Thursday, January 28, 2010

Frances, yellow lab

Lost and found: Seeing-eye dog reunited with owner
By Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster
Tuesday, January 5, 2010

NAPLES — She knew the Old Naples neighborhood inside and out.

Edith Kling, a local author and retired social worker, sits in her living room in Old Naples with her service dog, Frances, on Tuesday, January 5, 2010. Frances disappeared over the weekend after being spooked by New Year's celebrations and fireworks. Word spread of the runaway dog through family, friends, neighbors and local business owners. Kling and her dog were reunited after someone picked Frances up and took her to a local animal shelter. "She is so much a part of me," said Kling about her 8-year-old yellow lab. "The way the community came together was unbelievable."

But when the first firework burst on New Year’s Eve, Frances — an 8-year-old seeing-eye dog — bolted off the porch of her home near the Naples Pier, leaving her owner for days.

“I’ve had guide dogs for the last 28 years (and) to not have my guide dog in my left hand, it’s like my left hand is missing,” said 80-year-old Edith Kling, Frances’ owner. “It was getting really, really terrible minute by minute. You have no idea, when you’re blind, the attachment you have for your dog. It was just terrible.”

Four days and hundreds of e-mails later, Kling and Frances were reunited this week, after someone located the 8-year-old yellow Labrador at Collier County Domestic Animal Services.

“I have never seen such an outpouring of kindness and concern,” said Stephen Kling, Edith Kling’s son. “The entire town rose up to find the dog.”

A Sunday morning e-mail to a perfect stranger may have something to do with the community response.

Around 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Stephen Kling sent an e-mail to Naples resident Paul Frey asking for help. In his e-mail, Stephen Kling said Frey’s name popped up when he searched for dogs and Naples on the Internet.

“I thought you might be able to help put out the word to other Naples dog people,” Stephen Kling wrote. “My mother’s seeing eye dog bolted during the fireworks on New Year’s Eve in Old Naples and is still missing.”

Two hours later, Frey — who has played an active role in trying to create an off-leash dog park in Naples — sent an e-mail blast to the more than 100 people he has on his e-mail list.

Those e-mails were then forwarded to friends, and suddenly, Stephen Kling said, his mother was getting bombarded with help in hopes of finding Frances.

“I can’t believe how this community got together,” Edith Kling said. “It was the most unbelievable of the goodness and kindness coming out of people’s hearts.”

All that goodness paid off: Edith Kling said she received word on Monday that Frances was at Collier County Domestic Animal Services.

Amanda Townsend, director of DAS, said Frances came in Thursday night after an officer found her in Old Naples. While they scanned the microchip implanted in Frances, the number that kept coming up was for the guide dog school in New York.

Calls to the school went unanswered, Townsend said, because of the holiday weekend.

“The trail had gone cold (for the officer) there,” she said.

Townsend said she returned to work Monday to find an e-mail — with an animal identification number — about a dog listed on the Web site. That dog, she said, turned out to be Frances.

“It was fabulous,” she said. “It was really exciting. You could tell that Mrs. Kling was so relieved. It was fabulous to see.”

Edith Kling may have been excited to see Frances, but Frances may not have necessarily felt the same way.

“I was feeling indescribably happy,” she said. “She ignored us. She was punishing us.”

Edith Kling said everything was back by normal Monday night, and she appreciated all of the support from the community.

“It was the most amazing (instance) of people coming together and of people helping,” she said. “I have no words to say how they helped me.”


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Polly, chow mix

Dog rescued from icy creek reunited with owner
By Trent Faris
Jan 05, 2010

YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - A dog in Fort Mill who was rescued from an icy creek earlier this week has been reunited with its owner.

A 13-year-old female chow named Polly was trapped in the frigid water in Sugar Creek for 24 hours. The conditions were so bad, most humans would have barely survived.

When Chris Bennett walked down to the creek behind his home on Sunday, he thought he heard an injured dog in the woods.

"I started walking up the cliff, I looked over and saw the dog buried in the mud," said Bennett.  He got into the water and attempted to remove Polly from the water.

"It was absolutely like liquid ice," said Bennett. While trying to lift her out, Bennett almost got stuck in the mud himself. So, he ran back to his house and dialed 911.

For more than two hours, crews with Fort Mill Rescue pried Polly from the creek.

Animal control officers said Polly ran away from her home in Lancaster County because she was frightened by fireworks on New Year's Eve.

Neighbor David Yarns caught the rescue on video. The dog's hair was so badly matted, it was waterlogged and frozen.

Since Polly did not have an identification tag or microchip, the staff at Palmetto Veterinary Medicine in McConnell's temporarily named her "Jane Dog."

"I don't think in my 21 years of practice I've seen one this badly matted," said Dr. Karen Stallings.

It took veterinarian technician Kristi Sutton two and a half hours to shave Polly down. Without the extra hair, the dog weighed 73 pounds and the pile of shaved hair weighed 36 pounds. Altogether, Jane Dog weighed close to 110 pounds.

Dr. Stallings said Polly weighed 150 pounds soaking wet. Stallings says it's hard to classify Polly as abused due to the matted hair because she was well fed.

"It should never get to this extreme," said Dr. Stallings.

The hair could have been a blessing because it probably kept Polly warm enough until she was rescued.

According to York County Animal Shelter Director Chris Peninger, Polly belongs to a senior citizen in Lancaster County. Peninger said the woman loves the dog, but she was unable to lift Polly to take her to the vet or groomer.

The woman was reportedly beside herself when a family member said they heard on the news the dog was found.

The woman was brought to the shelter Tuesday morning and paid to have Polly microchipped, her shots updated, and groomed. She even made arrangements to have Polly taken to a vet in Lancaster County for further observation.

"When you have an animal that old who has been with someone that long, it's always a great feeling so they can go home," said Peninger.

The animal control says pet owners should check to make sure their pets have a collar or microchip. They say its very important to have both to ensure an owner is reunited with their lost pet quickly.

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Another version of the story:

Rescued Dog Reunited With Owner
A dog that nearly froze to death in an icy creek over the weekend is back in a warm house with a very happy owner.

Lavinia Harper, 75, of Lancaster County came to York County animal control Tuesday morning, and picked up her lost and very lucky chow, "Polly."

Through tears she told Eyewitness News how grateful she is.

"We’ve been together for a long time, and I thought she was gone forever," Harper said.

Eyewitness News learned Tuesday that "Polly" is 13 years old, blind and deaf. Harper last saw her Friday, before she wandered away from home, and ended up nearly submerged in Sugar Creek in Fort Mill, three miles away.

The dog's old age and lack of hearing and sight led rescuers to believe that she fell down an embankment, and couldn't get out of the frigid water.

She became stuck in thick mud. Volunteers from the Fort Mill rescue squad worked for an hour to free her, after a neighbor heard a yelping sound from his backyard and called 911.

The dog's fur was so heavily matted with mud and weighed down with water, she couldn't get out of the creek.

"That is one lucky dog," animal control director Chris Penninger said. After being taken to a local vet, "Polly" was found in good health.

"There was no frost bite, no hypothermia, no injuries. She's doing great," she said.

Harper heard the story on local newscasts and came to animal control Tuesday morning. She has had "Polly" since the dog was a puppy.

Penninger said it was clear the lost dog had found its true owner.

"She described her dog to a 't' right down to the sty in her eye, right down to a small clip in one ear, so there's no doubt in my mind that this is her dog," she said.

Harper is legally blind herself, and her granddaughter drove her to York to pick "Polly" up. She jokes that she and her dog share some of the same infirmities.

"She’s just like me," Harper laughed. “She’s gonna stay home in the house now."

Harper is grateful to the alert neighbors who helped, and the volunteer rescue teams that braved terrible weather and icy water to save her dog's life.

"I’m thankful for every single one of them. May God bless them," she said.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kelso, German shorthaired pointer

Lost dog reunited with owners
Kelso was in Waco
By Kate Burke, Staff Writer
Thursday, January 7, 2010

Kelly Michaels and Chadd Priefert were happily reunited with their lost dog, Kelso (center), on Monday, Jan. 4. Kelso ran away when the family vehicle was involved in a crash on I-80 near Waco on Christmas Day. Also welcoming him home are Peetie (left) and Fez. All of the dogs are German shorthair pointers.

WACO — “I just got up and I had to come out to the living room and see, is he really here?”

Kelly Michaels was very happy on Tuesday morning. Ten days after her dog ran away from a car crash on I-80, Kelso, a German shorthair pointer, was found and returned.

Kelly and her fiance, Chadd Priefert, were driving from Omaha to Hebron for Christmas Day celebrations when they were involved in a multi-vehicle collision during a whiteout on the interstate. Two of the couple’s three dogs were quickly found; Kelso ran off.

Kelly and Chadd contacted the York News-Times with their appeal for help, but before the story even appeared on Tuesday morning, Kelso was found by Pat and Bruce Olson of Waco, who live near the place where he was lost.

They recognized Kelso from a flyer Kelly and Chadd had tucked into their door very early in their search.

“We’d been kind of watching for him,” Pat Olson says.

The Olsons’ own dog, a Great Pyrenees named Quincy, began barking into the darkness on Monday night, Jan. 4. Bruce Olson stepped outside to check the situation, and the stray dog came right up to him.

“I think it’s that pup,” Pat reports her husband saying.

Kelso was ready to come inside, get warm and eat.

“He cleaned out our cat food bowl and dog food bowl, and Bruce fed him a couple of hot dogs,” Pat laughs.

The Olsons contacted the Omaha couple, immediately certain that they had found Kelso.

Kelly and Chadd were in an Omaha supermarket when they got the call they had been waiting for. The Olsons, Kelly says, kindly offered to keep Kelso overnight, but Chadd and Kelly jumped into their vehicle and drove out to pick up their dog. They arrived in Waco around 10 p.m.

“It’s him, it’s so amazing,” Kelly says happily.

Kelso is very thin and shows signs of frostbite on his muzzle, Kelly says, but overall he seems to be in good shape. Chadd and Kelly have plans to get him in for a veterinarian checkup as soon as possible.

Kelso is very tired, Kelly reports. “He tried to jump up on the bed, but he was too weak.”

He is also reluctant to step outside, into the bitter cold, right now.

“If only he could talk . . . what stories would he tell of his 10 days out in the snow?” Kelly speculates.

Kelly came away from the ordeal feeling good.

“I’m amazed by peoples’ kindness,” she says. “It’s okay with us that we didn’t celebrate Christmas because of the accident . . . because we learned and gained so much more: the true gifts of kindness . . . from complete strangers.

“We thank all of you, Kelso thanks you,” she continues. “We promise to pay it forward when someone crosses our path of life in need of help as we were.”

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sketcher, blue heeler

Story of lost dog ends well: 'Sketcher' found under North Cohoe porch
By Joseph Robertia | Peninsula Clarion
Friday, July 24, 2009

Sometimes all it takes is time and a little bit of luck, and fortunately for Hollyn Smith of Homer, both were on her side this past week, as she has been reunited with her lost dog Sketcher.

"I got him back," said a jovial Smith on Thursday, in regard to her 12-year-old blue heeler that ran away on Sunday after if had been frightened at the Kasilof River mouth by people shooting off fireworks.

"A gal that lives on North Cohoe found him under her porch this morning, and when she went to work someone told her about one of the posters," Smith said.

The women drove up to the Kasilof Post office, where Smith had hung a "lost dog" poster. She believed the dog she had under her deck matched the dog in the picture, so she called Smith's friend, Nicole, who lives locally.

"Nicole went to her house and lured my dog out from under her porch with multiple pieces of beef jerky. Meanwhile, another friend of mine, L.B., had driven up to take a look for me," Smith said.

Since Smith's two friends knew the dog, but didn't actually own it, they wanted to be sure they had the right blue heeler before they claimed it.

"I was on the phone with both of them and they were describing him. 'He's got black ears? White on his forehead?' It sounded like they were pretty sure it was him," she said.

Just getting off work from the Salty Dog on the Homer Spit, Smith raced up the Sterling Highway and met L.B. in Anchor Point.

"Sure enough it was Sketcher," Smith said.

She called to thank the woman, who ended up being Marie "Meezie" Hermansen -- a veterinarian at Soldotna Animal Hospital -- who had found her dog, and learned she had cared for it while it lived under her home.

"The dog found me I guess, but since I'm a veterinarian, I guess he picked the right house," Hermansen said.

Smith said Harmansen took care of Sketcher like he was her own.

"When I called to thank her, she told me she'd given him food and water. He'd mostly been interested in the food. My friends had also both brought luring treats they were carrying with them in case they found him. So, consequently, Sketcher was not hungry when we arrived home," she said.

Rather than wanting to eat, Sketcher seemed worn out from his several days on the lam.

"He was very tired and got lots of love from myself and my daughters. When I hugged him he seemed tense, but soon relaxed and fell right asleep. He's tired from his three-day adventure and seems quite happy to be home," Smith said.

Hermansen said she did not want the reward that was offered, and instead suggested Smith put the reward money toward getting the dog a microchip or some other form of permanent identification.

"At the very least, Sketcher will soon have a new collar with an ID on it," Smith said.

Smith said she also wanted to thank all the people who called with sightings of Sketcher before he was found. It gave her the hope she needed to believe she would get him back.

"If it weren't for people seeing and paying attention to the posters, I may not have gotten him back so quickly. Thank you for your time," she said.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Puppers, cocker-retriever mix

Chip reunites dog, owners
By Dustin Gardiner, Deseret Morning News
Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 7:33 p.m.

MDT - Thanks to a microchip smaller than a grain of rice, the Bankhead family was reunited Wednesday with sandy-colored cocker-retriever mix Puppers nearly three years after he went missing.

Puppers disappeared from the family's fenced yard while family members were out running errands. The Bankheads looked everywhere and called all the local animal shelters but were unable to find Puppers.

Then, out of the blue, Puppers turned up at the South Salt Lake Animal Shelter on Wednesday morning, and with the help of a high-tech microchip scanner, shelter officials were able to link the dog to the Bankheads.

Dan Bankhead said his family was shocked when they got the call that Puppers had been found.

"He looks healthy," Bankhead said. "He may be a bit dirty and shabby, but we're excited to have him back after more than 2 1/2 years."

Bankhead said his son, Dalin, 9, had a special relationship with the dog and was deeply saddened when Puppers disappeared.

"The dog wouldn't let Dalin go anywhere without him," he said.

Dalin Bankhead eagerly greeted Puppers when they were finally reunited.

The Bankheads are unsure how Puppers got out of their yard, but Dan Bankhead said he believes someone probably took Puppers, because the dog had gained weight, suggesting that he had not been living on the street for long.

Officials at South Salt Lake Animal Services said that it is important for owners to have microchips implanted in their pets. Once a chip is implanted, it is important to tell Animal Services when an owner's contact information changes.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Man, Dog Reunited After Shelter Mix-Up
Mount Juliet Woman Adopted Dog, Called Owner
Reported By Tressa Bush
September 18, 2007

Gary Neal said his dog, Pumpkinhead, ran away on July 21 and was missing for almost seven weeks.

According to records, Pumpkinhead was picked up by Animal Control on July 22, but Neal said when he called the Sumner County Animal Shelter, he was told they had no dog that matched the description that he gave.

“I though I’d never be able to see him again,” Neal said.

But last Thursday, Neal said he got a phone call from a Mount Juliet woman who said she adopted Pumpkinhead from the Sumner County Shelter on Aug. 10.

She said she wanted to return the animal because he seemed so sad.

Neal said he just can't understand how this sort of thing happened because Pumpkinhead was wearing his identification tag when he was picked up.

Neal said when Pumpkinhead went missing, he was wearing three tags on which his phone number was engraved.

He was confused that if the woman found the tags, why didn’t the shelter?

The shelter's records show that only one tag was registered and that workers made two calls to the number on it. The records indicate they left a message once and that there was no answer the second time.

Documents show the officer that took Pumpkinhead to the shelter listed him as a terrier, not a poodle mix which may be one reason for the mix-up.

Neal said he harbored no hard feelings for anyone, but offered some advice to other pet owners: “If you get a dog that gets loose, make sure you go there. Don't take their word for it. Go and you make sure you ask the questions and you visually see the dog.”

The shelter's director did not return phone calls made for an interview.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Luna, American bulldog

Deaf Dog Returns Home Nine Days After Escaping Hospital
by Michelle Toglia
Jan 14th 2010 @ 1:00PM

Luna, a deaf American bulldog mix, was found and returned to her owners in good health after she escaped her boarding pen at Shaker Veterinary Hospital in Latham, N.Y. on January 2, reports

When the rescue dog ran away, Ralph and Shelley Rataul feared the worst for the family pet. Shelley posted an $800 reward, which consisted of their money, donations and a contribution from the Veterinary hospital, reports Albany's Times Union.

The 4-year-old dog was found when a couple discovered her in their backyard and recognized her from a story that appeared in the Times Union the previous week. They called the hospital after the frightened dog refused to go into their house.

The couple who found Luna refused both the money and recognition for their good deed. They said they'd like the reward to go to charity instead.

Rataul told the Times Union that half of the money will be donated to the ASPCA and the other half to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in the name of the couple who found Luna.

While it took a while for Luna to recognize Rataul when he came to the couple's backyard, once she realized it was him, the pooch leaped into the arms of her joyful owner.

"She's not an outdoors dog, not a hunting dog, but some instinctual stuff must have kicked in," Rataul told the Times Union about his dog's survival. Vets said Luna lost about 12 pounds during her nine-day flee.

Luna's escape didn't just affect her worried family. When word got around town that Luna disappeared from the hospital, 200 volunteers devoted their lunch breaks and after work hours to searching for her in woods, parks and even via Facebook.

Dee Deen's Tavern, a nearby eatery, left prime rib outside when they heard about the missing dog, reports the Times Union.

Security footage in the hospital revealed that Luna pushed open her crate and made it past three doors. Ken Wolfe, assistant director of the hospital told the Times Union it was the first time a dog has ever walked out the hospital door before. Wolfe says the hospital has now changed their locks.

As for Luna, the wandering dog will now sport her very own dog GPS.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Millie, Australian shepherd

Dog trapped for 3 weeks reunited with owner
Pat Reavy, Deseret News
Monday, Dec. 7, 2009

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Family members say it was a remarkable reunion Sunday when their dog — who police believe survived being trapped in a storm drain for three weeks — was discovered and rescued.

Sue Garr holds her dog, Millie, who went missing for three weeks and was found in a storm drain on Sunday.

When Susan Garr got home from work on Nov. 13 she discovered her dog was missing from the backyard.

Millie, a 2-year-old Australian shepherd, had a bad habit of jumping over their 6-foot fence, Garr said. She thought Millie had gotten out and likely was picked up by officers from Animal Control, which wouldn't be open until Monday.

"I assumed she was in doggie jail," Garr said.

But on that Monday, Garr learned none of the local animal shelters had picked up her dog. She called the Cottonwood Heights Animal Control officer assigned to her case constantly, doing everything she could to find her dog.  Three weeks went by, however, and there was no sign of Millie.

"We thought she was going to be dead," Garr said.

That changed, however, when a 15-year-old was walking home from the store near 2600 East and Ft. Union Blvd. The girl heard the dog barking and called 911.

Police and fire crews opened up the drain and the dog jumped out. Right away, animal control officers knew it was Millie.

"We really do think she had been down there three and a half weeks," Garr said. "She was dirty and very, very happy to see us. She's a tough little girl."

The Garrs live near 3000 East and 7200 South. Neither they nor police were exactly sure Monday how Millie got into the storm drain.

Millie had lost 13 pounds but is otherwise OK. Garr believes she was able to survive by drinking water in the storm drain and eating a diet of garbage and mice. Because she was six feet underground in the pipes, Millie was protected from the recent winter weather and cold temperatures.

Monday, Garr said Millie was home and "smells good again."

Garr and her husband called the young girl who found Millie and thanked her. They also noted that Millie would now be kept indoors when they weren't at home.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jake, beagle

Skittish Lost Dog Caught with Humane Trap
January 2, 2010
Danielle Robertson, Compassionate Pet Services

Western Massachusetts - Jake, a beagle, had only been living with his new family for three weeks when he broke his leash and took off running after a squirrel on Christmas Eve.

Over the next couple days, his owners and other people saw him numerous times, but he kept running away from everyone who tried to approach him.

He was even seen one day standing across the street from his own home, but when his owner ran outside and called him, he took off again.

Based on sightings and tracks in the snow, Jake appeared to be staying primarily along a narrow ½ mile stretch of land along the Connecticut River that included several people’s yards, some woods, and a couple abandoned buildings.

On December 29th, the family checked with the local animal control officer and found they were able to get a humane trap to use, and Jake was almost trapped in it at one point. However, he escaped when the trap didn’t close properly, and they determined that a larger trap was needed. By this point, Jake’s family was very concerned because the nights were frigid cold and windy, dipping into the single digits.

The family put out a call for the loan of a larger humane trap, and over the next couple of days, several concerned citizens responded to the call by dropping off no fewer than three medium to large dog traps.

All of the traps were set up along the river in locations where Jake had been seen repeatedly. One motion-sensitive wildlife camera was also set up to see if Jake was approaching one of the traps but not entering it. Due to the cold temperatures, the traps had to be checked every couple hours. and were closed for part of the night.

By Friday, January 1st, Jake was photographed on the wildlife camera once as he ran past one of the traps. But other than that, he did not even appear to be going near the traps and eating the food in the entrance. However, the traps had caught several cats.

Finally, on the morning of January 2nd, nine days after his escape, Jake was caught in one of the large humane dog traps and was reunited with his family. His paws were bloody and worn and he had a scratch on his face, but Jake was otherwise okay and happy to be home with his new family.

More information about Compassionate Pet Services in Western Massachusetts is found at their website -

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mickey, Boston terrier

Lost dog reunited with family after four years
Missouri pooch turns up in Montana; microchip helped track down owners
April 10, 2007

If Mickey could talk — boy, what a story he might tell about his last four years roaming the states of the Midwest.

But Mickey is a Boston terrier, so you'll just have to imagine what it was like for him traveling at least 1,100 miles before he was finally reunited with his family last week.

What we do know is that Mickey left the Jarosz family's backyard in suburban Kansas City, on his own or with help, in 2003. Last week, an older and grayer Mickey was reunited with the family thanks to the help of a microchip implanted in the dog and a veterinarian in Billings, Mont., who took an interest in learning where he came from.

“It wasn't like him to wander off, but if someone came up to him, he was friendly and he would have gone up to him,” Cher Jarosz said during a live appearance Tuesday on TODAY with Mickey and other family members.

The family assumed Mickey was stolen, and gave up looking for him after awhile. But they never forgot about him, even after the family moved to a nearby city.

Lost and found

Fast forward four years to March 28, 2007. Cher Jarosz's daughter, Kari Mitchell, received a telephone call from a friend and former co-worker at a veterinary clinic who implanted the microchip above Mickey's shoulder blade.

“She said, ‘You are never going to believe this. You need to pull over if you are driving. We found Mickey,’ ” Mitchell said.

The friend explained that a veterinarian in Billings had traced the microchip back to Missouri and the Jarosz family after a woman, who had found Mickey roaming the streets, dropped him off at an animal shelter there.

It took almost a week for the family to prove that Mickey belonged in Missouri, but he was finally returned April 3, no worse for the wear. His black and white coat is more gray now, and his teeth are worn down, but Mickey seems to be assimilating well.

As for where he has been, and what he has seen and done all that time away, only Mickey knows.

“So you will probably never find out then what happened to Mickey?” TODAY host Meredith Vieira asked.

“No clue ... No one's come forward,” Cher Jarosz said.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Flower, boxer

El Paso woman's lost dog found in Ohio
Posted: July 14, 2009 06:44 PM EDT
Updated: July 24, 2009 12:39 PM EDT
by ABC-7 Reporter Darren Hunt

EL PASO, Texas -- How important is it to microchip your dog? First of all it's the law, and it could come in handy when your pets get lost, no matter how far they get.

A boxer named Flower disappeared from Northeast El Pasoan Christina Mata's backyard last January. Mata thought all was lost until she received a very long-distance phone call.

"It's funny, but sometimes I would dream about her that she came back home ... But it never happened ... I was kind of giving up," she said.  Then Mata heard her phone ring. It was a call from Brunswick, Ohio's animal warden, about 1,800 miles away.

"He said, 'I have your dog ...Do you know how she ended up in Ohio?' I said, 'I don't know'," Mata said.

If dogs could talk, Mata says Flower would have quite a story to tell. But since she can't, the microchip Mata put in her dog a few years ago spoke for her.

"It's good for them to know your dog's information so they can get ahold of you so you can get them back," Mata said.

The problem is, according to El Paso Animal Control, despite the fact it's the law, less than 25 percent of the pets in El Paso are microchipped.

Alvaro Medina is a veterinarian for the city health department, and he called Flower's journey a microchipping success story.

"That's a great story ... it happens once in a while and that shows the importance of microchipping," Medina said.

He said more than a hundred people a day come looking for their lost pets at El Paso Animal Control.

"Unfortunately, a lot of dogs don't get reunited with the owners, especially if they're not microchipped," Medina said.

West El Pasoan Tara Corkran said her lost pit bull Doobie is microchipped, and because of that she is holding out hope for his return.

"Hopefully somebody will turn him in and find him with the chip," Corkran said.

Just like Flower. "She's like part of the family," Medina said.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ham, bulldog

Bulldog lost in blizzard found after 11 frigid days
By: Sarah Horner, News Tribune
Published January 05 2010

After surviving more than 11 days outside in the bitter cold, including a spell in which temperatures plummeted well below zero, a dog lost during the Duluth blizzard on Christmas Eve was found alive Monday morning.

Ham was found Monday, after surviving more than 11 days outside in the cold.

Ham, a year-old bulldog belonging to Kevin and Meegan Holubar, was found whimpering on the front steps of Cheryl Lowney’s home on Jean Duluth Road about 6:30 a.m. Monday.

“I kept hearing these strange little noises but I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from,” she said. “Finally, I opened the front door and there was this big face plastered on the window…

I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this must be the little Ham dog.’ ”

After checking the dog’s tags, Lowney discovered it was in fact Ham, but 30 pounds lighter than his regular 80-pound frame and dusted with patches of frostbite inside of his right hind leg and on part of his face. Despite the early hour, Lowney, also a dog-owner, called the Holubars right away.

“I woke up to [a] phone call with someone saying they thought they had my dog… obviously that kind of jolts you right out of bed,” Kevin said. “All things considered, for being out in the cold and in the elements for 11.5 days, it’s pretty much a miracle.”

The Twin Cities couple lost the dog, who was the ring bearer in their wedding this summer, while visiting family in Duluth for the holidays. Kevin Holubar took Ham out, on a leash, for a bathroom break Christmas Eve and lost the dog in the snowstorm. When he tried to run after Ham, Holubar was hit by a car and twisted his ankle and bruised his leg. Despite his injuries, Kevin, Meegan and their family and friends kept up the search. They spent all weekend looking for the dog and were out again this past weekend.

They received a glimmer of hope Saturday when they got a call from someone who said he spotted the dog while snowmobiling, but the Holubars still weren’t able to track him down.

“We never gave up hope,” Kevin said, “but we obviously got a little worried when the temperatures got so cold.”

The couple drove up to Duluth Monday to retrieve Ham, who they said still seems very tired and cold but is starting to show signs of his personality again.

“He’s a big kisser and when we first got to him, we bent down and he came over and licked our faces a little bit,” Kevin said. “Then he went back and sat by the heat register.”

A trip to the vet Monday reaffirmed what the Holubars were hoping: That with some antibiotics and a special diet to help him gain back the lost weight, Ham will be fine.

“We are just so happy to have our family back together again,” Kevin said. “He is not leaving anyone’s eyesight for a long time.”

The couple said they owe a lot of credit to Lowney, who turned down a $500 reward offered for Ham. Lowney said it didn’t feel right accepting the money.

“The reward was the good feeling I got,” she said. “When I called them with the news, [Kevin] said ‘You made our New Year,’ and I said, ‘You know what, I think you made mine.’ You don’t know how happy I was to see them that happy; it was the best feeling.”


Friday, January 8, 2010

Cinnamon, 16 years old

Family dog found after being lost for a month
By Tom Weber, Post-Bulletin
Sun, Jan 3, 2010 PB Online

Rochester MN  Rue and Rob Wiegand left for a Christmas trip to Wisconsin with heavy hearts. Their beloved 16-year-old dog, Cinnamon, had wandered away from their southeast Rochester home Nov. 29, and despite 1,500 fliers, newspaper ads and the help of Safehaven and Rochester Rescue, the dog could not be found.

"I still had a glimmer of hope, but we had pretty much decided that at her age and with such horrid weather conditions, there was no way she could have survived," Rue recalled.

This Christmas story, however, would have a happy ending. On Christmas night, Zelda and Tom Berg, neighbors of the Wiegands, heard a wimpering outside their house. At first, Zelda thought it was a cat. The Bergs went outside with a flashlight and traced the sound to a window well. There, half-buried in mud and snow, was Cinnamon.

"I knew it was her right away," Zelda said. "I knew the color. She was shivering and she was filthy, but it was her."

The Bergs wrapped Cinnamon in a coat and brought her into their warm house. Then Zelda got on the phone to make a Christmas wish come true for the Wiegands.

"I called and told them 'I've got a Christmas surprise for you. I've found your dog, and she's alive,'" she said.

Rue Wiegand pets her 16-year-old dog Cinnamon Saturday at her Rochester home. Cinnamon is recovering after she went missing November 29 and was found by a neighbor on Christmas day.

Because of treacherous roads, the Wiegands were not able to start for home until the next day. Meanwhile, another friend took Cinnamon to the Emergency Veterinary Service in Rochester. The dog's weight had dropped from 61 pounds to 36 pounds, and x-rays detected rocks and a nail in Cinnamon's stomach. She would need immediate intervention with a feeding tube and IV fluids to survive.

The Wiegands got back to Rochester that evening to find Cinnamon extremely weak and unresponsive. However, her condition began to gradually improve, and after spending most of Dec. 28 at the office of her regular vet, Dr. Peter Hoffman, Cinnamon was ready to come home.

"Everyday she's getting stronger," Rue said. "She's more steady on her feet. For an old dog, she's got a lot of determination."

But this isn't just a dog story. As far as the Wiegands are concerned, people are a big part of Cinnamon's rescue. "I've had so many strangers call me out of the blue," Rue said. Volunteers organized by Rochester Rescue have raised $1,500 to help pay Cinnamon's veterinary bills.

"We never expected anything like that," Rue said. "Who would have thought people could be so wonderful?"

Apparently one lost dog thought enough of her own wonderful people to finally find her way home.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ben, Australian Shepherd

This story involves a wonderful organization called the Animal Media Foundation, whose mission is to facilitate collaborations between the entertainment industry and animal welfare organizations.  Members of the organization stepped in to help find this dog,

McCallum: The Power Of Community
Monday, 12/28/09 7:55am on Commentary Series
By Mary McCallum

When she recently volunteered to find a frightend dog on the run, commentator Mary McCallum was reminded that the spirit of community is still strong in Vermont.

Ben is flanked by his foster mom Sharon, who came up from Pennsylvantia, and Mary McCallum (VPR commentator). Bloodhound Thurber, who tracked Ben, gets attention from Carol Scafuro of the Animal Media Foundation.

(MCCALLUM) At the end of November a reminder about the power of community in Vermont arrived on four feet - or you might say paws. A young Australian Shepherd had been adopted by a Vermont family through an Aussie rescue group in Pennsylvania. Ben was in Vermont less than 48 hours when the family's horse frightened him and he fled, terrified. He dragged with him the metal screw stake, still attached to his nylon lead, which was fastened to the collar that his new owner had just tightened.

The two year-old pup, who had come from a suburban environment, ran for the hills into a strange new landscape. In 24 hours, a volunteer from Vermont's own Aussie rescue organization began a one-man search & rescue operation in the southeastern part of the state. In a matter of days it swelled to eighteen volunteers. With the speed of email, word spread swiftly among animal advocates, Aussie lovers, humane societies and rescue groups. The possibilty that this dog might be wrapped around a tree with a leash and stake attached to him created an urgency that got boots on the ground.

Flyers with a photo of a smiling tri-colored Aussie were posted widely, a local weekly put him on the front page with the headline "Please Help Find Ben," and searchers knocked on doors and stopped vehicles in the area asking for sightings.

And sighted he was - a couple saw him eating from a dead turkey on the side of the road ten days after he ran, and another couple 9 miles from his home reported that they had shooed him from their yard one night, unaware that he was a runaway.

A woman from a town near the Canadian border brought down her large bloodhound and put him on the trail after letting him sniff Ben's dogbrush. They trekked over hill and dale for 3 days, tracing the trail of a dog on a frantic search for food and shelter. Twelve days after Ben took flight, the foster mom who had surrendered him, drove from Pennsylvania to Vermont and spent a cold weekend retracing the trail with volunteers. On Day Thirteen, one hour before the first snowstorm of the season hit, she stood in a field at the end of a road where Ben had once been seen, and called his name. And he came, collarless. The reunion was the stuff of movies.

Dogs are lost every day. The lucky ones are reunited with their humans while others suffer hunger, exposure, speeding cars and predators. Ben, who was searched for and finally found by strangers who had never met him or his adoptive family, is what I call The Understory. He is emblematic of The Larger Story, the one about how Vermonters join together when the call for help goes out.

Ben and Thurber, the bloodhound that tracked him for several days

Whether it's combing the woods searching for someone else's dog or showing up to stack wood for a sick neighbor, Vermonters know how important it is to lend a hand when someone needs it, be they neighbor or stranger. That's community, and why so many of us choose to stay.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Edmond family reunites kidnapped dog with owners
Published: April 28, 2009

Pumpkin is safe and sound.

The dog, missing since early April when a man didn’t make good on a ransom deal, was reunited with his owners today by an Edmond family that took him in without knowing his story, owner Stephanie David said.

Stephanie David, 40, and daughter Skylar, 1, were reunited with their dog Pumpkin on Tuesday. Pumpkin had been kidnapped and held for ransom.

Stephanie David, 40, and daughter Skylar, 1, were reunited with their dog Pumpkin on Tuesday. Pumpkin had been kidnapped and held for ransom.

A caller told David early this month he had taken David’s car and Pumpkin and demanded ransom, David said. She and her husband wired him money, but he did not tell them where he had taken the car and dog. Oklahoma City police found the car, but not the dog, April 17.

About the same time, an area Realtor noticed a dog had been trapped inside a vacant office for several days, David said. He found a key nearby, used it to open the door and took the dog to a veterinarian, and an Edmond family looking to adopt a pet took the canine home.

This week, the veterinarian called the family to say the dog looked like Pumpkin, whose story appeared in the April 23 edition of The Oklahoman, David said. The family contacted David, who lives in The Colony, Texas, on Monday night, and she drove to Edmond this morning to pick up Pumpkin.

Police arrested Kim R. Turnquist, 34, in connection with the stolen car. David, 40, said she and her husband hired Turnquist to do roofing work for them in Texas, and they loaned him their car so he could go to a job in Oklahoma City, also asking him to pet sit Pumpkin while David vacationed in California.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Arabia, German shepherd

Lost dog, found fallen through thin ice, is reunited with Springfield family
By Patrick Johnson, Republican staff
December 23, 2009, 6:46PM

Arabia the German Shephard is shown with her owners and the two Springfield police officers who rescued her. From left to right are Det. James L. McCoy, Sharayvia A. Ayala, 17, her mother Erica M. Williams, and Lt. Kevin R. Wood.

SPRINGFIELD – Arabia is going home for the holidays.

The 16-month old German Shepherd, rescued early Tuesday by Springfield police after she was found fallen through the ice on Watershops Pond, was reunited with her family Wednesday afternoon at the T.J. O’Connor Animal Shelter.

Erica M. Williams of 34 Rochelle St. claimed Arabia at the T.J. O’Connor Animal Shelter, concluding a hectic 36 hours for the family that lost its dog and a dog that lost its way home.

“It’s OK as long as we got her for the holiday,” Williams said.

She said they last saw Arabia after they let her out in the back yard late Monday night. The yard is fenced in, but Arabia must have pushed the gate open or figured out how to unlock it with her nose, Williams said.

They just moved into the house earlier this week, she said.

When she discovered Arabia was missing, it set off a frantic search of the neighborhood that was unsuccessful, she said.

She said she didn’t know until later the dog had been rescued from the ice on Watershops Pond near Alden and Middlesex streets. Police spotted the dog trapped in the water about 40 yards off shore at about 1 a.m. Arabia was rescued by Lt. Kevin Wood and off-duty detective James L. McCoy.

McCoy, who lives near the pond, saw the commotion and went home to get his pontoon boat that was used by he and Wood to rescue the dog. Both officers were on hand for the reunion. A grateful Williams called them “My super cops.”

Woods said “I’m glad she’s going back to her owner. That’s great.”

It cost Williams $500 to retrieve the dog, mostly because she had no proof that the dog was properly registered or was current with its rabies and distemper vaccinations.

“We could not be happier for Arabia and her family, but it’s a very valuable lesson to be learned,” said Pam Peebles, executive director of the T.J. O’Connor facility said “People should have their pets micro-chipped, be vaccinated and licensed, and have identification on the animal at all times.”

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jake, boxer

Dog and owners reunited after nearly two years apart
Posted on January 1, 2010 at 10:38 PM

FORT WORTH ― After a long, strange journey, it's the moment of truth for Jake the boxer.

A family is waiting to see if he is the beloved pet who vanished nearly two years ago from his home in northwest Fort Worth.

Brian and Bobbie Jo Bishop had no reason to believe they would ever see him again.

He's grayer and leaner than they remember, but there's no doubt it's him.

"Your momma never gave up on you," Bobbie Jo Bishop said during the tearful reunion.

Jake disappeared in 2008 after a spring storm damaged the fence in the Bishop's backyard, but they also have to wonder whether someone stole him.

They knew Jake remembered his name when he wagged his tail as they called to him.

The Bishops found Jake's old collar out in the street near their home after he disappeared. They walked the neighborhood for weeks calling his name, putting up posters and trying not to give up hope.

"Such a good dog," Brian Bishop said as he blew in Jake's face.

Brian Bishop searched animal shelters for months. His wife never stopped looking online. A few days ago, she spotted a photo on the Web site for Legacy Boxer Rescue.

"This picture and that … It's the same dog," Bobby Jo Bishop said.

Animal control had picked him up as a stray. Legacy rescue got him out of a shelter.

"I don't know where he went,” Brian Bishop said. “It's baffling. Someone had him for a year. Thank God they took care of him. He's the same sweet dog as when we lost him."

"This is what it's all about," said Kim Ashley, rescue volunteer. Ashley said of the 1,500 dogs they've saved, Jake is just the fourth to be reunited with his family and maybe the first to celebrate New Years.

"Jake, I missed you," Bobby Jo Bishop said as she kissed the dog.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Cydney, border collie

Woman reunited with stolen dog
by Steve Bodinet
Wednesday, Nov 18 2009

AVONDALE -- A West Valley woman whose truck and dog were stolen from a Costco on Monday has been reunited with her beloved canine.

Someone from 51st Avenue and Broadway Road brought the dog to the Maricopa County Care & Control facility at 27th Avenue and Durango Street.

What a difference a day makes. Tuesday Debbie Parmely was in tears, trying to find her lost dog – a border collie named Cydney. Wednesday there were more tears, but these were happy ones, because Cydney is home once again.

"Oh my gosh, it’s an awesome day,” she told 3TV. “I just, I can’t even believe it!”

Believe it or not, Debbie Parmely's beloved Miss Cydney, who was lost, has been found.

"Someone from 51st Avenue and Broadway brought her in,” Parmely said.

Someone brought her to the county's Animal Care and Control. Cydney had been missing since Monday, when Parmely's truck was stolen from a Costco parking lot at 99th Avenue McDowell Road. The pup was inside.

Parmely was heartbroken when we talked to her about her loss Tuesday.

"I don’t care about the truck,” she cried. ‘It was my dog that was inside.”

The 12-year-old border collie seems to be handling her ordeal well.

“She’s got her mom back and her dad back and she’s home,” Parmely said Wednesday. “She’s happy now. She’s like ‘OK, I’m OK. My mom’s back so it’s a good day.’”

After we aired Cydney's story, Parmely says many of you, our viewers, offered help.

"So many people have seen Channel 3 on TV and seen my story and I just want to thank everybody, and thank Channel 3, and it’s an awesome, awesome day.”

Debbie Parmely told 3TV her truck has also been found -- in Casa Grande.


AVONDALE — It happens to thousands of Arizonans each year. They walk out of a store to find their vehicle stolen. But a West Valley woman is brokenhearted; not about losing the truck, but about losing what was inside.

Debbie Parmely is without her best friend, a 12-year-old border collie named Miss Cydney. She lost her beloved pet when someone stole her truck.

"Cydney was the sweetest dog," Parmely told 3TV. "She couldn't hurt a flea."

She left the pup in her truck Monday as she made a quick dash into a Costco at 99th Avenue and McDowell Road.

"I walked over to the spot where I knew I was parked, and I had just washed my truck so I saw all the water from where it had dripped off," Parmely recalled. "I knew my truck was right there, and it was gone."

Gone with Cydney inside.

"Cydney just goes with me everywhere," Parmely explained.

Parmely made a quick call to 911 hoping she just lost track of where she parked in the Costco lot.

"The police came and it was stolen -- they had some surveillance cameras there and they saw three guys in a white Dodge pickup pull up, got inside my truck and started it and took off with it," she said.

Parmely's stolen truck is a 2005 Ford F-350 with extended cab and short bed. It is a dark green four-door with Arizona license plate #CF51050.

"If they would have just taken the truck, that's not a big deal," Parmely cried. "And if I knew my dog had died or something, I could deal with that. But not knowing what she's going through right now is heartbreaking."