, Otto!

Next, Lisa set up a large dog humane trap and slathered it with peanut butter and dog food but locked it open with a bungy cord (so the door would not close). This was to make sure Otto would not be afraid to enter the trap. They left it tied open for 3 days until he willingly entered the trap. He wasn’t afraid. He was hungry and he licked the trap clean! On the fourth night they actually set the trap and were hoping for the best.

Margarita returned to the trap at midnight and Otto was inside! She called Lisa for help to lift the dog and the cage into the back of her van (not risking letting him out of the trap and escaping again). They rushed Otto to an emergency vet where he was treated, released, and taken home to Houston to be loved on and pampered.

The most important aspect of this story that I’d like to share is that when you find a stray dog that looks terrible – a dog that looks starving or has injuries – please remember Otto’s Story. Understand that the skinny, panicked dog that you found might be a loved companion animal who looks awful because he’s been on the run for weeks, or even months.

Because Leslie Mann did not assume that the skinny dog that she saw was “dumped” or “abused,” Otto was reunited with this family! Leslie did what we wish all rescuers would do…she assumed that the skinny dog was LOST, not dumped or stray. For info on how easy it is to mistake a panicked, lost dog for an “abused, neglected dog” (and even a panicked, lost cat for a “feral cat”) visit Missing Pet Partnership’s Think Lost, Not Stray page. In addition, there are simple actions that you can take when you find a stray dog to increase the chances of reuniting a found lost dog with their family.

Thank you to Leslie Mann and the other unsung-lost-dog-recovery-heroes for making a difference!

Category: Pet Detective Cases

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dog Comes Out of Hiding to Play

For several years, Ann O’Malley would spend hours at a time sifting through internet posts of lost dogs and found dogs trying to find a match. She had volunteered at her local shelter during Katrina, and when she saw how distressed the dogs and cats in the shelter were, she tried to think what she could do to make a difference.

One day after three years, she succeeded! Her local paper printed a human interest story about her after she helped an Arkansas family reunite with their dog they had lost while in Texas. And a woman we’ll call Mary clipped and held on to the article, possibly figuring that if her little dog were ever lost, Ann might be someone that could help her.

Meanwhile, Mary’s elderly aunt spent years foregoing vacations because she didn’t trust anyone to take care of her small and very skittish dog. When she finally did either need to or decide to go away somewhere, she left the dog in the care of Mary and her husband.

Everything had been going just fine, and the aunt's dog was getting along very well with the couple’s little dog. Around 11pm one evening, they took the dogs outside on a last pee call when one minute he was there, in the yard with their dog, and the next minute he was gone. The area was heavily wooded, surrounded by high prairie grasses, teeming with predators (this was in Arkansas). Though terrified of the possibilities they were facing, they went to bed, and were up early, putting up the posters they'd printed. But there was no sign of the dog.

Remembering the article she’d read about Ann O’Malley, Mary called her, crying and asking for help. This was completely outside of Ann’s experience as she’d never lost a dog or looked for a lost dog any way other than by trying to match internet lost dog and found dog postings. But she figured she’d throw out a suggestion that popped into her head.

Ann asked Mary if the aunt's dog liked their own dog; did they play together? Yes, they really liked each other. So Ann asked her if, when they went out searching for the dog, they brought their own dog along, on a leash. The answer was that no, they wanted their hands free so that in case they saw him, they could grab him. So Ann’s off-the-top-of-her-head suggestion was that if the missing dog saw that his buddy thought that these people were okay, he might come out from wherever he is. Mary said they would give it a try, and Ann agreed to come out and help them search.

She started getting ready to go, and not more than about 15 minutes later, Mary called back. Sure enough, just as Ann had said it might happen, the aunt's dog came right out of the grass to them when they walked their dog on a leash.

This might not work so well had it not been the very next day after the dog went missing. Had the dog experience any real time "in the wild", it might have taken more than a little invitation to play. But in the end, the dog was found, apparently by bringing a companion along to draw him out of hiding.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Laela, a dachshund

Fox 8 News Helps Fire Victims Find Lost Dog
Lou Maglio, Fox 8 News Anchor

CLEVELAND-- A Cleveland family lost everything in a house fire on Saturday but will be celebrating anyway this Thanksgiving.

Jack and Carol Gibbons' three dogs escaped the fire by breaking though a fence.

Two of the dogs were later found but not their dachshund, named Laela. Fox Eight News reported the story on Tuesday night at six o'clock and a viewer realized the dog she rescued was, in fact, Laela.

She made a call to the Gibbons.

"After you guys ran the story at six o'clock within 10 minutes, in fact I looked at my cell phone and it was eleven minutes after six, somebody called and said I think we have your dog," said John Gibbons.

The reunion took place moments later.

"We were full of tears and sadness today. The tears we shed this evening were those of joy. We couldn't be more happy to have our baby girl back with us," said an emotional Gibbons.

The Gibbons home will be re-built and they are overjoyed to have their 'family' back together.,0,6856909.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wjw-news+%28WJW+-+Fox++8+News%29

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monroe, a goldendoodle

Woman loses dog during attack in Harrisburg
Matthew Kemeny, the Patriot-News
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Debra Morrison said she thought the two men she talked with during a recent Saturday afternoon stroll with her dog at Wildwood Park were just curious about the white, furry goldendoodle.

But at some point in the conversation, one of the men jogged away and the other picked up a rock and struck her in the forehead, Morrison said. In the attack, she let go of her leash and Monroe ran away.

Now Morrison is reaching out to the public for help in finding her 1-year-old golden retriever-poodle mix, missing since the March 21 attack.

"I was scared to death," said Morrison, 49, a respiratory therapist at Holy Spirit Hospital. "I don't know what the intent or purpose of this was."

Morrison said she was walking Monroe on a secluded trail about 2 p.m. when the men, one of whom was holding the leash of a chocolate-colored Labrador retriever, approached her.

After the attack, Morrison treated herself for head lacerations and bruises, she said.


Lost dog found at Annville farm
By MATTHEW KEMENY, The Patriot-News
March 31, 2009, 5:27PM

Monroe, a 1-year-old golden retriever-poodle mix, was reunited with its owners today after being missing for ten days.

A dog that's been missing for ten days since its owner was attacked at Wildwood Park in Harrisburg was reunited with its family today after a woman living on a Lancaster County horse farm recognized the pooch from a story in The Patriot-News.

Monroe, a 1-year-old, white goldendoodle, had been living with a family in Annville since shortly after the March 21 attack, the dog's owner, Debra Morrison, said. Morrison, 49, had stopped to chat with two men on a secluded trail about 2 p.m. when one of the men hit her in the forehead with a rock and she let go of her leash.

How Monroe ended up 25 miles east on a Lancaster County farm remains a mystery, Debra's son, Zach Morrison, said. The golden retriever-poodle mix was unharmed and was treated by a veterinarian, the Morrisons said.

When Monroe returned home this afternoon, he went right to his dog bowl, had some food and water and fell asleep on the couch, Debra Morrison said.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Zoe, an Australian Cattle Dog mix

Zoe had been adopted by Marc and Katie around 3 months before the day that she went missing from her dog day care center, where she spent 3 or 4 days a week. Her opportunity came as a result of a comedy of errors – har har – just minutes after Marc dropped her off, around noon, before he reported to work. This was early in November, 2009.

Marc works almost directly across the street from the dog day care, at a garden center. The day care center started calling his cell immediately, although as it turned out, the calls/voicemails didn’t hit his phone until that night. In retrospect, the day care center people should have run across the street to tell him. Other than that oversight, their response to the crisis of having a dog escape while on their watch – from committing resources to the search to making an array of improvements to prevent a fluke like that from occurring again.
 So, Zoe was off! Her mom was notified, and she immediately made fliers and left work to go start putting them up. One place they went was the garden center where Marc works, and the flier was seen by a woman that knows about our loosely operating group of lost dog recovery volunteers. So she called me; this was one day after Zoe had escaped, and Katie and Marc were out fliering.

When Zoe's case was presented to us, we had been discussing taking on a different kind of case -- that of a dog that had been seen wandering at large, and was reported so on Craigslist. We don't normally try to find the owner of a wandering dogs; we work in the opposite direction, working to find lost dog's for an owner or rescue organization. After finding out the details of Zoe's case, we realized that the wandering dog reported on Craigslist WAS Zoe.
Zoe went missing on a Monday at mid-day, and the two sightings that came in occurred put her in the same spot as each other, a few blocks away and across a very busy road, 7 and 14 hours after her escape. No more sightings Tuesday or Wednesday. But then Thursday morning, one of Marc’s co-workers at the garden center was coming out of one of their assorted buildings on their grounds, and clearly saw Zoe, across the way, but within the garden center, outside. He called her name and she did look over. But with each step towards her that Dave took, Zoe took a step back. So he stopped taking steps towards her, and grabbed his radio. Fortunately all the employees at the garden center use radios, so in a minute, most of the employees were dispatched to assist with capturing Zoe.

You've heard of a Code Adam, right? It's when a child turns up missing in a store, all the doors are locked so that no one, customers included, can leave until the place is searched. Well, this was like a Code Zoe -- when an at large dog turns up on a store's grounds, all the exits are blocked (to the best of the employees' ability) so that the dog can't escape.

Zoe resisted, to be sure. Marc showed me on a map all of the moves she made around the property, trying to get away from employees, some of which were chasing her. After a few minutes, she reached a point at which, had she gone straight, she’d have exited the property, and could have gotten away completely, though she would likely have run right into traffic. But at the last second, she chose to turn left, and in doing so, she was cornered and surrounded by employees! Her response to that? She submitted immediately, laying down belly side up!

Turns out her foot was broken, never mind that she was running around, so employees put her in a wheel barrow, and wrapped her in a sleeping bag until Marc got there.

So Zoe, who is an Australian Cattle Dog mix, stayed very close to the area where she escaped from, which was a place she’s been going 3-4 times a week for much of the three months she’s been with Marc and Katie. And this was very close to Marc’s workplace, where as it turns out, she’s been numerous times. (Katie also takes a subway, almost daily, not far from there.) So, leaving food out at the garden center was a smart tip that Marc’s co-workers had suggested from the start.

Zoe’s blog is located at:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Annabelle, a shih tzu

Woman reunited with missing dog after four years
By Fred Petrucelli

A reunion that defied all possibilities of reconciliation occurred within the confines of this city recently between a dog and its mistress.

For 4 years a 10-year-old Shih Tzu was among the missing while Mrs. Sommer Holden lived in frantic dread that her loving pet had met a foul end. Throughout this sorrowful interlude, she had taken every means to find the dog — newspaper ads, posters, incessant telephone calls, word of mouth - all to no avail. Annabelle, the Shih Tzu had vanished.

But in her consciousness, Annabelle was still alive, missing her mistress as she herself was missed. Naysayers told Holden to end her worry, forget her fears. The dog was gone; no use fretting about it.

Yet, the whereabouts of Annabelle were shrouded in mystery. Had she lost her way, was she dog-napped, had she been struck by a vehicle and left to die? All these frightful thoughts filtered through Holden’s mind. Would she ever find the dog — after 4 years?

She continued to experience all the pain of separation, all the trauma that only a dog lover can endure. Annabelle was part of her life; she would never be forgotten. The dog had created a spiritual bond and a preordained role in the life of its owner.

Now the plot thickens. And what occurred next seems implausible. Holden maintains that she was shocked, absolutely bowled over, when one recent day while driving, she saw Annabelle.

“No question, it was Annabelle; a dog owner knows her dog and I know mine,” Holden said almost breathlessly. “I stopped the car and called to Annabelle, but she fled through the neighborhood I saw her no longer.”

When Holden told family and friends about her discovery, they rolled their eyes in disbelief. And again she heard a familiar refrain: “You’re not trying to find that dog after 4 years, are you?”

She was indeed. Her memory of Annabelle remained fresh - her long silky hair, short legs, square jaw and a plumed tail that curved so appealingly over her back.

Undaunted, Holden scoured the neighborhood, hoping against hope that Annabelle would once again appear before her. She would never give up; this was the essence of her mood. And she went through all the essential channels again; advertising in the Log Cabin Democrat, setting out notices, asking friends to be alert for her lost dog.

Happily, the responses from the want ads this time gave Holden renewed hope. Residents from the neighborhood of Adamsbrook reported seeing a dog of Annabelle’s configuration. Holden dashed out of her home on Smoking Oak and drove to Adamsbrook in record time, only to suffer a bittersweet experience.

There was Annabelle, all right, in the yard of a resident, looking scruffy and dirty and wearing the marks of a disheveled creature. But when Holden approached her, she bolted and ran from sight.

The woman returned home, almost conquered by despair. Her family also seemed crushed by this recent rejection by Annabelle until somebody suggested that Holden take a piece of her apparel and place it near a small bridge in Adamsbrook where its scent would hopefully attract the dog.

Would that even a seemingly inane suggestion might have merit. The next day Holden hustled over to the place where Annabelle might be wandering and placed a sweater on the ground. She waited and waited. Suddenly Annabelle speared from her hiding place, approached the sweater, sniffed and fell into the arms of her owner who had rushed up to capture her prize.

Annabelle’s saga had ended. But myriad questions abound about her 4-year hiatus. And they will never be answered.

“Annabelle, where have you been?”

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Sunday, November 22, 2009


Dog returns after two years missing
Dec 5 2004
A South Bend family got an early Christmas present this year. Their family pet, who ran away from home, is now back where it belongs. But this is no ordinary lost dog story.

The Faulk family considers it a Christmas miracle. Their young daughter found her long-lost friend, by chance, after he was missing for two years.

Two years ago the Faulk's moved into a new home, but lost part of their family. Tami Faulk said, "In the midst of moving furniture in and out, the gate was left open and our dogs escaped."

One dog made its way back home, but Grizzly was never found. Haley Faulk and her dog were inseparable and it broke her heart. The family tried animal control and went to Pet Refuge, but every road they went down was a dead end . . . until Wednesday.

Haley wanted to see puppies at the shelter. Haley’s mom said, "They walked in and Haley went ahead and walked thru and she says, 'Grandma, it's Grizzly!'”

Haley knew it was him and Grizzly knew it was Haley. "He recognized her up from jump. I mean, I guess he was in the cage crying and Haley was crying," said Tami Faulk.

A chip in his ear confirmed that it was Haley’s dog. Grizzly wasn't doing so well and the Faulk's found him just in time. After two long years Haley, by chance, brought her best friend back.

Grizzly did have that chip used to locate missing pets, but the family had moved and South Bend Animal Control didn't have the new address.

The Faulk's phone number didn't change, so they had hoped for a call, but now they're just glad to have their dog back.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Brambles, a saluki/greyhound mix

Stolen dog reunited with owners
Wednesday, 11 June 2008

A stolen dog has been reunited with its tearful owners in Dorset after three years, the RSPCA has said.

The owners of Brambles, a saluki greyhound cross, had given up hope, after she was taken from their home in Dorchester in 2005 when she was two.

Brambles was found by the RSPCA after three years

She was found when RSPCA officers were called to reports that boys were mistreating a dog in Bristol. They then scanned her for a microchip.

Owner Sarah Thornewill said it was "a very emotional moment all round". Ms Thornewill, who now lives in Blandford, added: "My partner Richard had a tear in his eye.

“ Sadly, the society often has to find new homes for animals because there is no way of tracing their owners”  said Insp John Atkinson RSPCA.

"After so long, we thought that we would never see Brambles again, but this just goes to show how worthwhile microchipping is."

RSPCA Insp John Atkinson had scanned Brambles' fur and her microchip revealed she had been stolen three years earlier.

The story comes at the start of the Kennel Club's National Microchipping Month, which is backed by the RSPCA. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the benefits of microchipping, which allows lost or stolen pets to be identified.

Insp John Atkinson said: "The RSPCA has been able to reunite cats and dogs who have been given up for lost with their owners months or even years after they first went missing thanks to a microchip.

"Sadly, the society often has to find new homes for animals because there is no way of tracing their owners.

"In addition, I'd urge all the responsible owners who have their pets microchipped to update their details with the microchipping database whenever they move house."

Story from BBC NEWS:
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Shai, a Yorkie

In Stoughton, a missing dog’s strange saga
By David Abel, Globe Staff
November 3, 2009

Janet Torren sensed something was wrong when the animal control officer didn’t return her calls. When she reached the officer, it seemed peculiar that her story changed with each question, she said.

It was not until Torren threatened to call police last month that she learned the Stoughton official in charge of finding stray dogs had given away her “little princess,’’ a 4-year-old Yorkshire terrier that Torren calls Shai.

“I felt like I was lost in a maze, and I kept on going the wrong way,’’ said Torren, of Rochester. “I felt like I was trying to get the dog back, and no one was helping me, and the people supposed to help me weren’t.’’

She and Shai were eventually reunited, but not before enduring a series of events she said left her seething.

Janet Torren of Rochester with Shai, who was given away by the Stoughton animal control officer.

It began on Sept. 18, when Torren brought Shai for a visit to her son’s house in Stoughton. They went out for breakfast, leaving the dog in her son’s kitchen, and Shai wiggled past a sliding glass door and ran loose until someone brought her to the town’s pound.

But Torren did not learn for 12 days that the dog had been brought to the pound and she spent nearly every one of those days knocking on doors and making phone calls in search of her beloved pet. She called the Stoughton pound many times, but was told they did not have her dog.

“I was frantic,’’ she said. “Our children are grown, and Shai is a baby to us; we treat her as our little princess. She’s a family member. She’s absolutely loving.’’

Shai had an identifying microchip implanted behind one of her ears, and Torren called one microchip company, thinking they would know if it had been scanned by a pound or a veterinarian. They had not received any reports. On Oct. 1, Torren called another company and learned the microchip had been scanned, by the town pound in Stoughton, on the day the dog was lost.

So, once again, Torren called Kristin Bousquet, the town’s animal control officer. There was no answer. After Torren left a message threatening to call police, Bousquet called back and tried to suggest someone else at the pound or the local rescue league may have scanned Shai’s microchip, even though Torren said the company told her that Bousquet had registered Shai.

“It was a continuing change of the story,’’ Torren said. “There was nothing solid to what she was saying. If I asked her a question, she changed the answer. It was one lie after another.’’

Bousquet did not return calls to the Globe, but in an e-mail to The Enterprise of Brockton she admitted she had not been “100 percent truthful’’ about the incident.

After Bousquet said the dog was about to be taken to Florida, Torren gave her a half hour to return her dog. Then Torren met with Chief Thomas Murphy of the Stoughton Police Department. They chatted in his office for a few minutes, and he walked out and came back carrying Shai.

“It was a huge relief,’’ she said. “It was like this whole, horrible story was over.’’

After a brief investigation, Murphy found that Bousquet had given the dog to a police officer’s girlfriend, who was planning to move to Florida with Shai. He found that the dog was well fed and in good condition. The officer and his girlfriend, neither of whom Murphy identified, did not know that the dog had been missing, Murphy said.

He added that there is no indication that Bousquet had made similar gifts of lost pets.

“Thankfully, the dog was reunited with the owner, and it was well kept,’’ Murphy said by phone. “Unfortunately, the pain, the worries, and the anguish weren’t necessary. I hope she can enjoy a long life with her pet.’’

Torren has decided not to press charges against Bousquet.

In the end, she said, Bousquet got what she deserved. Last Friday, after about seven years as an animal control officer for Stoughton, she was fired by the town manager.

As for Shai, life is now a party. Torren and her husband celebrated her return last weekend with doggie cookies, a Yorkie stuffed animal, and an ice cream cake.

“She’s doing fantastic,’’ Torren said.

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Ellie, a German shorthaired pointer

Home Sweet Home: Army Reserve Finds Stolen Pooch
A passerby spotted the dog in the side of the road
By Danielle Johnson
Oct 24, 2009 9:21 PM EST

Army reserve Ben Terfehr can breathe a sigh of relief now that his best friend and dog, Ellie, is finally back home. The pooch was stolen during a misfortune of events for the University of Maryland student on Wednesday.

Terfehr’s united with the 8-month old German shorthaired pointer Saturday afternoon at a McDonald's in Annapolis thanks to a passerby who notified police that they spotted the pooch on the side of a road in a crate.

Anne Arundel County Animal Control said the dog was covered in filth but was in good condition and is expected to be fine.

On Wednesday night Terfehr left his keys in the ignition of his car before he ran inside an Exxon station in Annapolis. Sadly, when he came out the store, his car was gone and so was Ellie. Terfehr later went on television to make a desperate plea for her safe return.

The 22-year-old Criminal justice major will be deployed to Iraq next month. Ellie, however, will remain with his mother (under lock and key) until he returns.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Freddie, a small terrier

Dog Rescued a Mile from Shore
November 7th, 2009

Last year, two fishermen were fishing a mile off the coast of England in the North Sea, when they saw something furry in the water. Naturally, they thought it was an otter and were later surprise to find a small terrier paddling for his life. They lifted the poor, wet dog into their boat, and ordered a lifeboat to carry him back to shore.

The 14-year-old dog, Freddie, belonged to a 73-year-old woman named Jean Brigstock. Jean had taken Freddie out for a walk on the beach. Apparently poor Freddie became confused by the fog, and he wandered into the water. Jean had been frantically searching for him. When Freddie attempted to swim back to shore, he apparently was swimming the wrong direction and traveling farther and farther out to sea.

“He looked like a drowned rat when they found him,” Brigstock told the Daily Mail. “I’m so grateful to the two fishermen, the Coastguard and the inshore lifeboat men who took so much trouble to find him and take him to safety.”

Although Freddie was shaken by his adventure at sea, he was in perfect health. After recovering from the cold water, he was up the next morning, bright-eyed and busy tailed…ready for his breakfast!

Original story found here:


Friday, November 13, 2009

Sabi, an explosive detection dog

Dog back after a year MIA in Afghanistan
By Kathryn Tancos, CNN

(CNN) -- An Australian special forces dog has been found alive and well more than a year after going missing in action in Afghanistan.

Explosives detection dog Sabi was recovered by a U.S. soldier who found her wandering near an isolated patrol base in the desolate southern province of Oruzgan last week, according to the Australian Government Department of Defense.

John, the U.S. soldier, who was identified only by first name, knew his Australian counterparts were missing an explosive detection dog. He knew immediately that Sabi was not a stray.

"I took the dog and gave it some commands it understood," he said.

When she disappeared, the black Labrador was nearing the end of her second tour of duty in Afghanistan. She went missing in September 2008 when insurgents ambushed a combined Australian, U.S. and Afghan army convoy. Nine Australian soldiers, including Sabi's handler, were wounded during the gunbattle.

Trooper Mark Donaldson, currently in the United Kingdom after meeting Queen Elizabeth, said Sabi's return closed a chapter of their shared history.

"She's the last piece of the puzzle," Donaldson said. "Having Sabi back gives some closure for the handler and the rest of us that served with her in 2008. It's a fantastic morale booster for the guys."

The 4-year-old canine was flown to the Australian base of Tarin Kowt to be reunited with one of her trainers.

"I nudged a tennis ball to her with my foot and she took it straight away. It's a game we used to play over and over again during her training," said the trainer, whose name was withheld for security reasons. "It's amazing, just incredible, to have her back."

Sabi will now undergo quarantine before a decision is made about when she can return to Australia. A veterinary assessment into possible exposure to diseases is under way. If the tests prove negative, Sabi will be cleared to return home.


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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Moon, siberian huskey

Lost dog finds its way home after week and 77 miles
By John Plestina, Ely Times Reporter
Thursday, April 17, 2008

Whether it be impressive navigational skills or just a natural homing sense that brings some lost dogs home across many miles from unfamiliar places is up for debate. It's safe to assume that a lost dog didn't hitchhike a lucky ride 77 miles home to Ely.

Doug Dashiell and no-longer stinky Moon.
Other than stinking like the skunk that sprayed her somewhere along her journey, Moon, a Siberian husky, found her way to Ely across miles of desert and over the White River and Ward Mountain ranges.

Doug Dashiell had taken his three dogs with him for a weekend trip to Tonopah. He thought he would never see Moon again when she ran away April 6.

He had let his three dogs out of his truck near Railroad Valley, a distance he later clocked at 77 miles back to Ely. Moon, who is 1 year, 9 months old, got away when a catch on a chain let go. After several hours searching for her he drove home to Cross Timbers.

“Last time I saw her she was headed northwest,” Dashiell said. Because the dog was headed in the direction of the Duckwater Shoshone Reservation he contacted the Duckwater Tribal Police. Calls to them and others turned up no traces of Moon.

Dashiell had all but given up hope that he would ever see Moon again until the White Pine Veterinary Clinic called him Monday morning.

She had wandered up to R Place No. 1 on Aultman Street Sunday.

In one week she had walked all the way to Ely.

Alvin Molea found Moon outside of R Place, took her home, fed her and gave her a warm place to sleep. Molea called Dr. Tom Sander's office at the White Pine Veterinary Clinic Monday morning because Moon was wearing a tag from the clinic.

Moon had made it home unscathed except for the pungent stench of a skunk she had probably chased somewhere between Railroad Valley and Ely.

A bath was awaiting the pure bred Siberian husky. “I want to get her to where she smells half way decent,” Dashiell said a hour after being reunited with Moon Monday morning.

He speculated that Moon might have fed on rabbits during the seven days she was missing.

Dashiell conceded that he had doubted he would ever see Moon again. “After seven days -- no way.”

He added that he had thought Moon was either dead, turned wild and would not return or that someone might have found her and kept her.

“I've had trouble with her running away before. She's always come home,” Dashiell said.

This time was no different.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lucious, a sharpei mix

Dog's safe return brings joy to Burleson family
The Burleson Star
Posted 9/23/2009 02:46 pm

There is nothing like the feeling you get when you are able to reunite a lost dog with its anxious owners. Huguley Memorial Medical Center employee Sheri Pettit experienced this heart warming feeling several months ago when she helped to reunite Lucious, a frisky Sharpei mix, with the loving family who adopted him from the Humane Society of North Texas earlier this year.

Lucious a frisky, Sharpei mix was reunited with his loving owners Kym, right, and John Seals, left, after being lost for several weeks earlier this year.

Pettit’s friend Jennifer Szarek was volunteering at an adoption event at PetSmart in Burleson when a PetSmart employee who had seen the dog in the hospital parking lot came up to her and asked if she could do anything to help catch the dog because she feared it might get hit by a car. Szarek called her friend Andrea Kyle who she knew had some dog traps to see if she could help her catch the dog.

The dog became separated from the Seals family after their 6-year-old grandchild opened the front door and he escaped unexpectedly. The Seals conducted a thorough search for Lucious and even put out food and a jacket with their scent on it in hopes this would help him find his way home. Their search was unsuccessful and eventually Pettit discovered Lucious in the HMMC parking lot, but by then time had begun to take its toll and the weary canine was all skin and bones.

“When Sheri found him at Huguley he had a possible broken leg and she was feeding and watering him even though he would run from her,” former animal humane officer Andrea Kyle said. “Jennifer Szarek and I learned about Lucious from another good Samaritan, Natasha Vella, who worked at PetSmart and transports rescue dogs to adoptions at local PetSmart locations.”

Kyle and Szarek wanted desperately to help the ailing dog, so the trap they set up was humane and fully equipped with barbecue to entice the hungry animal, which was captured within minutes.

“Luckily, he was tagged with a 24 hour pet watch microchip and rabies tag, so we called the phone number listed, but it was disconnected,” Kyle explained. “The address was given and it just happened to be less than a mile away. When we took him home to his owners, Luscious wagged his whole body when he saw his mama and daddy. The tearful, happy owners were amazed that he was still alive because they were sure the bitter cold weather or coyotes had killed him.”

Since his return home, Lucious has recovered remarkably and after he arrived, Pettit made sure to take a special trip to PetSmart to thank Vella for her part in helping to rescue the lost dog.

“Lucious is pretty popular and when he was first rescued we were all crying because we were so happy that he was so loved and that he was tagged,” Kyle added. “His first night home, Lucious got a warm bath, enjoyed hot dogs for dinner and slept in his nice warm bed. The day after his rescue, the area suffered a pretty bad hail storm and we were all thinking about him as the hail came down and how lucky he was to be home in his own bed.”

Because so many people cared enough to offer assistance to a stray animal, Lucious celebrated his first birthday in June. Kyle encourages people to provide this type of assistance to stray animals whenever possible.

“When you see an animal in need, I encourage people to give it some food and water and call someone for help,” Kyle said. “If no one had fed that poor lost dog, he would not have survived to be reunited with his owners. His mom has rescued many dogs and she felt like she was rewarded with the safe return of Lucious.”

This experience was highly emotional for Szarek also and for this animal lover who makes her living working for a local veterinarian, there was never any question about whether or not she should try to help the injured dog.

“I would help any animal in need and Lucious’ case reconfirmed my belief in having your dog micro chipped,” Szarek said. “If Lucious had not been chipped and since he did not have a collar or other forms of identification on him, he may have never been returned to his owners. This was very emotional for everyone involved and we all cried out of joy. Lucious recognized his owners immediately.”


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Here's a lost dog story with a happy ending for you
Wed Oct-22-08 01:08 AM

I live outside a small town in the middle of nowhere.

While driving home from work Saturday afternoon, in the middle of nowhere, literally miles from the nearest house, I see two dogs running down the road.

I slowed down as the little brown dog (LBD) was in the middle of the road while the big white dog (BWD) was on the side of the road. The BWD looked to be in a bit of distress, limping and tongue lolling.

As I went by slowly and got in front, they both started HAULING ASS to catch the car.

So I stopped and rolled down the window. They caught up; the LBD jumped up on the door and started whining, the BWD sat and whined.

I got out of the car, noticed they both had collars but no tags, their tails started wagging. I told them "Sit, Stay" and by God, they DID!!

I put the seats down in the back of the SUV and called them to get in. I had to help them both but now I have two strange lost dogs in the car. I called hubby and told him to meet me on the front porch with a bowl of water.

The BWD was in bad shape, thin and REALLY thirsty (he drank the bowl dry twice) but the LBD kept starting down the driveway. The LBD was ON A MISSION to go home? or someplace. The BWD was a happy boy hanging on the porch with people.

We couldn't keep them; I have 3 already in a small house, but hubby said he had overheard his boss say Thursday that his dog had escaped so he tried to call the boss. No answer.

So we loaded them back up in the car and took them to the drop off at the local shelter. I took food with me, but there was food in the drop off kennel so we gave them another bowl of water and left them.

Sunday, hubby called the boss and sure enough, LBD was his dog so whew! one dog accounted for and in a safe place til Monday when the boss could go get him. LBD would have escaped from our backyard in about 2.3 seconds anyway.

Monday AM we called the shelter and told them where we found them and that LBD's owner was already found and informed of the LBD's whereabouts.

Monday night, hubby went to work and another coworker overheard the story and said "Big White retriever type dog?? Did it have a red collar?" why yes! BWD did have a red collar!

Coworker says "Oh man that's GREAT!! My next door neighbor's dog got lost last week and his kids are heartbroken"

So BWD got reunited Tuesday with his family too.

I love it when a rescue has a happy ending, don't you?


Monday, November 9, 2009

Colby, a white lab

As you can see from the story, the man that found the dog seems to have been more than willing to reunite him with his owner, but it doesn't appear that it occurred to him to actually look for the owner. His purpose in taking the dog to the vet where he was scanned for a microchip was not at all to find the family that surely must be missing him.

Missing dog returned to Fresno family
Published online on Friday, Oct. 23, 2009
By Ron Orozco / The Fresno Bee

Colby is home.

The missing white Lab was featured in an Oct. 3 story in The Bee on tools people can use to search for lost pets. Colby's owners, Mark and Lori Ruh, talked about Web sites and other things they were doing to search for their son Jimmy's dog, who went missing from the family's east Fresno home Sept. 15.

After weeks of looking, the Ruhs had no luck finding Colby.

But then a Sanger man called the Ruhs on Oct. 16, saying a white Lab had wandered into his neighbor's yard and then was given to him for his son to train to hunt.

At first, Lori Ruh thought, "This is just another white-dog sighting." The Ruhs had received quite a few tips that didn't pan out.

But the caller explained that when he took the dog to get fixed at Kings Canyon Veterinary Hospital, workers scanned the dog for a microchip -- and the Ruhs came up as the owners.

The Ruhs immediately went to pick up Colby.

An emotional reunion followed. Lori Ruh surprised Jimmy after school. Colby was waiting in Jimmy's room, scratching and thumping his hind leg in excitement.

Everything's been going well since Colby's return home. Lori Ruh says she's back to vacuuming white hairs again, but she doesn't mind.

What has the family learned? "The chips do work," she says. "And not to give up."

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Charlie, a Yorkie

Original plea

Charlie is one of our adopted rescues. She is a 9 year old yorkie that weighs 10 pounds. Charlie has medical issues that require daily medications and a special diet. She has very little teeth left and is hard of hearing. Charlie is very friendly and will go to anyone.

Charlie escaped from a fenced in yard on October 9th. She was not wearing her collar at the time of her escape. But Charlie is microchipped.

Charlie's family was out of town and Charlie was being watched by a friend. They have been searching frantically since their return. Charlie is greatly missed by her family and there is a reward for her safe return.

Charlie was last seen on Jackson Road near Madeline in Port Orange. A neighbor saw her running loose until a man in a white pickup truck stopped near her and then she disappeared.

Fast forward 13 months: "Miracles do exist"

Charlie has been located. She was turned into the Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach FL on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009.

Charlie is in very rough shape. Her microchip is what kept her from being euthanized. Charlie is said to have lost all her hair and is depressed. Who wouldn't be having been away from her family for over a year. She appears to have been on the streets for awhile.

Charlie's former foster mom is driving 12 hours to pick her up. We will have an update once she is back with her foster mom and has been seen by her vet. Please keep Charlie in your prayers that she will be able to heal from her year on the streets without her medications and special diet.

Update 11/6/09

Charlie was picked up yesterday from the shelter. Charlie is in pretty rough shape. She has not been on any of her meds or special diet for a year. But she was taken to the vet and she now only weighs 7 pounds, so she needs to put some weight back on.

She has another mammary tumor which will be removed in about 3 weeks to give her time to recover. She tested negative for heartworms, intestinal worms, and mange. This was a huge relief. She was also x-rayed and did not have any kidney or bladder stones. She was checked out and cleared for mange.

She did have a urinary tract infection. Her bloodwork is pending on should be back on Monday. So keep your fingers crossed that it is okay other than the thyroid that we knew of before she disappeared. Without the microchip, it is hard to think this is the same dog.

Click here for pictures of Charlie after her return from being lost for just over a year. (These will be updated with her progress.) "Warning: These are graphic"

Update 11/7/09

Good Morning!! First, I want to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes for Charlie!! This little girl is a survivor and I have to believe that she was on a mission to find her family.

I do not believe that she has been abused.....simply medically neglected. Her toenails were trimmed!!! My belief is that the older woman that brought her into the Humane Society has had her all along. I think that when Charlie started losing her hair and growing that tumor, she may have thought she was just old. She has a UTI and I believe that when she started peeing every 5 minutes that the woman realized she couldn't care for her. I am just so thankful that she was brought into a shelter that scans and aggressively looked for Charlie's owner.

Charlie was on thyroid meds so that is why she lost her hair....there is no sign of serious skin disease....maybe some flea dermatitis...but the vet feels the hair loss is from lack of medication. We are VERY, VERY lucky that her stones have not returned and that she is not HW positive. Her tumor is removable but the stem does go down into the vulva, which will make it a little more complicated. She is back on her prescription food and omega3 oil, is taking antibiotics for her UTI and will go back on her thyroid meds on Tuesday.

It is going to take her awhile but she is SO happy to be home and with people she knows. She slept curled up on a blanket and pillow next to me all night and even wore her sweater all night. She does get very cold when she goes outside but Paula wrote me this morning that she is sewing up a storm all week-end for Charlie so I know it will just be a matter of time before she has some very stylish, warm clothing. We have tons of coats and jackets to put over sweaters. I even have some pjs but they are for human babies, not dogs, so I have t make sure she has them off when she goes outside.

All in all, it is just going to take time and lots of TLC to get this little girl healthy and completely happy again. She is snuggled in my bedroom on a warm bed right now and I am getting ready to bring in my oil heater to keep in there for extra heat for her. My Dana is sending an electric blanket to be used in her bed after she goes outside.

Jan told me that after she gets on her thyroid meds, her hair will start sprouting like weeds! I have to believe that my Scooter had something to do with this too!! He is up there sprouting his angel wings and he knew I had not given up on Charlie.

The extra surprise for Charlie is going to be that her Mommie and Daddy are her "baby Vanessa" are coming to visit next week-end. They have moved from Florida to Long Island since Charlie went missing. We have collectively decided that Charlie will stay here with Andy and I since I don't work outside of the home and since we have "companion dogs" for Charlie should she want to choose a dog to bond to. She is going to need lots of care and attention and I will be able to give her that with consistency. Charlie has always loved her little family and I cannot wait to see her face when they get here. We are going to the airport to pick them up on Friday and I will take Charlie so she can see them without all of the other dogs in her way. I know it will be a major tissue alert!!! I will get lots of pictures of her with them while they are here!

Again, you all are the BEST!!! It was a brutal trip down and back, especially with Charlie having to stop every 20 minutes or so on the way back....but worth every single second of it!!! I could not have done it without the love and support I received from all of you and from my family and friends. What an amazing support system and I am so proud to be a part of it!!!

Love to you all from me and from Charlie!!



Friday, November 6, 2009

Max, a sharpei

Lost dog reunites with owners after four years
Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kevin E. Schmidt Brent, left and Brendan Cone talk about the return of their family pet Max, after missing for the past four-years. The family recieved a phone call Monday October 26, morning from the Rock Island County Animal Care and Control, or RICACC. The now-four-year-old shar-pei had a microchip, implanted between its shoulders as a puppy and when scanned with a special device, the microchip revealed the Cone's contact information.
Brent Cone lost his dog Max when the family pet was only three months old. That was four years ago, but when good luck and modern technology reunited them Monday, the lapse in time didn't matter.

"He recognized us," Cone, of Coal Valley, Ill., said. "Right when I yelled his name, he came right up to me."

The reunion occurred after the dog was brought to Rock Island County Animal Care and Control, or RICACC, as a stray.

The now-4-year-old shar-pei has a microchip, a device the size of a grain of rice that is implanted between its shoulders. When scanned with a special device, the microchip reveals the owner's contact information.

"I thought being microchipped that we'd see him again someday, but I wasn't counting on it," said Cone, who bought the dog for his son Brendan, 10. "You just hope that someday they get scanned."

Max was microchipped by his breeder before the Cones took him home at 6 weeks old. Less than two months later, the dog disappeared. The Cones put up posters, checked all the local animal rescues and even listed Max on a national Web site, but they never found him.

Sam DeYoung, operations director for the shelter, said stories such as this are the reason owners should microchip their pets. The shelter is receiving more strays that are chipped and easily reunited with their owners, but the majority of animals brought in do not have microchips.

RICACC has reunited pets with their owners after a significant period of time before, thanks to the microchip technology, but DeYoung said that, in her experience, the Cones' case is the longest time a pet had been lost before being returned to its owner.

Cone has no idea where Max was for the past four years, but wherever it was, the dog was well-fed and cared for.

Even after such a long separation, he said Max's personality and quirks are still the same, and the dog is getting along well with the Cones' new dog, 2-year-old Emmi, also a shar-pei.

"He's bossy, kind of rules the roost," Cone said. "He's sleeping in the spot right now out by the kitchen table, right where he always did when he was a puppy."


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pinball, a JRT

Boy, 13, charged with dognapping
Friend beaten while trying to recover stolen dog
By Tarina White, Sun Media
August 5, 2009

Julie Willness, the owner of a one-year-old Jack Russell named Pinball sits with the dog's brother named Buddy at their home as she holds up a poster of Pinball in hopes that someone will come forward with information about his whereabouts. He was taken from their yard on Temple Drive by a youth who has since been charged.

CALGARY -- While a Calgary family desperately hunts for their missing dog, a 13-year-old has been charged with theft and assault in connection with the pet's disappearance.

Julie Willness' one-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Pinball, was stolen from her fenced front yard on Temple Dr NE about 9pm Sunday. A short time later, a 15-year-old friend of her son chased down a group of teens that had Pinball at the dry ponds near the Temple Community Centre on Templegreen Rd. But the teen was beaten up by the group and was unable to get the dog back, alleged Willness.

"He was trying to be a hero," she said, adding the kid told her he had witnessed the group of teens beating up Pinball.

Staff Sgt Geoff Gawlinski said police have charged a 13-year-old boy with theft under $5,000 and assault in connection with the incident.

"There was enough to lay a charge on this 13-year-old male to be responsible for this dog going missing," he said.

The assault charge stems from the attack on the teenager who attempted to reclaim the dog, said Gawlinski. The accused can't be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Gawlinski said it's uncommon for cops to lay such serious charges against a 13-year-old.

"A lot of young offenders that we charge are closer to 18, but it does happen," he said.

The beaten teenager took police to the location where he last saw Pinball, but the group and the dog were gone. Police are continuing to investigate but Pinball's whereabouts remain unknown.

Willness, her husband and three kids have spent the past few days in the rain scouring the neighbourhood for their beloved pet.

"We are so worried about him -- we're desperately trying to find this little guy," she said. "This is really devastating for all of us."

The family is handing out flyers to raise awareness about Pinball's plight and they've also turned to Facebook to garner attention with a 'Help Us Find Pinball' page. Pinball weighs 15 lbs. and is white with tan-coloured patches.

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Stolen dog reunited with owners
Family asking 'for justice' in case
By Bill Kaurmann, Sun Media
August 6, 2009 

Owner Julie Willness (l) hugs her dog Pinball and is joined by family friend Maceio Lunan, 14, after the pooch and the family were reunited Wednesday, August 5, 2009. A 13-year-old has been charged with theft and assault after Pinball went missing on Sunday night.

CALGARY -- Pinball the purloined Jack Russell terrier has been returned to his owners safe and sound. The animal, allegedly stolen by a group of teens and beaten on Sunday night, was taken in by a young couple the same evening.

While the dog seems physically healthy, it's clear he's traumatized by his ordeal, said overjoyed owner Julie Willness, who was reunited with the one-year-old canine yesterday.

"He cowers when someone lifts their arm in the air over him -- you can definitely tell he's been through some abuse," said Willness.

"Hopefully, he doesn't think anyone will ever hurt him again but I'm just so excited to have him back home."

Pinball was stolen from Willness's backyard on Temple Dr at 9pm Sunday and a short time later, a 15-year-old was beaten when he tried to stop a group of teens from tormenting the animal.

Minutes after that, Stephanie Elson, 18, said she and her boyfriend Brian Williams were walking down 60 St NE when they encountered a woman walking her Labrador that was being hounded by a Jack Russell terrier.

"We took the dog home then went door-to-door asking if anyone had a missing Jack Russell," said Elson.

Willness said her search party and Elson's narrowly missed making contact with each other.

Yesterday, Williams' brother, Markus, showed them the front page photo of Pinball in the Calgary Sun and minutes later, they delivered the missing terrier to his grateful owners.

"I'm glad to see him go -- he wasn't getting along with my German Shepherd," said Elson.

"He's happy and now our dog will be happy."

Police have charged a 13-year-old with theft under $5,000 and assault, the latter charge stemming from the attack on the 15-year-old.

Willness said she's hoping for more arrests in the incident. "We still need to get justice for Pinball," she said.

"Pinball's happy and this young couple took good care of him." Pinball's collar and tag had been removed at the time he was taken from his backyard.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blade, a rat terrier

After burglary, missing dog is reunited with his family
Julie J. Ruff,
Aug 13, 08 05:42 PM

Shea Daniel-Youngblood's dog Blade is either lucky or unlucky, depending on how you look at it. 

On Monday, someone broke into Shea's home. A few items were stolen, but worst of all, Blade was no where to be found.

At about the same time Shea discovered the burglary and missing dog, a woman driving along Loop 410 at Nacogdoches spotted a dog lying on the highway. Cars were darting around the dog. No one had stopped to help him. The woman took the next exit, came around, stopped her car and picked up the dog. She rushed him to the Animal Defense League. The little Rat Terrier was suffering from shock and had a bloody nose, but that appeared to be the only injury.

Meanwhile, Shea was desperate to find her dog. "I was so devastated," she said.

She said she didn't care about the few things missing from her house. "All I wanted to do was to find Blade, my little baby," Shea said.

Shea went to the city pound hoping she'd find Blade, but no such luck. Then, since she lives near the Animal Defense League, she drove to ADL. With a picture of Blade in her hand, she asked ADL staff if they had seen her dog. And miracle of miracles, Shea and Blade were reunited in the ADL Hospital lobby.

If Monday was a bad day for Shea and her husband, Tuesday turned out to be a great day for Blade and his humans. And if anyone ever asks, be sure to tell them even dogs have nine lives.

Things are easily replaced, but pets are special. Thanks to ADL executive director Ron Aaron for sending in this story.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Rusty, a golden retriever

Recovery Stories - Reunited
Posted 5/8/2008

Recently, I received an email from one of our volunteers (who I’ll call Robert) who had found a skinny stray Golden Retriever. Read what Robert emailed to me and see if you can identify what he could have done differently to reunite this stray dog with the family who lost him”

“I found a stray on Tuesday on Thurston Road just north of Market. He’s a Golden Retriever, un-neutered male, about a year old. He has beautiful white teeth and a perfectly full, wavy coat. He’s skinny but not emaciated so he must have been getting nutrition from somewhere and then was dumped or wandered away. Here are the details of how I found him –

Tuesday when I was driving to work, I saw this dog standing with his body pressed up against a wall under an overpass. He was so still and pressed tightly against the cement wall that I didn’t see him until I was right up on him. I drove past him but then slowed, turned around, and pulled over. Traffic was light so I was hopeful that he would not get bolt and get hit. Rather than getting scared and running, all he did was turn his head to look at me. As I approached, he didn’t run. He just stood frozen, so I held up my hand for him to sniff as I approached. He touched me with his cold wet nose but didn’t sniff much. Ultimately I won his trust and wrapped my arm around his waist and carried him to my car. He didn’t have a collar on and had a big fat tick on his forehead, so it didn’t look good that I’d immediately find his owners.

I was running late for work, so I decided I would take him with me and figure out what to do once I got to work. He rode pressed up next to me. When I got to work, I lifted him around the waist again and took him to the sidewalk. When I sat him down, I realized that he was injured. His back leg was swollen and he was not putting weight on it. In addition, he was covered in ticks. I picked him back up and carried him into my office. I found an old sleeping bag in the trunk of my car that I used for bedding. He seemed content to lie down and sleep.

I called a few of the local vets but because he wasn’t a client they couldn’t see him for a few days. Plus, they were all tapped out by charities, so I couldn’t get a reduced rate. I have four dogs of my own and I was broke, so I knew that I could not afford to pay for his vet bills. I didn’t take him to the local shelter since they would likely just kill him. So I have him here with me. He’s sequestered in our barn until I can place him. I’ll will monitor his condition and keep him comfortable until I can get him to the vet and then place him in a new home. If you have any leads on a new home, please let me know.”

Right away, I knew that this volunteer needed to adjust his line of thinking. According to his email, he never made an attempt to find the owner. He did not contact the local shelter where he could have researched lost dog reports, he did not place a FOUND GOLDEN RETRIEVER poster at the location where he picked up the dog, nor did he have the dog scanned for a microchip. Instead, he jumped to the conclusion that the owner of this dog did not care for it properly because the dog had no collar and a few ticks. But I knew better.

So here’s what I did. Rather than embarrass this new volunteer and discourage or discount his willingness to rescue a stray like he did, I began to research missing Golden Retrievers on lost dog web sites. After about forty minutes on-line, I found what sounded like a match. Rusty, the intact Golden Retriever, had pushed a board out in his fenced yard (losing his collar in the process) three months prior. I contacted Rusty’s owner, who lived about ten miles from where the stray dog was found. These folks were absolutely thrilled to hear that someone might have found their dog. They had nearly given up hope.

When I called Robert to tell him that I might have located the owner, I explained that Rusty had been missing for months and his collar had come off during his escape. Robert was relieved to hear this and we arranged a meet between Robert, myself, and Rusty’s owner. With a telltale black spot on his tongue, the owner positively identified the dog as Rusty. It was thrilling to be there for the reunion!

Robert learned a valuable lesson that day. He learned that what a dog looks like and how it behaves could be deceptive. Dogs slip out of collars, and dogs that have been missing for months will often lose weight, have cuts and injuries, and be covered with fleas and ticks. Dogs like Rusty don’t need to be “re-homed” – they need educated rescuers who can work to reunite them with the families who lost them.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Maverick, a maltese/shih tzu mix

Missing dog returned for $1,000 reward
By Thomas Feran, The Plain Dealer
October 07, 2009, 9:39PM

Kelly Durkota, left, with her dog Maverick and her boyfriend, Mike Frate.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A lost dog became found money for a woman whose story seemed as fuzzy as the white pup itself.

She and two companions wouldn't give their names, but they reunited the pet with its frantic owner on Wednesday -- ending a weeklong search that blanketed downtown Cleveland -- and collected a $1,000 cash reward.

"I think that's why they brought him," said an emotional Kelly Durkota as she cuddled Maverick, her 5-year-old Maltese/Shitzu mix. To her, however, their motive didn't matter.

"I don't think I've ever been this happy," she said.

Her joy was matched only by the relief of her boyfriend, Mike Frate, who lost the dog Sept. 30 while Durkota was out of town. Frate took the dog to work with him, on East 26th Street, and briefly let him outside.

Then, Maverick disappeared. The search for him quickly expanded with 800 handbills posted around downtown, plus the reward.

Durkota said she got a call early Wednesday from a woman who said she knew who might have Maverick. The woman called back later, claiming she'd just purchased the pooch for $150 from someone who picked him up on Payne Avenue, and asking for the reward.

Durkota and Frate set up a meeting at Tenable Protective Services, where Durkota's stepfather works. The caller arrived with another woman and a man, said they didn't want to get into trouble, took the reward and handed over Maverick, who was missing his identification collar.

"He seemed cared for," Durkota said. "I'm a wreck."

"I'm so thankful for everybody in Cleveland," Durkota said, because so many people aided the search after seeing the handbills.

"That's what we'll be doing on Saturday," her mother, Debbie Riddell, said. "Taking all the posters down."