Friday, December 31, 2010

Zeta, Australian shepherd

Ramona dog reunited with owner after 5 months on its own
Dixie Pettit
Published 12/10/2010 - 1:08 p.m.
Dogs: 2, Coyotes: 0

That’s the score in the Cavender household.

When his father died last May, David Cavender brought his father’s three dogs home to live with him in San Diego Country Estates. “L.G.” is a basset Hound, “Zeta” an Australian shepherd, and “Doofus” a 30-inch tall but not big, long-legged mutt.

Ramona is surrounded by family adn EARs volunteers

Within a week, the gate was left open. Doofus and Zeta walked out for a romp in the neighborhood.

A devastated Cavender flooded the neighborhood with posters.

“My son and I posted signs up on the mailboxes, at the equestrian center, at the Country Store,” he said. “I made calls to all the animal shelters – you know – San Diego, Escondido – I called everyone I could think of. Nothing. After a couple of weeks of trying to find them every day, I just figured the coyotes got them.”

Five weeks later, Cavender saw a flier about a “found” dog. Someone had found Doofus near the International Equestrian Center.

“I concentrated my search over there, hoping to find Zeta, but I couldn’t find her,” said Cavendar.
Again it was assumed that Zeta was a victim of coyotes or, if lucky, “had been picked up by someone who had simply decided to keep her.”

Zeta, like other family pets in the Estates, disappeared without a trace. As time went by, the signs came down. Cavender could only return to work and the two dogs who remained.

Martha Fredericks walks every morning with her dog by the equestrian center. It was during her daily walks that she noticed “kind of a shadow” in the bushes.

“I saw just little glimpses of her,” said Fredericks. “I wasn’t even sure she was a dog when I first saw her,. She blended well into the bushes. I started seeing her early October. She came out of the bushes a couple of times and walked ahead of me about a hundred yards. She had tags and was obviously somebody’s dog. She was real nervous and kept looking back at me but wouldn’t let me get close to her. I put kibble out and something kept eating it, but she was so very skinny that I don’t think she would have lasted much longer.

“That one weekend when it was so hot I got really worried about her. I tried to find her with one of my daughters. We looked all over the bushes for her, but we just couldn’t find her. My other daughter (Anne Mueller) thought of craigslist. She looked there to see if a dog was missing but then placed an ad. That was how we found Laura.”

A volunteer for Emergency Animal Rescue (EAR), Laura Bedinger looks under the pet section on craigslist every day.

“We (EAR) have the equipment, experience, and the willingness to go out and help animals out of dangerous situations,” she said. “I do this on my own. I help to rehabilitate animals, rescue other abandoned animals, and then find homes for them.This girl, Anne Mueller, was asking for help. Animal control wouldn’t help, so I set a trap up for her (using a cheeseburger) but didn’t catch her until the second night when I threw some oatmeal cookies into the trap.”

Bedinger spent hours watching and waiting for the elusive dog.

“She was obviously terrified out there, but she had tags. She was emaciated and had lost about half of her body weight, but I knew someone didn’t just abandon this little girl — someone had to be missing her.”

The 2007 tags were from an Apple Valley hospital, but the telephone number had been disconnected. After several phone calls, Bedinger spoke with an employee from the animal control in Apple Valley.

“Animal control said there was another address in Ramona listed as a forwarding address, but they wouldn’t give me the address or phone number. They said they would try to call the person and get back to me.”

After a week and no word, Bedinger called again, this time able to convince the worker from animal control to keep making calls until she was able to get in touch with the person.

Cavender was at work when he got the call from animal control at Apple Valley.

“Do you have a dog with a strange name you’ve been missing?” said the voice on the phone.

“I said ‘Zeta,’ and they said ‘Yeah, somebody found her!’ I couldn’t believe they found my dog. I kept saying, ‘I can’t believe she’s still alive!’ My dad passed away in May and she has been missing since the first week in June!”

Less than a mile away the whole time, Zeta was brought back to Cavender after five months missing.

“It is amazing. They never gave up looking for me,” said Cavender.

“She probably got lost and didn’t know how to get back home, so set herself up in the bushes and tried to survive on her own,” said Bedinger. “Dogs that have to fend for themselves begin to turn feral (wild) in order to survive. When I first got her out of the trap, she tried to nip at me. She was really scared. Emaciated and full of burrs and worms, Bea Hoskins (volunteer) worked with her a lot, so she would trust people again.”

Gone since the first week in June, Zeta is a proven survivor. Though unclear how much longer she could have made it on her own, the little Australian shepherd beat the odds. The high-desert heat and cold fall nights took a toll on her, but coyotes did not claim this girl.

Bright-eyed and happy to be home, Zeta and Doofus are buddies once again. As the pair bounce around the patio together, “L.G.” rolls over for a belly-rub.

An overwhelming happiness courses through the air. Rescuers with misty eyes, dogs oblivious to anything but the moment, and owners know this is one of those times when things are as it should be.

“This just shows you shouldn’t give up,” said Bedinger. “You just never know.”


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wesley, westie

Couple Injured In Crash, Reunited With Lost Dog
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. -- The story of an injured couple being reunited with their dog, lost after a horrible crash, is now being called The Miracle On The Toll Road.

The crash happened Thanksgiving weekend on the toll road in Elkhart County, according to WNDU.

Brad and Jessika Tetting were driving home to Alexandria, Va., when they collided with another car. The Tettings were brought to Elkhart General Hospital. Jessika had a concussion, a broken finger and cuts to the head and face. Brad was more seriously injured with broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

That evening, Mikey Kuykendall was driving on the toll road, on his way to his aunt's house for a family party. That's when he spotted a little white dog on the highway.

“He was going to get hit or freeze to death,” Kuykendall told WNDU. So he stopped and opened his car door. “I looked down and he just jumped right in, like he knew me or something.”

“He actually had all of his tags on him,” Kuykendall said. “They had numbers but we called the numbers and we got nothing.”

Kuykendall took note of the dog's apparent name, Wesley.

“Since everything was closed for the holiday weekend I decided to keep him for a little while, see if I could find his owners or not,” Keykendall said.

Meanwhile, his mother, Angie Kuykendall, went back to work the next day. She's a nurse at Elkhart General Hospital. She began caring for her new patient, Brad Tetting. His wife, Jessika, was at his side.

“At one point when I was at his bedside, something just clicked,” said Kuykendall. “The word Virginia came to my mind and I just started putting things together very quickly. My heart started to pound. I said, 'Virginia, you didn't happen to have a dog with you did you?' They both looked at me and their eyes got huge and they just looked at me. 'Did you have a little white dog? His name is Wesley?' Their eyes filled with tears. 'Yes we thought he died in the accident.' I said, 'no your dog's fine. He was at my house last night. He's had a bath. He's in good shape and in good hands.'”

A little while later, Wesley was finally reunited with his owners.

Brad, an Iraq war veteran, told WNDU Wesley is more than just a companion, he's his service dog.

“While I was recovering at Walter Reed, I met Jessika and we got engaged and married and [Wesley] has been the best form of therapy and companionship,” Brad said.

“I think every soldier returning from overseas should get a dog. It’s like Prozac with paws,” he continued.

The Tettings are now home in Virginia recovering from their injuries.

They are so thankful for the Kuykendalls, as well as Mikey's girlfriend, who helped care for the dog while they were hospitalized.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ferris, black labrador

Manatee man helps lost guide dog find way home to blind owner
By Timothy Wolfrum
Posted on Tue, Dec. 28, 2010

MANATEE -- Bill Ward has a way with wayward animals.

That must be why a guide dog that needed help finding its way home Sunday turned to the lifelong Manatee resident.

Paul Styczko and his guide dog, Ferris, were reunited Monday morning after Ferris was accidentally shut out of Styczko’s Manatee home

Ferris -- a black Labrador retriever owned by Ward’s Fair Lane Acres mobile home park neighbor, Paul Styczko -- showed up on Ward’s doorstep after he was accidentally left outside.

Just days earlier, a lost Chihuahua that had eluded the rest of the neighborhood surrendered willingly to Ward, who owns a pair of rescue dogs and is known for taking in strays.

“They seem to show up at my house,” said the 46-year-old Ward, a counselor at Coastal Behavioral Healthcare. “I guess animals have a sense for people who have animals and care about them.

“I have a kind heart for animals.”

After spending several hours Monday morning trying to track down the dog’s owner, Ward reunited Ferris and Styczko, a 56-year-old Salem, Mass., resident who has been blind for 30 years.

Styczko is visiting for the holidays. He and his wife have vacationed in Manatee for 15 years and plan to retire here, he said.

Styczko, a mental health and substance abuse counselor in Boston, relies on Ferris to navigate his daily 25-mile commute from Salem.

“I was very nervous about what might happen,” Styczko said. “He’s a good-looking dog, and I was afraid someone might take him. ... He’s a terrific animal. He’s a part of my life.”

Ferris carried tags with telephone numbers for the guide dog organization he came from, but Ward couldn’t get his calls answered during the holiday weekend.

Finally, another neighbor saw a Bay News 9 report about Ferris and relayed Styczko’s telephone number to Ward.

“He was super friendly,” Ward said of Ferris. “He eats like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t think he chews. ... I could tell he was well taken care of. I was pretty distraught, thinking his owner may not be able to go out looking for him.”

Styczko said he accidentally shut Ferris out of his mobile home while doing laundry.

Confused, Ferris wandered a block south to Ward’s home.

Ward said he walked Ferris around the neighborhood, looking for his owner. But the pair went south, instead of north, because that’s the direction from which Ferris approached Ward’s home.

Styczko and Ferris were overjoyed to see each other again.

“The man (Ward) was walking him down the street, and when he saw me he got very exuberant and was jumping up and down,” Styczko said.

“As soon as he saw his master, he started pulling at the chain, trying to run to his master,” Ward said.

Styczko later offered Ward a monetary reward for finding the dog.

Ward politely refused, although the two planned to get together for dinner this week and say they’re likely to remain friends because of their shared occupation and affinity for animals.

“I would just hope someone would do that for me if my dog was lost,” Ward said.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Toby, hound mix

Happy story!!! Reunited with my Toby after 2 months!!!
Posted to Craigslist Raleigh by Mandy
Date: 2010-12-27, 7:02PM

Toby, long before he went missing
So for all of you who may have had a pet go missing recently, or at all, and you are worried and heartbroken, this is the story for you!

The past 2 months have been the worst months of my entire life! My 3-year-old, 75 lb baby, Toby, a hound mix whom I adopted from the shelter and have raised since he was born, and spoiled every second of his life, ran away Oct 30th from the back yard.

I have been frantically searching every day since without any hope, sightings that were never him and almost nothing to go on. Yet, still I posted signs, family members did everything they could to help me and at 2 months later I was about to go door-to-door again.

Well today, a normal day at work, turned into the day I got my Toby back.

I had just posted on Craigslist again and this morning at work I got multiple phone calls and emails about another posting that looked just like him. It WAS him!!!

This is the picture posted by the wonderful family that took Toby in and reunited him with  us

This wonderful family had taken him on on Christmas Eve and taken care of him and for that I am eternally grateful! They contacted me today and we went and got him and brought him HOME!

I have no clue what he was doing before Christmas Eve for the past 2 months and I'm afraid I'll never know, but there are just a few scratches on him, and besides the fact he's lost 20 lbs, he's perfectly healthy! He was 75 lbs when he ran away and 54 when I found hilm.  He has since been microchipped, and he is no longer allowed outside of the house without a leash! 

The moral to this story is "never give up" and keep posting on Craigslist even when you think it's not helping and no one's reading! They are reading and miracles do happen!!!

Thank you to all who contacted me today and who've kept up with the Toby search over the past 2 months! We are very happy to have him home!

Oh and after looking for Toby every could of days at the Wake County pound, we adopted another couple of puppies for Toby to come home to!  Check back for a picture of the whole family.


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Monday, December 27, 2010

Tucker, Japanese shiba

Kayakers find stranded dog lost for 11 days
By Caitlin Dowling, North Shore News
December 26, 2010

A dog feared dead after 11 days away from home has been reunited with its grateful owners.

The Vanderkooy family has always known their beloved dog was a bit of a roamer. Japanese shiba Tucker, their pet for nine years, was always running off and getting into scrapes. But when Tucker went missing from the backyard on Sunday, Nov. 28, and the usual calls from neighbours to say he'd been found were not made, Cathy Vanderkooy began to fear the worst.

"We thought coyotes may have gotten him," said Vanderkooy. "He is a Houdini . . . an escape artist. We just figured this was his last escape."

After a week of waiting to hear about the dog's whereabouts, Vanderkooy called her daughter who is studying in France to impart the bad news, and the family prepared a funeral for their pet.

But on Thursday, Dec. 9, two men were kayaking through Lynn Creek when they heard barking. James Mole and friend Keith Klapstein slowed down to investigate. They looked up to see the dog up on a bluff in a bad state.

Mole said the point where the dog was standing was virtually inaccessible to people and that they were lucky to have heard the dog over the sound of the rushing water. Mole noted it was an odd place to hear a dog bark, which caught their attention.

"My best guess is he went into the park, and ended up swimming in the river," he said.

Mole said it was likely that the dog then got swept up in the rapids and taken down the creek. If they had not found the dog that day, he didn't know when people would kayak the creek next.

Mole went up to fetch Tucker to safety, and had to calm the frightened dog for 10 minutes before they could proceed.

"He was a shadow of his former self," said Vanderkooy. "It was obvious he hadn't eaten for many, many days, and all he would have drunk was rainwater."

They took Tucker back to Klapstein's home, and called the Vanderkooy's home to let them know he was found.

Vanderkooy's son Christopher, 16, ran there straight away to collect his dog. At home, he hid behind a door with Tucker, to surprise his mom when she arrived.

"I slowly walked up and when I realized it I fell to my knees," said Vanderkooy.

When she called one of the kayakers to thank them for their kindness, Vanderkooy found out that it was a case of right place, right time.

The kayakers were both rescue specialists with the Canadian Coast Guard who just happened to find the dog while off-duty. As a happy coincidence they were fully trained for this rescue.

After 11 days of being out in the wilderness alone, during one of Vancouver's wettest weather snaps, Tucker is now back at home, seemingly unaffected by the rollercoaster of events.

"He was very low in spirit, very weak and wobbly for the first couple of days," said Vanderkooy, adding that he has since returned to his old happy self, playing in the back yard with the family.

"I just have to shake my head and say, 'This dog! How many lives does he have?'"

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Clint, schnauzer

Family reunites missing Schnauzer with owner
By John Alston
Updated at 01:54 PM on 12/26/2010

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- An Oakland local dog owner got the best present of all for Christmas -- his missing dog was brought home to him.

"It feels like Christmas finally. We've been sitting here wondering where he's been," Oakland dog owner Brad Niess said.

Niess finally has his baby back, his 1-year-old Schnauzer, Clint, who had been missing for more than a week.

"Normally he has to sleep on his own doggy bed but he got to be up on the bed last night," he said.

And Clint is now reunited with 4-year-old Kevin, the other family Schnauzer who was not so lucky when both rescue dogs got loose after a contractor accidentally left the front door open.

Kevin turned up quickly, but he had been kicked, beaten and shot with a pellet gun. Little did anyone realize that Clint had been quickly discovered about a mile away by two brothers who were playing outside their grandmother's house on 77th Avenue near MacArthur Blvd.

"He came out of the bushes and we were feeding him chicken and he ran into my grandmother's house when my mom opened the door," 14-year-old Emoni Fountain

So their mother, Lakeysha Fountain, went to the computer and found the missing dog notice that Brad Niess had placed on Craigslist. She called him, but somehow the physical size didn't quite match and that was that, until she saw the story on the news last week and called back with the help of her sons.

"Mom, ask him what color collar he had on, I asked him what color collar he had on and he described the collar and the dog and that's when we realized it was Clint," she said.

She even e-mailed a photo of Clint through her cell phone.

"And I looked at it and I'm like that's Clint," Niess said.

So on Christmas Eve, the big reunion took place.

"It was touching, they were crying, thanking me, thanking the kids. The dog was licking them and there were hugs and the dog was crying. They were crying," Fountain said.

"It's the cheesy Christmas, the Christmas miracle. You hear about these sort of stories and you never think you know someone who's been through something like this but he literally showed up Christmas Eve," Niess.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Willis, clumber spaniel

A lost dog is finally home for Christmas:
Coincidence, luck or something more?
By Courtland Milloy, Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 24, 2010; 6:21 PM 

Willis, a 7-year-old Clumber spaniel, strayed from his home in Portsmouth, Va., just before Christmas last year and wound up in an animal shelter in Maryland. He's now back with his owner, Karen Martin, who now lives in Williamsburg.
Willis, the long-lost Clumber spaniel, was in just about the worst pickle a dog could be in: Lost, hundreds of miles from home, he had been put on the equivalent of death row at the Tri County Animal Shelter in Hughesville, Md.

Picked up by animal control officers in Charles County on Nov. 20, he was taken to the shelter, where unclaimed strays are euthanized. Shelter workers scanned Willis for an identification chip, but the one that had been implanted beneath his skin was not detected. So, a photograph of the haggard 7-year-old was put on the facility's "at-risk" list, which means a lethal injection could be imminent.

What happened next to Willis might strike some as just a series of improbable coincidences, or merely another example of the power of the Internet. Karen Martin thinks it was much more.

"The perfect timing, having so many people in the right place at the right time, people willing to go all out to help a stranger and her dog, is beyond comprehension," Martin told me. "It's nothing short of a miracle, as far as I'm concerned."

Willis was her dog. Four days before Christmas last year, the pooch went missing from her back yard in Portsmouth, Va., turning her holiday into a nightmare. She spent nearly a year intensely searching - posting "lost dog" fliers throughout the neighborhood, visiting shelters, contacting animal rescue organizations. She had all but given up hope of seeing him again.

Willis, meanwhile, had gotten himself to the Washington area. No one knows how or when he arrived. But once he was picked up and taken to the shelter, he quickly made a friend. Amy Howard, the animal rescue coordinator at Tri County, had placed Willis on the at-risk list - not to hasten his destruction but in hopes that someone might see his photo and be willing to adopt him and provide him with what she called a "forever home."

Otherwise, she might end up being the one called on to administer the lethal injection.

"There are certain animals that I grow fond of that, sadly, I can't take home," Howard said.

The shelter's at-risk list includes a photograph of each dog in danger of being euthanized and as much background information as the shelter staff can muster. The list is e-mailed to animal rescue groups and other dog lovers.

Terry Walker, an office manager for a veterinary hospital in Calvert County, was on her computer at home when the list arrived. She said one dog in particular stood out - a sad- looking canine that only someone with an extensive knowledge of dogs would recognize as being of the rare Clumber spaniel breed.

Walker just happened to be one who knew.

"Where most people like to read novels, I read books about dogs," she said. "You just don't see Clumber spaniels in animal shelters."

After a quick Internet search, Walker found an organization called Clumber Spaniel Rescue of America, clicked on the mid-Atlantic region and forwarded the dog's photograph to the three contacts whose names were listed.

On two of those e-mails, the photo attachments Walker sent could not be opened. The third e-mail wound up in the spam folder of Sally Day, who was at home in Washington Crossing, Pa.

Day had been up late on her computer killing out potentially harmful e-mails. Usually, she just deletes them without looking. But this time she didn't.

"A voice said, 'Open it,' and the hair stood up on the back of my neck," Day recalled. "The e-mail was from a stranger, and there was a photograph attached. I instantly thought I recognized the dog. I said, 'Oh, my God, that's Karen's boy.' "

Turns out, Karen Martin and Sally Day are old friends.

Day, who also owns a Clumber spaniel, said she called "100 times" until Martin, who had been asleep, picked up the phone. Day e-mailed her the photo, which was fuzzy, and the two analyzed it late into the night.

Martin had gotten Willis as a pup, trained him to be a show dog and spent nearly three years with him wowing judges at kennel club competitions throughout the country. But there was nothing regal about that dog on death row. Except the eyes. Martin would know those eyes anywhere.

Day and Martin frantically called the shelter, leaving messages for Howard, trying to get through before Willis was euthanized. Howard got the messages in plenty of time. Willis, the long-lost Clumber spaniel, was about to go home.

Martin wanted Willis out of the shelter immediately, so Day telephoned Sue Carr at the national Clumber rescue organization for help. Carr called Judy and Gary Wollin, members of a cocker spaniel rescue group in Maryland, and they agreed to pick up the dog.

The Wollins bathed and fed Willis. And when Martin arrived at their home later that night, her eyes welled.

Somehow, Willis had journeyed more than 200 miles from home, and the time away had taken its toll. He had a fever, an injured eye, a respiratory infection and a skin allergy that made him itch so badly that he had scratched and chewed off patches of hair from his shoulders to his tail.

After several visits to a veterinarian, however, he's on the mend.

Martin, who now lives in Williamsburg, says she expects this Christmas to be as joyful as last year's was sad.

"I once heard Katie Couric refer to blessings as a 'God wink,'" Martin said. "That's how I feel, like God winked at me."

Amazingly, Willis is still winking, too.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hamish, cairn terrier

Lost dog who boarded bus to keep warm is reunited with owner
Hamish got on a bus in Glasgow by himself and curled up in a corner.
By Lesley Kinney
23 December 2010 18:07 GMT

Hamish: Lost dog reunited with owner after bus drama

A little lost dog who boarded a bus by himself and refused to leave as temperatures plunged to minus 11C has been reunited with his owner in time for Christmas.

The frozen Cairn terrier, named Hamish, was found cowering on the bus in the west end of Glasgow with icicles hanging from his fur.

Passengers were astounded when the dog, aged about eight years old, boarded the First bus when it stopped on Dumbarton Road on Wednesday. He was so cold he found a warm spot in the corner and curled up.

The bus driver took the freezing dog along to the local police station and he was then taken to the Scottish SPCA's Glasgow Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.

Luckily, his owner Ashley McGuinness heard about his antics on the news and was able to track him down.

She said that he had been out in the garden of her home in Drumchapel when he disappeared.

Ashley added: "My sister in law heard on the radio that the Scottish SPCA were looking for the owner of a Cairn terrier who had gone on a bus and I thought it had to be Hamish.

"He was out in the garden and I think he escaped by going under a fence.

"I was desperate to get him back home and I couldn't be happier."

Anna O'Donnell, assistant manager at the centre, said: "The passengers on the bus must have had a real surprise when Hamish decided to climb onboard.

"Even in his short time with us he showed he was a cheeky wee character.

"He certainly must have plenty of spirit about him, especially given his age, to have walked a few miles and then jumped on a bus.

"We're just pleased to have been able to look after him and return him to his owner."


And see the preceding story:

Lost dog refused to leave bus in freezing temperatures
The little terrier, named Claus by rescuers, astounded passengers when it boarded a bus in Glasgow by itself.
By Lesley Kinney
23 December 2010 14:00 GMT

Claus: Lost dog refused to leave bus

A little lost dog boarded a bus by himself and refused to leave as temperatures plunged to minus 11C.

The frozen Cairn terrier, named Claus, was found cowering on the bus in the west end of Glasgow with icicles hanging from his fur.

Passengers were astounded when the dog, aged about eight years old, boarded the First bus when it stopped on Dumbarton Road on Wednesday. He was so cold he found a warm spot in the corner and curled up.

The bus driver took the freezing dog along to the local police station and he was then taken to the Scottish SPCA's Glasgow Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.

Now the charity is desperate to find his owner.

Anna O'Donnell, assistant manager at the centre, said:"Claus is a cheeky wee lad who we think is around eight years old. He isn't microchipped so we don't know who his owner is.

"The passengers on the bus must have had a real surprise when he jumped on and refused to get off.

"He was so cold he had icicles attached to his coat so maybe he made a dash for somewhere warmer."

She added: "Even when he arrived here he went straight to a warm spot, curled up and didn't want to move.

"He's still to have a full vet check though he does seem to be walking gingerly, so he may have arthritis.

"Hopefully his owner will be missing him and will come forward."


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Diesel, Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Runaway dog takes airport train
Friday, 14 August 2009

A dog has been reunited with its owner after escaping and travelling alone by train from London to Stansted Airport.

Diesel, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, ran away from home in Tottenham, where he was being cared for while his owner holidayed in Clacton, Essex.

He somehow got on a train bound for Stansted on Wednesday and was found at the airport.

"I always spend a lot of time with him so I think he probably came looking for me," said owner Sarah Chapman.

Where Diesel got on the train is not known, but it is likely he hopped on the Stansted Express service from Tottenham Hale railway station.

He would have then had a journey of about 35 minutes to the airport.

Security at Stansted found him without a collar and contacted the environmental health team at Uttlesford District Council.

"Perhaps he was under the impression that Sarah had flown to a foreign country," a council spokesman said.

Animal warden Sue Knight used a microchip detector over Diesel's skin and found Ms Chapman's details.

"Diesel's a lovely dog and it was a bit sad to see him go," said Ms Knight.

"Obviously, though, it's great that we were able to reunite him with his owner."

Speaking of her pet's escape, Ms Chapman said: "My friend said maybe he had found a fox in the garden. He could have been stolen, I suppose I'll never know.

"It's made me realise just how valuable getting him microchipped was... otherwise I'd never have found him."

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hooch, wolfhound

Homeless man reunited with stolen dog Thomas Hunter
December 20, 2010

Dougie Walker is reunited with his beloved dog Hooch today.

Christmas came early for a homeless Melbourne man today when he was reunited with his sole possession and much-loved companion - his stolen dog Hooch.

Dougie Walker, 32, who has been homeless since his mother died when he was 14, went into a Hungry Jack’s outlet in Swanston Street about 6pm on Saturday but came out less than five minutes later to find his wolfhound had vanished.

But the pair were reunited today after CBD worker James Dunn, who read about Mr Walker’s loss on The Age online, phoned with information on the dog’s whereabouts.

The phone call was the information Sergeant John Littlewood, of Melbourne East police station, had been waiting for. With two other officers, he and Mr Walker drove across town to Southbank to follow up.

Mr Dunn, who runs Bonza Bike Tours on Flinders Street, took police to where he saw the missing dog when he took his golden retriever for a walk early today.

He showed police an area under a rail bridge adjacent to the Melbourne Aquarium where the missing dog was found asleep with a man who fitted the description of the suspected thief.

‘‘You don’t see many dogs in the city,’’ Mr Dunn told The Age.

‘‘It was Happy (his golden retriever) who found the other dog. When they see another dog in the city they want to check them out."

For Mr Walker, who said he entertained dark thoughts about the thief’s possible intentions for his dog, it turned a devastating Christmas week into a joyful one.

‘‘My heart leapt out of my chest when I saw him,’’ said Mr Walker, overcome by emotion.

"He’s my whole life ... I used to be addicted to drugs. Ever since I’ve had this dog, he keeps me not on drugs."

The man who was found with Hooch was arrested by police and taken for questioning.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Kenai, black lab

Alaska dog missing for more than a month finds home
by Joseph Robertia / Kenai Peninsula Clarion Fairbanks Daily News Miner
Apr 04, 2010

KENAI, Alaska - The bond between humans and their pets is a strong one.

Kenai, the dog, is proof.

Gone missing more than a month, he'd lost a third of his body weight and part of one paw during his lonely attempt to hobble home.

"He was skin and bones, and very, very dehydrated," said his owner, Colin Lowe of Cooper Landing, when he first got his dog back late last month.

The dog first went missing on Feb. 20, while hiking with Lowe and his family in the Russian River area, near Cooper Landing.

"We were walking around the ferry area when Kenai took off," Lowe said, referring to his 6-year old black Labrador - a hefty 110-pound male.

"It wasn't that unusual at first," Lowe added. "He usually explores a little, then comes back, but this day he didn't come back."

Lowe and his family became worried, as minutes turned into hours, and eventually hours turned into days and weeks.

"We went back daily," he said. "We would call and search for him. We even made a search grid of the old camping area. We were very broken up about the whole thing."

Lowe and his family pursued all the usual channels for attempting to find a lost dog. He posted the dog on several Web sites and radio programs for lost pets, and regularly called animal shelters in Kenai, Soldotna, Anchorage and Wasilla.

"We even called the UPS driver in this area to keep an eye out for him," Lowe said.

Finally, after 35 days missing, the Lowe's phone rang. On the other end was Anchorage resident Robert Heavlin, who was calling to say he had picked up a skinny dog along the Sterling Highway on his drive home from Soldotna.

"He called the number on Kenai's tag," Lowe said. "He had picked him up about 3/4 of a mile from the ferry, after seeing him limping down the road."

Lowe and his family immediately drove to meet Heavlin and reunite with Kenai.

"We were ecstatic. My wife was in tears," he said.

But when the family got there, they barely recognized Kenai as the same animal they knew a month earlier.

"I'm not sure how much longer he would have made it," Lowe said.

They quickly rushed Kenai to a veterinarian, where it was determined the dog had lost 45 pounds. But more critically, the dog had lost several toes and roughly half of his left paw.

As an experienced woodsman and the owner of the Kenai Cache Outfitters in Cooper Landing, he recognized the telltale signs of the dog's injury.

"The type of wound that it is, the chop is so lean - like his foot was in a paper cutter - I think it had to be a caused by a trap," he said.

While many trappers would consider leaving a trap unchecked for more than 30 days unethical, the State of Alaska does not require trappers to check their traps regularly. However, in this area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, all leghold traps must be checked at least every four days.

Lowe said once reunited with Kenai, he tried to track the bloody paw prints back to a trap, to alert authorities if it was set illegally, but a fresh snowfall complicated his efforts.

Since returning home, Kenai is slowly putting on weight and veterinarians are trying to save the rest of his paw.

"He's on antibiotics and bed rest," Lowe said. "We want to keep him immobilized so that it can heal. He wears a bandage and plastic bag over it when he walks around."

For years, Kenai has accompanied Lowe to work at the outfitting business. As a result the dog has made many friends.

"Everyone's happy he's back, he's happy he's back and we're happy to have him back," Lowe said.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Alaska dog missing for more than a month finds home

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shadow, husky

Alaska Dog News helps reunite owners with lost dog
Posted by dogblog
Posted: December 15, 2010 - 4:43 pm
Dogblog note: This came as a press release from Alaska Dog News, and since I love dog stories with happy endings, I'm sharing it in its entirety with owner Linda Henning's permission.

Shadow finds his way home via Facebook

On Monday, December 13th, the Willow Dog Mushers president Erin McLarnon forwarded one of her many lost/found dog notices. It came from Nancy Crowden who lives 6 miles off of the Parks Hwy near mile 73 north of Willow. The tall, white and black husky was friendly and wearing a choke collar that Nancy replaced with a buckle collar to put him on a tie out in her yard. He wiggled out of the collar and Crowden said she had a real chase to capture him again, putting the choke collar back on so he could not escape again.

The same morning, Alaska Dog News posted the notice and photo on its Facebook page, as it does for many found and lost dogs. Comment after comment on Facebook wished luck in finding the dog’s owner and some were struggling with an emotional tug to take him into their home. “My husband will kill me, chop me up and put me in the bear bait pile, but I’m going to call anyway,” said one poster. “He looks like a great skijor dog” said another post.

This morning, McLarnon forwarded another email from Crowden, “I haven't found the old guy's owner yet. He's on Craigslist, and I have made a report on finding him at the shelter. I will keep him until Sunday, then..............

I'm hoping he doesn't go to Animal Control. He is very well behaved, I have him chained to my chicken coop fence, and he is calm, he makes no noise. Maybe someone could give him a home? I cannot keep him. If anyone would like to meet him, please give me a call. Thanks a lot! Nancy” with a phone number.

Alaska Dog News posted the photo with the new announcement and among the dozen heartfelt comments was the one you wait for. “Chelsea Hulk- I know that dog, I’m calling his owner right now!”. At the same time Alaska Dog News received an e-mail from Crowden stating that the owner had called and was on the way to her home. A friend had called the owner from Skagway! The dog’s name is Shadow.

Shadow’s adventure comes together from the posts and emails leading to the happy ending. He had escaped from home with 3 other dogs on Tuesday December 7th. The other dogs had returned home without Shadow and his owner had given up all hope of his return. 5 days later, 10 miles north and 6 miles from the highway, Shadow had shown up at Crowden’s house. He stayed there for 4 days, Alaska Dog News received the e-mail Monday, a fan in Skagway saw it on Wednesday, recognized the dog and called his owner who lived at mile 88 of the Parks Hwy. As Crowden said “ If only dogs could talk the tails [sic] they’d tell…”

Publisher of Alaska Dog News, Linda Henning says, “This is the kind of story that gets me jazzed up to publish Alaska Dog News. Some people may think we are just crazy dog people but it seems like there are more of us than I thought. The key to getting dogs back home is to get the word out quickly to as many people you can. We have a good network between the 700 Facebook fans on Alaska Dog News, Willow Dog Mushers Association with nearly 1000 e-mail contacts, and the shelters you just hope that someone will see it and know the dog.”

Dogs can be found weeks, even months after they are lost. If they are wearing collars with ID and have micro ID chips they can easily be reunited though dogs who didn’t have any identification have been reunited after weeks of searching. “It’s important to get the word out to dog owners to contact those resources, groups and organizations that can help reunite them with their pets.”


Friday, December 17, 2010

Riley, shar-pei

Stroke victim, lost dog reunited
By Tammy Obermeier, For the Marshfield News-Herald
December 17, 2010

WESTON -- Christmas miracles are rare. But for a Weston family, one came just in time.

Ted Sanders and his 2-year-old daughter, Bria, hold Riley, the family’s 4-year-old miniature Shar-Pei, on Thursday. Riley was returned to the family Thursday after going missing for more than a week in the village of Weston.
Ted Sanders, 42, lost his 4-year-old miniature Shar-Pei, Riley, on Dec. 6, just before the metro area was slammed by 13 inches of snow followed by subzero temperatures.

Sanders -- who suffers from limited mobility, partial sight in his left eye and constant, debilitating pain after a stroke in 2003 -- panicked. He relied upon Riley as his "therapy dog," best friend and confidant
-- a source of emotional support he has difficulty putting into words.

For more than a week, Sanders feared Riley might be gone forever, hit by a car or frozen to death in the snow.

But just after 11 a.m. Thursday, Everest Metro Police called to say Riley had been spotted on D.J. Lane in Weston. A neighbor there, Dr. Nancy Puetz, found Riley wandering in her backyard, just a block from the Sanders' home.

"I can't even remember what I said to them. To say I was in shock would be an understatement," Sanders said shortly after his dog was returned Thursday, tears streaming down his cheeks as he clutched Riley.

Since the stroke, which left Sanders unable to work or drive, he has relied immensely upon Riley.

"It's hard to describe. He was very depressed and felt like he lost a lot of what makes a man," his wife, LuAnn, said of the stroke.

She said she feels that getting Riley and having their youngest daughter, Bria, two years ago has given Ted a purpose -- a reason to get out of bed on the days depression overwhelmed him.

"The physical recovery was the easy part; it was what he was going through emotionally that Riley in particular helped him with. I don't particularly get it," LuAnn said.

This year has been another rough one for the family. Ted had his chest cracked open three times, twice in April and once in May, resulting in two surgeries, one to replace his aortic valve.

Riley's disappearance threatened to set Ted back. The family was relentless in its search, contacting the Humane Society of Marathon County, police departments, veterinarians and the news media. They hung up fliers and started a Facebook page for Riley.

Throughout the ordeal, the entire family stayed hopeful. Their middle daughter, Molly, 12, even built a fort in a snowbank off the driveway, put a pink blanket inside and wrote in the snow, "Riley's home," sure the dog would find her way back.

"I never thought she was dead. My gut told me she wasn't. None of us gave up," LuAnn said.

Riley somehow survived -- for 10 days in freezing temperatures. When she was found, she was just skin and bones, had numerous cuts and scratches, and many of her paw pads were ripped open. A few hours after her return, she started eating and drinking a little water. She will be treated at Weston Veterinary Hospital by Dr. Tom Jatnecks.

Jatnecks said the biggest risk the dog faced was frostbite on her ears, feet and paws. He said she must have found someplace out of the wind to hide, such as a barn or shed. The snow probably was a blessing because Riley most likely ate it for water, he said.

"I would have been fearful for my dog's life if she would have been outside that long. Animals are amazing, but I would consider myself incredibly lucky to have her alive if she was my dog," Jatnecks said.

LuAnn said getting Riley home has put the entire family back in the Christmas spirit.

"We were supposed to get our tree last weekend, but nobody felt like it, so we are getting it this weekend," she said Thursday.

"Other than my family and surviving my stroke, this is the best Christmas gift I have ever received," Ted said.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Layla, tan dog

Dog Caught In Trap - Owner Weeps For Found Pet
Omaha Dog's Incredible Story Of Survival - She Goes Home!
Reporter: WOWT-TV
Posted: 12:00 PM Dec 14, 2010

Through a steady stream of tears, Tammy Frasure, the owner of a dog named Layla says her family has received the best Christmas gift ever.

The Omaha family has been reunited with their lost dog. How the pet is even still alive is a source of wonder and sadness.

The dog, named Layla, went missing on October 26th. Her owners, Fred and Tammy Frasure, did everything they could to find the dog but with no success.

Then on Monday afternoon, the Nebraska Humane Society received a call that a dog was running loose near the Papio Creek just off 84th street and Grover. The dog appeared to be limping.

The NHS found Layla, and they found why she was limping. Layla had stepped into an illegal "leg hold trap." The device had been on her leg so long and so tight the leg had to be amputated. Her owner thinks the trap may have been on the dog's leg for two days or more.

Mark Langan of the Nebraska Humane Society was even less certain.

"The trap is pretty rusted we don't know how long the trap had been set down here by the creek or even how long the trap had been around the dog's leg," Langan said.

The leg-hold trap was made in North Korea.

"These traps are very very dangerous and they snap very very quickly which is why they are absolutely 100% illegal to have set in the city limits of Omaha," Langan said.

A friend contacted Tammy on Facebook, telling her Layla may have been found.

"And I was like oh my gosh I can't believe it," Tammy said as tears filled her eyes. "I really didn't think it was her until I saw her. This is like the best Christmas present ever I can't even tell you. I'm just so happy yeah that she's back."

With the dog missing for almost two months, Frasure was concerned when the weather turned cold.

"We really didn't think that she was going to make it," she said.

It turns out, the cold may have actually saved Layla's life by helping to slow any possible infection. Even so, the dog had to have her front leg amputated.

The mystery surrounding the trap raises several concerns.

The Papio Creek is a natural attraction to all kinds of wildlife and even neighborhood kids. There is no way of knowing if there are more of these traps along this creek.

The biggest problem with the traps is that once they are put down on the ground and set, in tall grass and snow, they are almost invisible.

"Why somebody would set a trap like this is unknown possibly trying to trap raccoons for the pelts of the raccoons there might be a little money in that," Langan said.

"Unfortunately it was our dog and because of that little tiny trap its costing a lot of money, but thank God it wasn't a child," Tammy said. "I don't know what somebody would be thinking setting one of those out."

Layla was reunited with her owners Tuesday evening when they picked her up at the vet clinic to take her home.

The NHS is offering $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for setting the trap.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Spalding, golden retriever

Missing St. Paul guide dog found by neighbor, reunited with owner
By Rhoda Fukushima and Tad Vezner, Pioneer Press
Updated: 12/13/2010 11:53:13 PM CST

A blind St. Paul man who lost his guide dog in the freezing cold Sunday — and spent that day and the next wrought with worry — was relieved to discover late Monday that the dog had spent the night in a warm kitchen across the street.

Service dog Spalding, a 22-month-old male golden retriever, disappeared Sunday in St. Paul s Merriam Park neighborhood.
About 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Justin McDevitt went to shovel snow in back of his house in the 1700 block of Marshall Avenue in the Merriam Park neighborhood. He believes Spalding, a 22-month-old male golden retriever, followed him outside: When McDevitt went inside an hour later, Spalding was not there.

McDevitt called for him, but the dog did not respond.

McDevitt immediately contacted the St. Paul location of the Animal Humane Society and the St. Paul Animal Control Center. His wife went outside to scour the neighborhood and alert neighbors.

Numerous media outlets picked up the story about the dog, who is McDevitt's fourth and had only been with him and his family a matter of weeks.

A resident about a block down saw one of those news reports Monday evening, and noticed the dog looked suspiciously like the one that a next-door neighbor had found at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, running around outside.

"He was just all by himself, and there were people at the other end of the block, so I thought he was with them," said neighbor Connie Murphy. "First I told him to go home, and he just looked at me. Then I called and he came running and just sat down. He was just the most awesome dog in the whole world."

Murphy, who has two dogs herself, walked the dog around the neighborhood on a leash, asking those shoveling their walks if they knew who his owner might be. Everyone shook their head.

"It was cold and getting colder. I took him in to get warmed up," Murphy said. First she kept the dog in a kennel, but let him out when she saw how well behaved he was. Spalding slept the night on her kitchen floor.

He was wearing a black and red nylon collar but no tags. Spalding normally wears tags, but they broke off last week when McDevitt mistakenly hooked the leash into the tag ring.

On Monday evening, Murphy heard from a neighbor that the dog might be McDevitt's, who lives across the street and two doors down. She turned on the television, saw a news report and called McDevitt's wife.

"I think I have your dog," she said.

"I'll be right over," the woman replied.

"She was — zoom — right there!" Murphy said.

Within minutes Spalding and McDevitt were reunited.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Daisy, hound mix

NJ dog who wandered for 70 days reunited with owners
By Janine Mellini
December 9, 2010

A newly adopted dog, who slipped her collar and ran off, was found more than two months later after another dog adopted from the same shelter apparently picked up on her scent and led people to where the wayward dog was nesting.

Daisy, a 2-year-old mixed breed, was out for a walk around her Jefferson Township neighborhood on Sept. 28 when she disappeared.

Her owners, Theresa Jacob and Ryan Simko, who live in the Oak Ridge section of the township, began a campaign to find Daisy by contacting Eleventh Hour Rescue, which launched a search.

"Eleventh Hour gets involved when one of the dogs we've adopted out is lost. When the search didn't recover Daisy, authorities were notified, websites were updated and flyers posted," explained Roger Keyser, an Eleventh Hour Rescue volunteer. "Daisy's owners did everything possible to find her."

Daisy was spotted several times over the 70-day period she was missing, but continued to elude capture despite several attempts by good Samaritans.

Originally called Lulu at the shelter, Daisy did not yet respond to either name, so that — combined with being alone and scared — complicated rescue attempts, said Jacob.

The break came when Carrie Cartier was taking her usual evening walk with her dog, Harley, and a neighbor near the Sky View Golf Course in Sparta. Harley was adopted from Eleventh Hour Rescue in Randolph just as Daisy was.

Harley began pulling Cartier in a direction they did not normally walk and was so insistent, they followed and found Daisy in an area where she apparently had been nesting.

Cartier later returned with her husband to the same spot, but the dog bolted. Scott Cartier checked online and confirmed it was Daisy.

Knowing time was of the essence because of the cold and the length of time she had been on her own, the Cartiers returned with a blanket and food for Daisy. They then notified Jacob and Simko, while also enlisting the help of other Eleventh Hour Rescue volunteers.

On Monday, a humane, dog-friendly trap was set with hot dogs, chicken and other treats. By Tuesday, two more traps were set with not only food — which included a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from Dunkin' Donuts, according to Jacob — but blankets with hand warmers underneath for added warmth and one of Daisy's favorite dog toys from home.

Daisy finally took the bait, and it was Daisy's owners who went back to check the traps and discovered their beloved pet.

Daisy was taken to a veterinarian for a checkup. Although she lost some weight and tested positive for Lyme disease and another anaplasmosis (parasite), Daisy is back at home being treated with antibiotics and the prognosis is good.

"All of us were shocked that after 70 days wandering around on her own, Daisy looked so good. We really appreciate everyone's help," said Jacob. "Ryan and I feel so blessed that she is home with us and out of the cold. It really is a Christmas miracle that our little family will be together for the holidays to celebrate what this time of year is all about — family."

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Cookie, chihuahua/yorkie mix

Friday, December 10, 2010
Chorkie reunited with owner after two-day search along freeway
Small dog wandered off after traffic accident near Castlewood

1-year-old "Chorkie,' missing since he wandered away from his owner after a traffic accident on I-680 Saturday night, has been found. A good samaritan found the dog in a Foothill Road neighborhood and took him to Murphy's Paw, a downtown Pleasanton pet store, where store owner Melanie Sadek recognized Chorkie' picture that was posted on Pleasanton Weekly's daily Express edition.
The little 1-year-old Chorkie dog that wandered away from its owner after her car was in an accident on I-680 on Saturday, has been found.

Juliana Pribela, 11, found the 7-1/2-pound dog in her back yard off Foothill Road around 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon after she spotted it out the window.

The dog had been missing since the 7 p.m. Saturday traffic accident and its owner, medical student Melina Masihi who lives in Pleasanton, has been searching the freeway area near the Castlewood Drive/Sunol Boulevard exit for her cherished pet.

Juliana and her mom Terri bathed the little dog, a Chorkie, which is a mix of a Yorkie dog and a Chihuahua, and removed the many burrs from his fur.

"I thought probably someone has taken this kind of a dog to the darling little pet store downtown," said Terri Pribela, and she brought the dog into Murphy's Paw on Main Street on Monday.

She also wanted to buy him a coat, she added.

Meanwhile the Pleasanton Weekly had posted a news story about the missing dog on its daily Express edition Monday at

"Monday, a lady brought the dog into our store and told me that she found him Sunday evening in a neighborhood off of Foothill," said Melanie Sadek, owner of Murphy's Paw. "I recommended that she go to a local vet and have his back scanned."

"When she left the store, I had kept her contact info," Sadek said. "Chorkie also had a new fleece jacket to help keep him warm. Then this morning I read the Pleasanton Weekly Express edition and called everyone ASAP. Melina was so grateful, and Terri was happy to reunite Chorkie with his mommy."

No one was badly injured in the Saturday evening accident, including the Chorkie, who apparently walked down an embankment and disappeared. Masihi is bruised and received stitches on her forehead.

Terri Pribela said when Masihi called her, she asked if she would wait until 5 p.m. to pick up the dog, whose name is Cookie, because she knew Juliana would want to say goodbye to her new little friend. When Masihi arrived, she'd brought several friends, a giant cake and a dozen roses, said Pribela.

"They said, 'Let me pay you,' but I said, 'Absolutely not, it's a gift,'" she recalled.

When they left, they gave Juliana an envelope, which turned out to contain the $300 reward they'd been offering for Cookie's return.

That was wonderful for Juliana, noted her mother, but they were happy to take care of little Cookie and were glad for the happy ending since they already have a house full of pets.

"We have dogs and we would want someone to take care of our dog," Pribela said.

"It's a miracle," Masihi said Wednesday morning, that Cookie survived after her night alone wandering through the city. "I'm crazy about this little guy."

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cassie, Jack Russell Terrier

Terrier, owner reunited after separation during Alaska camping trip
by Reba Lean, Fairbanks Daily News Miner
09.11.10 - 08:49 am

Tommy Hirtzel is reunited with his Jack Russell terrier, Cassie, at the Fairbanks Animal Sehlter. Cassie disappered from a campusite at 161 Mile Parkes Hwy on Aug 32, and was picked up by a Fairbanks woman
 FAIRBANKS, Alaska - “What are the odds?” asked Sandy Besser, Fairbanks North Star Borough’s Animal Control manager, after a recent reunion between dog and owner defied the norm. The dog covered 200 miles while its owner mourned his 11-year-old Jack Russell terrier’s assumed run-in with a black bear.

The reunion began Sept. 1, when an Anchorage woman driving the Parks Highway spotted the dog and decided to pick it up. She brought the dog from where she found it — Mile 155 — to Fairbanks and considered keeping it for herself. Instead, she decided to hand it to Animal Control after a veterinarian convinced her that the dog might be too hard to take care of in its advanced age.

The shelter usually can identify a dog’s owner by taking a quick look at a dog’s collar. If the dog’s collar is missing — as it was in this case — a microchip embedded under an animal’s skin might have the answer. The terrier didn’t have a microchip and would normally be out of luck.

But since the woman had mentioned Mile 155, an Animal Control admissions clerk decided to Google it to pinpoint its owner.

“Mile 155” came up with a Trapper Creek result, and the shelter workers went from there.

They called the Trapper Creek Chamber of Commerce and asked about missing pets in the area. A woman at the Chamber of Commerce said she thought an Alaska State Trooper had lost a dog. The Talkeetna post of the troopers was the next phone call, and the Fairbanks shelter workers were told that the missing dog belonged to a National Park Service employee.

Another park ranger, Jason Nielson, happened to be at the Talkeetna troopers office when that call came in and gave the shelter a call back, offering to help.

The pieces of the puzzle to reconnect the owner and pet began to take shape.

The story begins on Aug. 31, when National Park Service mechanic Tommy Hirtzel went camping in a state park near Mile 161 Parks Highway with his 11-year-old Jack Russell terrier,

Cassie. During the night, Cassie ran off without her collar and tags. Hirtzel had seen a black bear the day before and assumed his dog had been eaten.

He stayed another night at the campsite, driving, walking and calling out Cassie’s name.

In a single spot at the campsite, he had enough cell phone service to send a text to his friend Michelle Logan in Healy that his dog had gone missing.

Michelle frequently baby-sat Cassie, since Hirtzel’s job takes him to remote camps where dogs are not allowed. Logan created a lost-dog ad online. She also sent a flier to Trapper Creek, where the Chamber of Commerce employee saw it at the post office.

On a whim, Logan called the Fairbanks Animal Control office to see if they had heard of a missing terrier. Her call was received shortly after park ranger Nielson’s.

Hirtzel got word his dog was in Fairbanks.

“I was really stunned and shocked,” Hirtzel said. “I owe it all to my friend.”

Hirtzel drove to the shelter in Fairbanks. Workers brought Cassie out from the kennels, where she had been moping.

“She just went crazy,” said Besser, the Animal Control manager. “She was wiggling so hard in his arms.”

Hirtzel drove back to his home in Healy with Cassie, who he’s owned for seven years. That night he dropped her off at his friend’s home and headed out to work. He’s thankful for the Internet, Fairbanks Animal Control workers, and that the person who found Cassie didn’t keep her.

And he got a microchip for Cassie right away.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Female Chihuahua

Lost Dog Is Found
What a great way to start the day!
Claudia Kawczynska for The Bark
November 17, 2010

Man cajoles his runaway dog | hero of the day, Blackjack | Lauren and Blackjack

On Monday morning, when Cameron and I were walking our dogs at local 30-acre dog park, we ran into our friend, Lauren, who told us about a Chihuahua who was lost there on Sunday. She described the poor owner, a man in his sixties with a pronounced limp, who was frantically asking for help, crying as he told people his very sad tale. He was inconsolable. We saw him there on Monday too, calling and calling to his dog—it was so heartbreaking.

On Tuesday morning, again we saw Lauren, who excitedly told us that she had “spotted” the dog but had been unable to catch her. So we decided to try to help and, after our walk, we set out to try to find her. We weren’t aware Lauren had gone back to where she had seen the dog and was trying to contact the owner.

It turned out that the little dog had wandered into a fairly remote area, outside the park boundary, where few people venture. Luckily that morning, Lauren and her Blackjack, a gorgeous German Shorthaired Pointer, decided to take their walk there, when true to his sporting dog nature, Blackjack “flushed” the small dog out from under a shrub. But the fearful pup simply scampered away.

When we arrived, Lauren pointed to the dog, who was huddled alongside a doorway of a communication tower building at the water’s edge, behind a 12-foot fence topped with barbed wire. We both tried to entice her to come but she wasn’t responding. Thankfully, after repeated attempts, Lauren got through to the man and he was on his way. A few minutes later, he drove up and we flagged him down. He ran up the path to the fence gate, crouched down and called to his dog, and magically she crawled under the gate and bolted into his arms. With tears streaming, he held her closely to his chest.

We were all very happy that we could help in any small measure, especially proud of Blackjack’s feat, and greatly relieved that a dog and her human were reunited. Even Lauren’s boss played a part in accepting why she needed to be so late to the office that day—there was no way, as she later told us, that she wasn’t going to stand guard over her “charge” until she was safely back with her owner.

There are a couple important lessons in this. #1 Teaching a solid and reliable recall is one of the main responsibilities we owe our dogs. You just never know what might spook or divert a dog, especially in unfamiliar situations. In the case of this small dog, she wasn’t used to dog parks at all and when a larger dog tried to play with her and she simply ran off.

#2 Some larger off-leash areas, especially those that aren’t fully fenced, might not be right for some dogs. It certainly seemed to be the case with this dog. She will need much more training, or simply a more secure alternative, like a nearby fenced-in dog park with an area set aside for small dogs, for her future off-leash recreation. Luckily, the man thought so too!

Have you ever lost (and hopefully found) a dog? Did you use any special strategies to find your dog?


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Darry, golden collie mix

Dog reunited with owner
By Amy Schweitzer,
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
ALDA — Darry, a collie/golden retriever, is safe at home back in Colorado after wandering Hall County for a week.

On Nov. 22, Monica Shields of Golden, Colo. was on her way to her hometown in Michigan when black ice on Interstate 80 near the Wood River exit caused the vehicle to roll.

Shields, her human friends and two other dogs had just bumps and bruises, but Darry escaped through a broken window.

“She was gone before we had even gotten out,” Shields said of the dog she had rescued from a pound about eight months earlier.

For a week Shields and her friends looked for the dog.

“We went out for six hours (walking the fields near the crash site) before we were forced to go home,” she said.

Back in Colorado, Shields posted a plea with pictures on Facebook, ran ads in the Independent and called to around to shelters.

“The outpouring on Facebook was amazing,” she said, adding that she had hundreds of well-wishers call and e-mail saying they were praying and reposting the plea to look for the dog.

“It totally renewed my faith in mankind,” she said.

One of those who called was Fred Schritt of Grand Island, who said he would do everything in his power to find Darry.

“At first I thought ‘Oh that’s nice, another well-wisher. Thank You.’ But then he called back to say he spent eight hours out walking looking for her and hadn’t found her but he was going to keep looking.”

“He was a total stranger but was willing to help,” she said.

Carol Matthews, who lives near Grand Island, also called to offer help. Shields said Matthews put up posters all over Grand Island and Hastings.

Schritt said he saw the ad in Saturday morning’s paper.

“I just got a lump in my throat knowing how sad she had to be,” he said Monday. “I couldn’t sit here and not do anything.”

Schritt searched for two full days driving more than 100 miles each day and passing out cards to farmers offering a $1,000 reward for the recovery of the dog.

Towards the end of Sunday night, he saw a collie mix dog along the edge of I-80.

“My eyes were so tired, but I happened to look right and I saw a dog,” Schritt said.

He pulled over and tried to get the dog to come closer but he couldn’t get closer than 40 feet to the dog, Schritt said. Suddenly the dog bolted straight across the Interstate, thick with Thanksgiving traffic.

“My heart about stopped,” Schritt said, but Darry made it across without harm.

Even though the dog escaped him, Schritt called Shields to tell her that he had seen Darry and that he was going to try again Monday.

Early Monday morning Shields and a friend were on their way to Grand Island to help search when she received a call on her cell phone about 8 a.m. saying Darry had been found near Alda.

Zach Kramer was getting out of his Jeep at his parents’ farm about three miles northeast of Alda when a friendly dog came up and wanted to jump in his vehicle.

“She just started whining and wanted in my truck real bad,” he said with a laugh.

Kramer notice the dog’s pink collar and tags with an owner’s phone number and called Shields.

“We were all screaming in the car, going crazy,” Shields said with a laugh.

But with all of the posters, newspaper ads and postings on Facebook, Kramer hadn’t seen any of them. He just figured it was a lost dog that needed help to find its way home.

“If I lost my dog, I’d want someone to help,” he said. “Everybody knew more than I did. I didn’t see any of the flyers or anything.”

Shields later thought maybe Darry went to Kramer because he had a similar vehicle as her and the dog may have thought it was her Jeep.

After calling Shields, Kramer took the dog to Grand Island Veterinary Hospital where Dr. Jay Stewart cleaned up Darry for free.

“She was covered in stickers and muddy,” Kramer said.

The reunion between dog and owner at the Alda Interchange was what Schritt called “a storybook finish.”

He gave Kramer the $1,000 reward even though Kramer tried to refuse it.

Shields said she couldn’t believe so many people were willing to help find Darry.

“Living in Colorado, I have never met so many nice Nebraskans before,” Shields said. “I was blown away.”

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Harlee, pomeranian

Custody battle over dog ends in couple’s favor
Runaway Pomeranian was at center of lawsuit over pet’s adoption
Kevin Graman, The Spokesman-Review
October 13, 2010 - Updated: October 14, 6:02 a.m.

Marsha and Richard Graham are reunited with their dog Harlee at SpokAnimal Care Tuesday afternoon as the dog returned to their custody after a long court battle.

Harlee has come home.

The black Pomeranian who ran away more than three years ago has been reunited with a Spokane County family after a court battle that went all the way to the Washington state Court of Appeals.

On Tuesday, Richard and Marcia Graham greeted Harlee – who was a little heavier and a little grayer than they remember – at SpokAnimal Care, which featured prominently in a lawsuit the Grahams filed against a Spokane man who adopted the dog in July 2007.

Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza ruled on Monday that Harlee should be returned to the Grahams because SpokAnimal did not have the authority to adopt him out to James Notti, of Spokane, in the first place.

“The judge let me tell my whole story,” Marcia Graham said. “That was surprising because our case was based solely on where the dog was found.”

In November 2007, the Court of Appeals for Division III remanded the case back to Superior Court after Judge Gregory Sypolt dismissed it, leaving Harlee with Notti.

The Appeals Court ruled the case hinges on whether Harlee was found in Spokane city or county. The woman who found him turned him over to SpokAnimal.

Harlee’s tale began July 17, 2007, when he wandered away from the Grahams’ Marshall-area home. The Grahams posted signs, contacted animal shelters, and placed ads in the Cheney Free Press and on Web sites, including the one run by SpokAnimal.

Fewer than two weeks after he disappeared, Harlee was found by Jolee Wilke, who turned the dog over to SpokAnimal on July 29.

On the day SpokAnimal accepted Harlee, Notti requested the dog. He adopted the Pomeranian after the requisite 72-hour waiting period.

About a month later, the Grahams learned their dog’s fate from Wilke’s daughter, a former classmate of the Grahams’ daughter. The family went to SpokAnimal, where officials contacted Notti. But he would not give up his new pet.

However, Richard Graham had caught a glimpse of the dog’s new owner’s name on a SpokAnimal computer screen, and the family went looking for Harlee.

The Grahams found the dog at Notti’s home, but Notti wouldn’t give him up, even after the Grahams’ offered to buy him a replacement Pomeranian.

So the Grahams sued Notti, claiming through their attorneys at Gonzaga University Legal Assistance that Notti did not obtain a valid title to Harlee because SpokAnimal has no authority to adopt out a dog found outside the city.

SpokAnimal officials said they were told at the time that the dog was found in the city, where it has authority to impound and adopt out stray animals.

But Wilke, who lives not far from the Grahams’ Marshall-area home, said she found Harlee chasing chickens in her backyard in Spokane County, where SCRAPS has authority over animal control.

Cozza was convinced and ordered the transfer.

The trial was the first for third-year law student Jason Perdue, who represented the Grahams before Cozza, and the first dog trial for the GU legal clinic.

“It felt good to be able to reunite the Grahams with their dog,” said Perdue, whose name means “lost” in French.

“I feel good about having him back,” Richard Graham said as Harlee nuzzled his wife.

Notti declined comment.

After leaving SpokAnimal with their pet, the Grahams dropped by the law school to show the staff what they had worked three years to achieve.

About a dozen professors, students and staff members gathered in the lobby of the law clinic’s offices to see the dog, including law professor George Critchlow, whose argument convinced the Appeals Court, and Terry Sawyer, who supervises Perdue.

Sawyer said legal assistance should take more dog cases because “people are willing to litigate to the end.”

As for Harlee – he turns 5 years old today. That’s only about 37 in dog years.


Also see:
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Deuce, yorkie

Elderly woman reunited with stolen dog
Thursday, November 11, 2010

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- A Yorkshire terrier was returned to its owner Wednesday evening after being stolen during a purse snatch in Alameda.

Deuce is back home in Alameda -- much to the delight of 80-year-old Helen Bignone.

"I am so overwhelmed that he came back. He's just so, everything is just great" she said.

The 6-year-old Yorkie was stolen on Oct. 30 when Bignone was out for a walk near her home. She tried to hang onto the Yorkie's leash, but let go when one robber claimed to have a gun.

"You know, stealing purses is something we all hear about, but to take your dog," she said.

What the robbers didn't know is that Deuce has a microchip implanted under his skin. Alameda police identified the car used in the robbery, traced Bignone's stolen credit cards and arrested a 19-year-old suspect, who claimed he abandoned the little dog in a Stockton park.

A transient couple then found deuce and sold him for $20 to a woman, who called detectives.

"It wasn't until the afternoon before she called and she saw one of the news reports and sort of put two and two together," Lt. Sean Lynch from Alameda Police Department said. "We utilized the help of Stockton Animal Control to scan the chip and make sure the dog was in fact Deuce."

Not only is Deuce home safe from his 11-day adventure, but police also recovered Helen's purse.

"Purse doesn't even hold a candle to getting you back," Bignone said.

"They really picked the wrong grandma to rob of a purse and a dog, they really did." Bignone's granddaughter Stephanie Bignone said.

Before deuce was snatched, Bignone and the dog would go on long walks around the neighborhood, and now that they are reunited, they will continue to do so.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sugar, maltese

Stolen dog reunited with south Fort Myers owners
November 20, 2010

A Maltese, stolen Friday during a burglary, was returned safely to its rightful owners later that day.

Shortly after noon Friday, Lee County sheriff's deputies responded to Pine Hammock Circle in south Fort Myers in reference to a burglary. The victims advised that their home had been forcibly entered while they were away. The suspect or suspects ransacked the home, stealing various items including a computer, a flat-screen television, money, jewelry and the couple’s pet dog, an 8-year-old Maltese named Sugar.

During the evening hours on Friday, deputies were called to the Publix at Summerlin Road and Colonial Boulevard. One of the clerks told deputies a regular customer had returned to the store after shopping and said he found a dog in his car. The customer had left his windows down in the Publix parking lot while he shopped. The clerk said she recognized the dog, which had been featured in media reports throughout the day. The dog was unharmed and has been reunited with its owners.

The investigation into the burglary continues.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Katie, sheltie

Lost dog found after 25 days at Lake Crescent
By Leah Leach, Peninsula Daily News
November 21. 2010 2:01AM

LAKE CRESCENT -- Katie, a sheltie who was lost for more than three weeks, is now home safe.

Katie, a Shetland sheepdog who was lost for more than three weeks, is home again with John and Donna Fabian. The Fabians live in the Port Ludlow-Shine area near Hood Canal.
She was brought home Friday "after 25 days in the wilderness," thin, but apparently healthy, said John Fabian, 71.

"I'm kind of an old fellow, and I've been down through a lot in my life, but it brought me to tears."

Fabian is a former NASA space shuttle astronaut and a founder of the Hood Canal Coalition, an environmental group that opposes industrialization of Hood Canal.

He and his wife, Donna, live in the Port Ludlow-Shine area near the Canal.

Mrs. Fabian spent a sleepless night in a cold car before she saw the Shetland sheepdog and coaxed it to her as she knelt on a trail near the Olympic Park Institute on Lake Crescent on Thursday afternoon.

"She's our Thanksgiving miracle," she said.

Two get reward

The reunion resulted in a Thanksgiving gift for two other people as well.

They had spotted the dog and notified the Fabians, who had offered a $1,000 reward for Katie's return.

Fabian contributed $250 to the Association of National Park Rangers in the name of Mark O'Neill, an Olympic National Park ranger, and wrote a second check for $750 to Maggie Van Catfort of the Olympic Park Institute.

O'Neill reported last week the first sighting of the 4-year-old dog since she had run off from the Fabians during a visit to the lake Oct. 24.

The Fabians, who had owned her for only three months, and the dog's breeder, Cindy Wilson of Bremerton, searched for her the first week and nailed up posters near the Lake Crescent Lodge, which is about 20 miles west of Port Angeles.

After a story in the Peninsula Daily News, the Fabians received calls of commiseration from other dog lovers -- but no one reported seeing the 4-year-old sheltie.

"We decided it was fruitless until we had a sighting," Fabian said. "We didn't know where to search."

That changed Wednesday with the call from O'Neill, who had spotted the dog on the road between the entrance to the lodging area and the lodge itself.

"He followed her slowly in the car as she traveled down the road, then lost track of her," Fabian said.

Mrs. Fabian and Wilson raced up to the lake, picking up a live animal trap from the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society on the way, and spent the night in their cars outside Lake Crescent Lodge, which is closed for the season.

Snow on ground

When they awakened, snow lay on the ground.

"We hardly slept at all, it was so cold," Mrs. Fabian said.

And they hadn't thought to bring breakfast.

"We made sure we had dog food, but we didn't have food for ourselves," she said.

They snacked on some Kashi bars Mrs. Fabian found in her glove compartment, set up the trap with the help of some workmen -- and continued to search.

"We felt we had to get her that day or the next because . . . it was so cold," she said.

At about 4 p.m., a call came in on Wilson's cell phone.

Spotted on beach

Van Catfort had spotted a sheltie on the beach near the Olympic Park Institute and had called numbers she found on posters -- first the Fabians' home, then Wilson's cell.

"We were yards away from her when she called," Mrs. Fabian said.

"Cindy said, 'We are right here. We will be there in seconds."

When Mrs. Fabian saw Katie, she dropped to her knees and pulled out food, speaking softly to the dog.

"She walked back and forth, very nervous, and finally took the food. I grabbed her collar," she said.

Fabian had delivered supplies to the two women, updated the posters and returned to the Port Townsend area to get another trap from the Jefferson County Humane Society.

"While I was getting the trap, my wife called and said, 'We have the dog.'"

O'Neill and Van Catfort recognized the dog because of the posters the Fabians had put up -- and because of the PDN.

"We had been up there and everybody we had talked to said, is this the dog that was in the paper?

"The PDN did an amazing amount of good," Fabian said.

Mrs. Fabian and Wilson stayed overnight at Indian Valley Motel, part of the complex that includes Granny's Cafe, which allowed the dogs to stay with them.

They brought Katie home about a half-hour before the Fabians were interviewed.

"She's excited to be here. . . . She's very thin. She's extraordinarily hungry," Fabian said.

Wilson, who Fabian described as "an amazing dog lady," had owned Katie for three years before the Fabians adopted her, and had dog-sat Katie while the Fabians were out of the country for three weeks.

"This was like a loss for her family, too," Fabian said.

Katie, who the Fabians figure lived on bear droppings and other unsavory fare, was to be taken to the vet for a check-up.

And the couple now has "increased security awareness," as Fabian put it.

"We're going to be awfully careful about not allowing her to bolt away. . . . She's going to have to learn how to go out and poop on a leash."