Friday, April 30, 2010

Roo, chihuahua

Pooch pilferers popped
Pair arrested for allegedly taking and holding Chihuahua for ransom
By Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor

Roo, a 7-month-old Chihuahua, was safely returned to her owner after a couple allegedly tried to hold her for ransom.

A missing pooch, a ransom demand and a sting operation reunited a distraught dog owner with her precious pet and landed two people behind bars.

It all began Saturday evening when Britney Parkerton stopped to gas up at the 76 station at 191 Iron Point Road in Folsom.

Roo, her Chihuahua, slipped out of the vehicle and was allegedly found wandering in the parking lot by a couple that took the dog.

The wandering pooch was microchipped and wearing an identity collar so Parkerton said she wasn’t worried. A short time later, she said a man called to say he had her 7-month-old dog.

According to Parkerton, he said he would return the dog for $200.

She then called the Folsom Police Department.

Officers devised a plan to get the pooch back and contacted the alleged dognapper.

“We offered (the suspect) $600 if he brought the dog back to Folsom,” said Officer Jason Browning, police department spokesman. “Driven by greed, the suspect agreed.”

After nearly four hours since Roo went missing, a black Chevrolet Camaro drove into the gas station parking lot.

“A subject placed Roo back into Parkerton’s car and removed an envelope containing the requested ransom,” Browning said.

About a block away from the transaction, police apprehended Adonison Gunther, 31, of Oakland and Marison Jackson, 21, of Elk Grove.

The alleged pooch-pilfering pair was booked into Sacramento County Jail on charges of extortion, possession of stolen property and conspiracy.


Also see this version for pics of the perps!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tundra, Great Pyrenees

Missing Great Pyrenees Missing 3-1/2 Months Found in Tennessee
- K9 Kare
Date: 3/15/2010

Pet Sleuths, K9 Kare and her search and rescue dog named Loyal, spent three days in Western Tennessee to solve the case of the missing Great Pyrenees and help reunite the family with their lost pet after it ran away and was missing for 3-1/2 months from December to March 2010. We ruled out a half dozen bad leads out in the surrounding county. Finally, we tracked this dog's scent to a reliable food source that had been established by a local rescue group to aid feral cats. The dog was witnessed being picked up at a local business by a man claiming it was his dog. We got a description of the man with a ponytail and his older model 4-wheel drive vehicle.

It took two days working with local police and sheriffs departments to have our witness check a photo line up so we hopefully could identify the man in question. I was getting nowhere so I contacted the Police Chief in person. It turns out he too is an animal lover and allowed us to file a theft of property report to lawfully develop a digital lineup. However, after receiving the cooperation of both departments our witness became reluctant to help identify the man she saw. We knew through scent and eye-witness accounts that the dog escaped from the man's vehicle at a Tractor Supply Company. He had been seen at this location several times so I instructed the owner to keep our flyers on the bulletin board at his location and to inform every employee there that we believed the dog had been stolen and a police report had been filed. Everyday, the owner went back to this location to find only her Lost Dog Poster was removed while others remained undisturbed. This went on for days confirming our suspicions that someone at this location knew the man in question.

Within a few days, the dog either escaped again or was released by the man. I suspect it was the later and released the dog for fear of prosecution for property theft.

It took several more weeks to track the Great Pyrenees, named Tundra down The owner called me excited that someone had called stating a couple had her dog but they were traveling and took the dog with them but would return the dog in a few days. The owner spoke with the couple in possession of the dog and they even verified the dog had a broken lower canine tooth. The owner patiently waited for their return only to discover that it was not her dog, Tundra after all. It was another false lead!

The owner was devastated but I encouraged her to continued canvassing as instructed and about a week later she got the call that her dog had been spotted in the county just outside of town. She rushed over and found her dog. Initially, the dog didn't seem to recognize her and wouldn't respond to her name. With a little coxing Tundra gladly took the offer of a car ride and settled right down. The dog was taken to the vets immediately and was treated for lacerations of her paws and de-wormed.

The owner called me that evening to share the good news. She felt she had learned so much the experience of working with Pet Sleuths that she offered to start a local chapter and join us to reunite other families with their lost pets and work toward the prevention of lost pets. Bless her heart!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

BooBoo, Boston Terrier

Granny Bee (BooBoo) Reunited with Family After 24 hour Adventure
by kristin, Ready Vet Go
Friday, 10 October 2008 21:03

Yesterday one of our neighbors who live in the condos next door found an old blind and deaf dog shivering and cold in a parking lot in NE Portland. They picked her up and brought her to us for an evaluation and to see what they could do.

Granny Bee

She didn't have a collar or tags. We scanned her for a microchip with no luck but did find a tatoo on her belly and inside of her ear. She appeared to be well fed and had a nice haircoat but was blinded by cataracts and had a terrible mouth infection with rotten teeth. She appeared to be around 15 years old.

Aaron and Kate were at a loss on what to do with her. They have a dog of their own and weren't sure how they'd get along but they were really worried about her and wanted to help. We decided that she could stay with us while we started putting out Found Dog ads, contacting the veterinarians in the areas where she was found, registering her on the Dove Lewis website, contacting Boston Rescue and researching a tatoo database. Our neighbors agreed to put up posters in the area she was found and would drive her wherever she needed to go.

While Daniela set to work following leads and making proper notifications, we set her up a nice warm bed and got her some food. If she was staying with us we needed to call her something. Nurse Melissa's friend has a boston terrier named Killer Bee and so I decided Granny Bee would be the perfect name for our guest.

She ate and drank and, after exploring every inch of her large kennel, she settled down. We took turns offering her food, petting her and taking her out and we alternated between making up stories about what could have happened wondering how a geriatric blind and deaf dog ended up in a parking lot and trying to figure out what we were going to do with her. We couldn't send her to the shelter - she needed TLC. Could we find a rescue? What medical care should we give her and when should we start? Could we really find her family?

We started off today like any other friday setting up for our surgery day with some added duties of taking care of Granny Bee. She walked well on a leash and was completely potty trained. Simon (Nurse Katie's cat) donated his red hooded sweatshirt to Granny Bee to help keep her warm. We put it on her and she looked so happy. We decided she should hang out up front with Daniela while we worked on our patients and Daniela continued the search. Daniela found a picture of an older Boston on Craig's List but it was an adoption success story. No lost dogs posted.

The tatoo registry didn't have Granny Bee's tatoo registered. The veterinarians in the area didn't have any dogs meeting her description. Daniela followed every lead but nothing was panning out. In the afternoon Kate came by to check on Granny Bee. She had been so worried about her all night and while she and Daniela were talking a call came was Granny Bee's family. We found out her name is really BooBoo and she had wandered out the door and made it 3 blocks down to the parking lot. The family was certain that BooBoo had been killed by a car and they were so happy when they saw our ad on Craig's list! They came down right away to get her. It turns out they were visiting from Canada and are leaving to go back tomorrow.

BooBoo (wearing Simon's donated Red Sweatshirt) and her mom

We couldn't believe it! Everyone was so happy. Including BooBoo! Even our clients that had come in that morning and heard her sad story were so delighted to hear that she was reunited with her family. When I think about BooBoo and all of the lives she touched and how she had everyone working together to help her, I remember why pets are so special - through our compassion for them we connect with others and that's what makes my job so great.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bruno, lab

Family reunites with lost dog
Found in Washington state, where they used to live
Thursday, 08 Apr 2010

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The Smiths lost their dog nearly two years ago when they lived in Washington State. Thursday, they got the lab back.

A year and a half ago, Liz and Grace Smith's dog Bruno dissappeared. After searching for eight months they feared he was dead.

"It's quite a phenomenon," said Liz Smith "We really thought he was dead."

But one week ago, a stranger showed up at a home 3,000 miles away in Seattle, Washington.

"When I was pulling up I kind of saw him cruising up the sidewalk," said Kristen Abercrombie.

Abercromie and Valarie Bennedict found Bruno during a storm. He was lost and wandering the street alone.

"He was really wet and just mud...covered in mud, pretty dirty," she said.

On a hunch, the women took the dog to a veterinarian to see if he had a microchip. He did.

"I expected him to be from the next block," Abercrombie said. "Not the family be in Virginia."

He had a home, a family and a name: Bruno.

Liz and her husband Rick moved from Washington State to Virginia Beach to join the Navy; forced to leave any hope of finding Bruno behind. But Easter weekend, Liz received an unexpected call from a vet in Seattle.

"She was like, 'Do you own a dog named Bruno?' We did. She was like 'We found him!'"

"I can't even think about math or anything," said Grace Smith. "I can't even think about ending spring break. I'm so excited."

Bruno made the 3,000 mile trip and landed Thursday morning. Now, the wait is over and the reunion complete.


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Monday, April 26, 2010

Bogart, pug

Police: Pizza delivery man stole dog for reward money
By Sean Emery
2010-01-11 15:15:02

IRVINE – Police have arrested a Santa Ana pizza delivery man who they say stole a dog from an Irvine residence in an attempt to collect reward money for the canine's return.
Audra, her 3-year-old pug Bogart and Officer Tapia celebrate the canine's return after what police call an attempted dognapping.

Authorities reunited Bogart, a 3-year-old pug, with his Irvine owner. Jose Eduardo Fimbres Urbina, 25, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft Jan. 3.

The dog-napping victim first noticed that Bogart was missing shortly before 9 p.m. on Jan. 2, after she had a pizza delivered to her home from a nearby restaurant, Irvine police Lt. John Hare said.

The woman and her friends searched her apartment complex in the 2000 block of Whispering Trails and an adjacent shopping center, but were unable to find the missing pug.

The woman asked Urbina if he knew anything about the missing dog. He denied any knowledge of the dog's disappearance, Hare said, but asked if there was any reward money being offered for its return.

The woman told Urbina that there was a reward, but didn't name a specific amount, Hare said.

The woman reported the dog's disappearance to police the next day.

Officers contacted Urbina during the investigation, at which point he acknowledged taking the dog, and brought them to his Santa Ana home to recover the missing pug, Hare said.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Tiny Chihuahua

Lost Dog
David, Leave Me Alone, I'm Digging Blogger
June 5, 2009...2:48 am

The tiny Chihuahua was obviously lost. She was running down the middle of Gracewood Drive, tail between her legs, oblivious to the cars driving too fast for the curving residential street. I stopped my car and called her, but she ran in the opposite direction. Motorists stared at the spectacle: a man pursuing a diminutive dog who had no intention of going with him.

An Asian woman, recognizing the problem, stopped her minivan, got out, and shooed the canine into a yard. A skinny young man smoking a cigarette got up from where he had been seated on the front steps and tried to corral the dog. Nobody wanted to pick her up. (Speaking for myself, some of the meanest dogs I’ve known have been small ones; I guess big dogs don’t have anything to prove.) Finally, we cornered the animal so that the only place she could flee to was into the open rear door of my Civic.

“I’ll take her home with me,” I said, and pointed out my street, in case anyone came looking for her.

The dog whimpered pitifully during the two-block drive to my house, and refused to get out of the car. Even my beef stew left over from lunch couldn’t coax her out. (I worry a little when an animal that licks its butt refuses to eat something I cooked.)

So I left her in the car while I went to eat supper. Meanwhile, a violent thunderstorm churned its way through Greensboro with thunder and lightning and torrential rains, and I knew there was no way the dog was going to get out in that.

I had a tutoring session to go to, and so there was no choice but to take my new charge with me. I drove through the deluge thinking that I needed a pair of outboard motors on the back of my car to navigate the river that flowed down West Market Street.

We made it to my student’s apartment, the Chihuahua and I, where I left her in the car with instructions to behave. I checked on her through the window a couple of times and saw her curled up asleep in the passenger seat, and wondered what, exactly, I was going to do with a tiny dog.

I stopped at Harris Teeter to pick up some dog food. She barked at me as I got back in the car, and seemed to be gaining a little confidence. When we arrived home, she bounded out of the car and followed me around the yard, her tail up in the air.

“She thinks she belongs to you,” Teresa said.

She also thought she was going inside. The rain began to fall again and the little creature began scratching at the back door. She was obviously a house dog–she knew how doors operated, but inside our house is a cat who, to put it mildly, would not take kindly to having her home invaded by a DOG. She would be in therapy for years.

And of course the dog had no intention of escaping the rain by going inside a trashcan turned on its side, even with a plate of food and a towel inside. So the only option was back to the car.

She wagged her tail and climbed in my lap.

“You can’t live in the car for the rest of your life, you know,” I told her. She licked my hand.

Just then, a pair of headlights appeared at the end of my street, moving slowly. Very slowly. A young girl’s voice called out from the open window.

“I think someone is looking for you,” I said to the dog.

I stepped into the street as the minivan approached. “Y’all looking for a dog?” I asked.

“Yes! A Chihuahua”

“I’ve got her in my car.”

I opened the door and the dog bounced up, dancing and wagging her tail. The girl scooped her up and kissed her. “I’ve been so worried about you,” she said.

The girl extended her hand in a very grown-up fashion. “Thank you so much for caring for her,” she said.

It was my pleasure.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Roxy, yellow lab

Mountains, Lost Dog, and a Happy Ending
Angelnina's Cottage
August 13, 2008 at 6:36 am

Mark and I jumped into the minivan on Saturday and headed for the mountains. We usually throw in the sleeping bags–just in case we wander too far. We ended up driving more than two hours looking for a place to eat lunch. We veered off the main road and took a winding dirt road which we followed for another forty minutes. I’m somewhat picky–must have mountain view, sun, no people close by, and a river.

We sat here and stared for quite a while. I did a little meditation and then I heard a commotion behind me on the dirt road. I saw a car driving by, then noticed the car was slowing down to a stop. I saw the passenger open her door and then I realized she was staring at me and then at something on the side of the road. I stood up, and the car drove off. Then, I saw the dog. It appeared to be a Yellow Labrador.

I knew there were no other people around, so I whistled and called out. The dog ran toward me, and she appeared exhausted. She was wet on one side of her body and she was making an odd coughing or wheezing noise. She looked weak and scared. There was no tail wagging. Something felt wrong.

After a few minutes of exchanging our “What do you think we should dos?”, we loaded her up into van and started driving. We were looking for people who appeared to be looking for a lost dog. We spotted a few Jeeps driving slowly down the side of the road, the men in the Jeeps were looking back and forth from one side of the road to the other.

I shouted out, “Hey, did you guys lose something?”

“Why, what did you find?”, came the smiling response.

“A dog.”

The guys kind of laughed and shouted out to the Jeep in front, “Hey, did one of you lose a dog?”

I wasn’t about to let this go on, so we drove off. I knew the Yellow Lab we found was well trained, and a dishonest person might claim her for their own. She was wearing tags with a veterinarian phone number, and she was currently licensed. Somebody would be missing her terribly. We decided to drive the two hours back to our home, and contact the vet as soon as possible.

The vet was closed, so I left a message. I found the vet’s office online and sent an email as well. I never received a response that night, so after feeding the dog, we plugged in a heater to warm the cottage, and gave her a queen sized comfortor to sprawl out on. She was exhausted. The cough was still there, and I was starting to become more concerned. I wondered if she was ill and needed medication, and I wondered if her owner/owners were in trouble somewhere in the woods. My intution told me she was simply lost, but when I went to bed that evening, the dog started to howl. It was a sad and lonely howl.

Sunday morning, Mark and I were cooking pancakes, when we received a call from the vet! Aw, her name is Roxy (What is it with me and animals named Roxy?) , and she’s four years old! The vet gave me the details– owner’s name, address, and phone numbers. The vet had tried to reach the owner to no avail. I tried as well. No answer. I left a message and waited. Roxy waited too…

Mark played ball with Roxy. Sean and Olivia came over and met and played with her too.

As the day wore on, I started to second guess myself. What if the dog belonged an injured hiker? Should I call the police? I even threw a few tarot cards. Everything looked to moving along well. It seemed clear we’d have contact by that evening.

Around 7 PM Sunday evening, Roxy’s owner called. He is a single man, father of two, and a very relieved owner of one missing female Yellow Labrador He drove two hours to pick her up in the city. The reunion was emotional.

Happy Reunion

Her owner looked so relieved. He was very grateful–an all around nice guy. We visited for a bit before they left. He took full responsibility for what had happened. He was camping with a group of forty-five people, and thought somebody was watching Roxy when he drove off, but unbeknownst to him, she gave chase, and eventually lost him. He and his fellow campers searched and posted signs to try and find her. He hadn’t thought of checking messages when he went to town to post signs, but Sunday evening, he checked, and heard my message. YAY!

He asked if he could do anything for us–he was overwhelmed and teared up, at which point I asked if I could give him a hug. We asked that he just keep taking care of Roxy. I have no doubt that she is very loved. The two of them are obviously a team. Roxy jumped up in her king cab pickup truck and made herself comfy. Mark and I gave her a few pats and hugs to say goodye.

I love a happy ending.


Note that the original version has more to it; I cut out the parts of the blog entry that weren't about the story of finding the lost dog.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tater Tot, yellow lab

“Tater Tot” Found As Dozens Join Search
Admin: Kenn Bell
By Jim Fennell For

Manchester, New Hamshire – A potentially heartbreaking story ended happily for a Vermont couple yesterday afternoon when they were reunited with one of their dogs.

Tater Tot, a 6-year-old yellow lab, was found alongside the northbound side of Interstate 93, not far from where she had bolted after the car she was riding in rolled over Thursday evening.

Judy and Bob Sylvia, a Manchester couple who decided to help look for the dog after reading the story of Tater Tot’s disappearance, spotted the dog curled up near a fence by Exit 9, about a mile north of where the accident occurred.

“I don’t think you could ask for much more,” Tater Tot’s owner, Trish Dale of Warren, Vt., said of the reunion.

On Thursday, Dale suffered a concussion and a broken nose when she fell asleep and lost control of the Audi she was driving home from a medical appointment in Massachusetts, she said. Two of her four dogs, Tater Tot and Buddy, were in the back seat, and both ran from the car after the accident.

Buddy was found quickly, but Tater Tot darted across the highway and out of sight.

Dale’s husband, John Dale, put out word through the local media that he was going to search for the dog yesterday and would welcome any help. He said about 100 people, including Cassandra Gatsas, wife of the city’s mayor, showed up about noon to help look for the dog.

John Dale said Gatsas, who is on the board of directors of the Manchester Animal Shelter, had sent out e-mails to people and had posted messages of Facebook.

“I thought how wonderful this is,” John Dale said. “Where in the world could something like this happen?”

The Sylvias, who own three yellow labs, said they decided to drive around the area to look for the dog after reading the story in yesterday’s New Hampshire Union Leader. Bob Sylvia works for Precision Towing and Recovery and said he had been to enough accident scenes involving animals to feel confident that the dog would still be close to where the accident happened.

The Sylvias met up with John Dale near Stevens Park and told him they were sure Tater Tot hadn’t roamed that far. That’s when they set off for the highway, entering the northbound side at Exit 8 and slowly driving along the road until they saw the dog. Bob Sylvia said Tater Tot took off into the woods when they pulled over, but he was able to track her path.

Sylvia said he called John Dale’s cell phone to tell him the news. John Dale arrived with Buddy, who accompanied Bob Sylvia into the woods to look for Tater Tot. The dogs, born about a year apart, are from the same parents and both compete in AKC obedience shows.

Sylvia said Tater Tot responded immediately to Buddy’s cries and barks, bounding over a hill for a happy reunion.

“The two of them were so excited to see each other,” John Dale said.

Tater Tot was taken to the Veterinary Emergency Center of Manchester on Karl Drive. Trish Dale said the dog had a puncture wound on her left hind leg and was limping on one of her front legs.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ben, lhasa apso

Missing Dog Reunited With Owners After Two Months
Submitted by Neil Burton
January 9, 2008

A Lhasa Apso missing for two months in the Fawley area of the New Forest has been reunited with its owners.

9 year old Ben disappeared from home on the 3rd November 2007 after being frightened by fireworks.

Ben’s owner informed a plethora of agencies and organisations that he was missing but the trail went cold until 7th January 2008 when Ben’s owner’s saw him being walked on the beach at Lepe Country Park.

Unfortunately a man walking the dog spirited him away before anything could be done. Luckily however, the quick thinking owner’s obtained the address and telephone number of a lady who was with the man.

On Tuesday 8th January 2008, sixty six days after he went missing, the Dog Warden Service from New Forest District Council was asked to assist with the return of Ben to his owner.

The finder had failed to comply with the Environmental Protection Act 1990 that requires the finder of a dog to either return it to its owner forthwith, or contact the local police or local council Dog Warden.

The maximum penalty if a prosecution is brought is five hundred pounds but holding on to another persons property can be dealt with by the police as Theft by Finding.

As the dog had a microchip he was scanned by the Dog Wardens and the details corresponded with the owner. He was then removed from the finder and immediately returned to his owner.

If the finder had reported finding Ben on the 4th November 2007, he would have been away from his anguished owners for one day and not two months.

The moral of the story is that if you find a dog you should contact the local council where it was found as the owner may have already reported the dog as missing. When Ben disappeared he was wearing a collar but the tag was missing when he was reunited with his owners.

Reader Comment:

Dave the Dog says:
January 9, 2008 at 11:24 am

From another Animal Control Officer, well done to the New Forrest Dog Wardens. It often seems to be a losing battle persuading the public that a found dog is not just free game to anyone who decides they want to keep it.

Even ‘abandoned’ animals are often not abandoned by the owner. In one case here, one of my staff was on patrol and happened to be behind an unmarked white transit van. The occupants must have thought they were being followed. Unexpectedly a dog was thrown out of the passenger door and the van sped off. The Warden caught the dog and when it was scanned it turned out that the dog had been stolen from its owners property shortly beforehand. Please, if you read this, ALL unaccompanied dogs found in public, irrespective of the circumstances, should be reported to the local Dog Warden.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Charlie, toy poodle

Charlie the toy poodle is safe at Mesa home
Kelly Mixer, Ahwatukee Foothills News
July 16, 2008 - 2:17PM

A Valley couple is breathing a sigh of relief this week after finding their lost dog Charlie, who has been missing from the Ahwatukee Foothills area of 48th Street and Elliot Road since Saturday, June 21.

The couple, Harry and Many Gurney, live in Mesa but Harry’s sister, Alice Splaine, was caring for the dog at her Ahwatukee Foothill’s home while the couple was away on vacation when Charlie got loose and ran away.

Harry and Many Gurney, along with Charlie

After weeks of searching, the Gurneys received an anonymous phone call Tuesday night that Charlie was being cared for at a local apartment complex near 48th Street and Ray Road.

The Gurneys said residents at the Sonoran Apartments hadn’t realized that they had been desperately looking for their 6-year-old toy poodle for weeks.

“We think it took Charlie a day-and-a-half to get there because they found him walking in the parking lot that Monday (June 23) and he was very dehydrated,” Harry said, adding that the woman who contacted him on Tuesday wished to remain anonymous and did not accept their reward.

The Gurneys called the manager of the apartments and arranged to come over to get Charlie from the woman taking care of him. That woman also wished to remain anonymous, saying that she had posted Charlie’s information at the Ahwatukee Foothills Petco to no avail.

“I just screamed when I saw him and my husband dropped to his knees crying when they brought Charlie in to us,” Many said.

“We knew right away it was him,” Harry added. “I thought I’d never see him again. I’ll never let him get out of my sight again.”

The entire family was relieved to hear the good news.

“I’m glad the dog is back where he belongs,” Splaine said. “I just want to thank the community for all their support.”

Charlie was missing from a Mesa family from June 21 until July 16.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Shane, yellow lab

Labrador Trapped In Truck For Two Days Without Food, Water
POSTED: 8:14 a.m. PST December 20, 2002

SAN DIEGO -- A Santee man's Christmas wish came true after a stranger's tip led to the recovery of a pickup that was stolen with his dog inside, authorities said.

Mark Jenson's 1987 Toyota pickup was stolen from the Costco parking lot at 101 Town Center Parkway in Santee on Wednesday, said San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Guy Chambers.

Inside the camper shell of the pickup was Jenson's cherished 12-year-old yellow Labrador, Shane, Chambers said.

Thanks to a tip by Michael Alba of Santee, sheriff's deputies recovered the stolen pickup Thursday, with the dog still inside, Chambers said.

Alba had seen Jenson's story on the news and remembered seeing a suspicious vehicle parked in his neighborhood, Chambers said. He then reported the vehicle to the sheriff's department.

Deputies found the pickup in the 9700 block of Magnolia Park Avenue at about 6 p.m., Chamber said.

The old dog was inside the pickup's camper shell for two days without food or water, Chamber said, adding that the animal seemed tired but in good condition when he was found.

There were no immediate arrests.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cooper, beagle

Three years later, lost dog finds its way home
Microchip brings wandering beagle back to its family, 358 miles away
By DeAntae Prince
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008

After three years, three names and 358 miles, Cooper the dog is finally home.

Cooper, a beagle owned by Clover resident Dana Shaw, recently came back to the Shaw family after a three-year absence that took the dog from Charlotte to Virginia.

And Shaw is thrilled to have her dog back.

“It’s been amazing,” Shaw said last week. “Because I never thought I’d see the dog again. I assumed she was dead, or that somebody had taken her and I was never going to get her back.”

Shaw was living in Charlotte when Cooper, who had a habit of escaping for days at a time, ran away and disappeared. Cooper was picked up by a surrogate family at Charlotte’s Northlake Mall and kept for a year.

Then Cooper moved to Virginia with the daughter of the woman who had found the beagle in Charlotte.

But Cooper escaped again. The woman who found her discovered that the dog carried a microchip in its hip, which enabled her to be traced back to Shaw.

Dr. Gretchen Love, Cooper’s current veterinarian, said Shaw would never have been able to get Cooper back without the microchip.

“There’s no way she would’ve got the pet back,” Love said. “It was just too far away.”

Before she began moving around, Cooper lived for four years with Shaw, her two children and a miniature pinscher.

In 2001, Shaw and her husband, Stephen, adopted the beagle as she was being taken to the pound in a pickup truck.

Never complacent, Cooper was always in search of something. Shaw said the dog would often pick up a scent and disappear from home for days on end. One time, the disappearing act lasted longer and the Shaw family became worried. They searched for her, checked the local pound and posted pictures of Cooper online, but they had no success.

Shaw said she always expected to hear Cooper’s howl in the night or her paws at the front door, but that never happened.

Cooper was gone.

Shaw said she doesn’t know which member of her family took Cooper’s disappearance harder.

“I wasn’t sure if I, my 10-year-old daughter, Taylor, or my (other) dog was more upset,” she said. “The miniature pinscher was upset forever because they kind of grew together.” They all had known Cooper was one to wander.

When the family lived in Charlotte, Cooper repeatedly jumped over or dug under the family’s fence. They tried invisible fencing, but Cooper just ran right through it, zapping herself with her electronic collar.

When she returned home, however, Cooper was wily enough to howl for her family instead of running back through the invisible fencing and taking another zap.

The Shaws’ search for Cooper continued as three years passed. They updated their address when they moved to Clover six months ago.

Kari Davenport met up with Cooper in Virginia, when the beagle got back to her old tricks, disappearing from the family that had taken her there. The dog ran in front of Davenport’s car, and she lured it home with dog food.

Davenport had Cooper scanned to see if the dog carried a microchip that could be used to find her owner. Davenport was shocked when the microchip showed that the owners lived in South Carolina.

“I thought, ‘My, you’ve (come) a long way,” Davenport said. “I wondered how the dog got from point A to point B.”

Davenport called Shaw and told her that she had found Cooper.

Shaw broke down crying.

There was just one obstacle for Shaw. Her dog was seven hours away, in Portsmouth, Va. Shaw’s mother-in-law, Brigitte Henderson, and her two daughters made the trek with her.

During their trip, Davenport called and told them that a woman had called the Portsmouth Humane Society looking for a beagle named Moxy, the name that Cooper had received from her second family. Cooper had later been named Ella by Davenport because of her Dumbo-like ears.

Both families were present when Cooper was returned to the Shaws.

“I was really afraid that she wouldn’t remember us,” Shaw said. “But the second we hit the door and started calling her Cooper, she came right to us.”

Henderson said she was surprised by Cooper’s return.

“I never expected to see her again. Not after so long. It was overwhelming to see that she was still alive after all that time. Every time I think about it I just cry.”

Shaw was thankful for the help of the microchip, and for the return of her dog. Cooper, she said, is “like my kid.”


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cutie, Jack Russell Terrier

If Terriers Could Talk
Kat Albrecht, Missing Pet Partnership
April 17th, 2010

If terriers could talk then maybe I’d solve the mystery of what happened to Cutie, a Jack Russell Terrier who went missing from her home in Federal Way, Washington. On April 5, 2010 the perky terrier darted out of her house and vanished into the night. I became involved in her disappearance the next day when I happened to spot one of the lost dog flyers that her family had posted. Of course, like most flyers, I couldn’t read any important details while driving on the busy roadway where it was posted. So I pulled over, walked up to the flyer, and then called the owner.

I was afraid they would think I was a nut if I told them I was a “pet detective.” Instead, I told them that I was a volunteer with Missing Pet Partnership, a nonprofit organization, and that we wanted to offer our assistance to help them create more visible posters. I knew that their 8 1/2 X 11 flyers were fine to hand out to people, but for posting a notice along a major roadway they needed to use Missing Pet Partnerhsip’s 5+5+55 MPH method for posters- using five words (LOST WHITE TERRIER POINTY EARS) that people could read in five seconds when traveling 55 MPH. Normally, we use the left portion of the poster to describe the animal (BLACK POODLE, BLUE COLLAR) and use the right portion of the poster to insert an 8 1/2 X 11 color photograph of the dog. But the family didn’t have a clear picture of Cutie that we could use so I just used the space to add more details (stub tail; tan around both eyes).

Missing Pet Partnership's Method of Creating Visible Posters

I had only planned to assist with creating giant, florescent posters (which I did) but when I interviewed them I learned the Cutie had been missing less than 24 hours. I also learned that they never took Cutie for walks in her own neighborhood. The weather was cool (50’s). These three conditions (dog only lost a few hours, one single scent trail for our dogs to follow, cool and calm weather) meant that it was a perfect scenario to work our MAR (missing animal response) K9 tracking dogs. I was itching to work Zeke on a lost dog scent trail!

I got on the phone right away and called Brian Newsham, one of the MPP’s volunteer pet detectives. Brian owns Lucy, a yellow Labrador who is trained to track lost dogs. By three that afternoon we had assembled at Cutie’s home with two tracking dogs (Lucy the Lab and my bloodhound Zeke), two dog handlers, and one backup / communications volunteer (Ryan Gamache).

Brian worked Lucy, Ryan ran behind the team as backup to protect them from traffic and charging dogs (and worked the radio), and I followed in my SUV. After sniffing Cutie’s bedding, Lucy beelined from the front lawn directly into the woods. After tracking around in there for about five minutes, she then worked out of the woods and into a business complex just south of Cutie’s home along a major roadway (320th). Lucy kept covering the same ground, circling around the area and ultimately she went back to Cutie’s home.

Next, we brought out Zeke. I scented him on Cutie’s rope toy in the front yard and he took off. He dragged me east from the house and then cut north, working deliberately through the neighborhood, zigging and zagging on the roads until he came out onto 312th, a major roadway. Zeke ultimately lost the scent trail along the sidewalk in front of a church (Saint Luke’s Lutheran Church).

So. Was Lucy right? Had Cutie traveled into the woods and south onto 320th where she was picked up? Or was Zeke right? Had Cutie traveled north through the neighborhood onto 312th where she was picked up? Or were both of our search dogs right and Cutie simply did what most Jack Russell’s do – ran south, ran north, ran east, ran west and bascially ran all over the area until someone picked her up? We will never know.

What we do know is that after seven days, Cutie was back home. An elderly woman found her running loose in Renton, Washington, a good 18 miles away from her home. Cutie was actually found in Renton two days after she disappeared, so we suspect she was picked up by someone, transported to Renton, and she likely darted out of their house and became lost a second time. The finder’s daughter happened to live in Federal Way and saw one of our florescent REWARD LOST DOG posters that I had posted. Because of the distance the woman didn’t think it could be the same dog, but she called the number on our poster. She talked to Cutie’s family who described her and by the end of the night, Cutie was back home! When I received the call that Cutie was recovered I couldn’t get to her house fast enough to learn more details and to get a photograph of her with her family. It was great to share in their joy (and to discuss the importance of collars, tags, and microchips).
Cutie Back Home Where She Belongs!

Here’s how the Kim family thanked Missing Pet Partnership on our Testimonials page for helping them recover Cutie:

“Over a week later, on 4-14-10 a woman called us saying her mother had found a terrier a week earlier. She wasn’t too sure if it was Cutie because we lost her in Federal Way and her mother found the terrier in Renton. She said she had seen the bright, neon posters put up by Missing Pet Partnership while driving in Federal Way. So she e-mailed us a picture of the terrier they’d found & it turned out to be our Cutie! Those neon posters helped us bring our baby back almost a week later. If it wasn’t for Missing Pet Partnership, I don’t think we would’ve ever gotten Cutie back. Thank you so much & keep up the good work!”

Seriously, pet detective work just doesn’t get any better than this!

Kat & Dogs


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ruby, pug

PLUMSTEAD: Stolen pug dog reunited with owner
By Kelly Smale
11:56am Friday 5th March 2010

A DOG owner has been reunited with her pet pug which was snatched by a pair of robbers.

Linda Dingley, of High Grove, Plumstead, was walking her two pugs, aged two and six, along Flaxton Road when two white men sneaked up from behind and grabbed the dog leads.

They escaped with Ruby, the younger of the two dogs, in a silver Volkswagen Polo.

Mrs Dingley was reunited with the pug yesterday (March 4) at Plumstead police station.

The 60-year-old said: “I’m elated. We went to the police station last night and the dog was there.

“I can’t thank Detective Sergeant Keith Simmonett enough for what he has done, and his team. They have made a family very happy.”

Ruby was returned in a good condition but has put on a kilo in weight.

Mrs Dingley said: “I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It was like losing a member of the family.”

She added: “Im nervous about going out now and I have become frightened of my own shadow but I’m hoping it will change in time.”

The incident happened on February 17 at 11.45am.

Police arrested a 20-year-old man on Wednesday (March 3) in connection with the robbery.

He has been bailed to return to a south-east London police station in April.

Officers retrieved the dog after receiving information from the public.

Investigating officer at Greenwich Robbery Squad, Detective Sergeant Keith Simmonett, said: "We are pleased to have reunited the dog with the owner.

"We would like to thank the press for their assistance."

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tinkerbell, maltese-chihuahua

Travels With Tinkerbell
Biological Science Major Rescues Lost Dog During Commencement
By Paula Selleck
May 22, 2008

Tinkerbell is back at home after her "excellent adventure" to the university's 2008 Commencement ceremonies Sunday.

What started as a weekend frolic for the almost-3-year-old Maltichi (Maltese-Chihuahua mix), who spends most of her days indoors, became a rescue-and-search mission for biological science major Robert Tran, who works in the President's Office as a student assistant.

Biological science major Robert Tran with Tinkerbell

Tiny Tinkerbell was spotted unattended on the university's athletics fields Sunday morning, amid the more than 35,000 gathered there for pomp and circumstance.

Apparently, the 6-pound pooch wanted to join the celebration.

When Tran attempted to scoop her up, she scampered away, and a merry chase ensued — all the way to the Fullerton Creek at State College and Yorba Linda boulevards.

For most of that day, Tran drove around in a passenger cart with the friendly Tinkerbell at his side. Between performing errands for the President's Office and pausing for water breaks, Tran passed the word about the dog, in hopes of finding her owner.

Though she had no collar, Tran could tell that she was well cared for. "This dog belongs to someone," he told University Police officer Iris Cortes-Valle. "We need to find the owner."

While Tran was making his rounds, conferring with University Police, Public Affairs and commencement staff members, the dog's owners, Stephanie and Mark McCafferty, who live between Fullerton College and CSUF, were on their way back from a trip to Palm Springs. They headed home early when they heard their dog was missing.

Tinkerbell had been left with a roommate, who had inadvertently left the home's back slider open. McCafferty surmises that Tinkerbell heard the neighbor kids playing next door and went outside to join them, or to find his usual playmates, the McCaffertys' sons, Timothy, 10, and Jacob, 12.

"She loves to be the center of attention," he said.

Once back at home, the McCaffertys posted fliers and posters in and around their neighborhood and conducted a search.

"We drove up and down State College and Nutwood," McCafferty recalled, but didn't imagine Tinkerbell might be on campus checking out the festivities.

Sunday night, Tran took Tinkerbell home, where she played with his cat, and the next morning, they visited a veterinarian to check for a microchip, but none was found.

"I had a list of 25 volunteers willing to take her if the owners couldn't be found," he said. Monday afternoon, Tran was interviewed by the Orange County Register for a story about the lost dog that appeared on the newspaper's website.

That night on her way home from work, Cathy Parra, confidential administrative secretary in the Office of University Counsel, noticed the McCaffertys' posters near Troy and Rosary high schools and recalled the "lost dog" message she'd seen on the university's Web site. She’d met Tinkerbell during Tran’s rounds, so called to alert Tran that the pooch he had rescued might be the missing dog in the McCafferty household.

After a phone call screening and a review of photos sent by the McCaffertys, a reunion was arranged.

The McCaffertys and their wayward dog Tinkerbell

"It was a beautiful moment seeing the dog reunited with her family," said Tran, who snapped a photo as a keepsake. "When Tinkerbell spotted them, her tail wagged so fast she could have flown."

The McCaffertys, in turn, are grateful Tinkerbell met up with a prince.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Angus, boxer

Upper Merion lost dog Angus back home
By Gary Puleo,Times Herald Staff
Published: Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Brady family is reunited with their 6-year-old boxer, Angus, who was missing for five weeks. Pictured with Angus from left, Ainsley, 2, Stephen, Carissa and Logan, 5 months old.

UPPER MERION — Angus is back home and his owners are calling him a four-legged miracle.

How else to explain the dog’s having survived through a couple of blizzards and, even worse, rush hour traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway during the 33 days he was on the lam?

Barring another miracle that grants the 6-year-old tan boxer the ability to speak, Carissa and Steve Brady will never know exactly where the hooky-playing canine has been since he wandered away from his King of Prussia home in late January.

At this point, however, all the couple cares about is that the timing was right for him to be found by an off-duty Pennsylvania State Trooper near the Gulph Mills exit of I-76, about a mile from home.

Carissa Brady got a call on her cell phone around 4:30 on Tuesday afternoon.

“A woman was saying she was sitting in eastbound traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway and a dog ran by her, going westbound, against traffic,” Brady said. “She had seen the poster we put up, so she had to get off the Expressway and come back in the other direction to get my telephone number. She knew that a state trooper was trying to catch Angus.”

Meanwhile, Brady’s husband was calling her on another line.

“He was saying, ‘don’t freak out, but the SPCA has Angus’. By then the state trooper had caught Angus and brought him to the SPCA in Conshohocken.”

Brady immediately left her office, bound for the Montgomery County SPCA shelter and was reunited with Angus shortly after 5 p.m.

“He looked so terrible because he’d lost so much weight, and I was upset,” Brady said. “But he nuzzled me and gave me a couple of licks on my face and I was crying. Everyone was saying he was probably comforting me.”

Fear and confusion had caused Angus to bite the hand of the state trooper who rescued him, she noted.

“The officer was going after him and had to literally pull him out from under a car. Angus must have been so terrified that he bit the officer, and he’s not a dog that would ever bite.”

Angus was quickly escorted to his vet for a thorough checkup.

“He had a couple of injuries, like two missing toes and an injury to his tail, that must have happened early on when he was missing because the vet said they’re almost healed,” Brady said.

“The vet is very optimistic that he’s going to be fine. It’ll take a couple of months for him to put the weight back on.”

Normally weighing in around 51 pounds, Angus had pared off 23 pounds during his truancy.

“You can literally see every bone in his body. But he’s perky. Last night he was begging for food again.”

After Angus ran away from their King of Prussia home 33 days ago, the couple contacted police departments in all the surrounding areas and used up gallons of gas driving through King of Prussia, East Norriton, West Norriton, Conshohocken and Plymouth Meeting looking for him and tacking up posters with Angus’ picture.

Though she felt increasingly panic-stricken and powerless the longer the dog was missing, Brady said she never gave up hope.

With a reward for the dog’s safe return hanging in the balance, calls were coming in from all over the area. But none of the Angus sightings provided a solid lead.

“We couldn’t be more thankful of the response we’ve been getting from the community, especially the Norristown community,” Brady told The Times Herald on Feb. 18.

Brady mused that, wherever he was, Angus probably spent a lot of time indoors, possibly in an empty building.

“He wasn’t outdoors the whole time because his fur wasn’t dirty and his collar wasn’t dirty. He must have been out of the elements for most of the time he was gone. He doesn’t look like a weathered dog.”

Although the life of a hobo canine may have held some momentary fascination for Angus, Brady never doubted that he was always homeward bound.

“He was on his way home the day we found him ... I’m convinced of that.”

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Rowdy, chihuahua-pomeranian

Dog reunited with owner after joyride with thief
By The Calgary Herald
August 23, 2007

Dwayne Ewasiuk said he was more worried about his dog Rowdy than he was about his truck, which was stolen with the dog inside when he went into a southeast convenience store.

When Rowdy was stolen along with her owner's truck, and dumped onto a strange street overnight, Dwayne Ewasiuk feared she wouldn't survive.

"She's only six inches (15 centimetres) tall. You even have to worry about the cats. I'm surprised she made it through the night," said Ewasiuk, 30.

Ewasiuk's itty-bitty, tan-coloured chihuahua-Pomeranian cross was inside his truck when it was stolen Tuesday, shortly before 8 p.m.

He had just picked up Rowdy from her $50-a-treatment pet grooming appointment and stopped to buy pop at an Abbeydale corner store near 68th Street and 8th Avenue S.E. on the way home.

As he stood in line to pay, he saw his tiny dog, wearing a glamorous rhinestone-studded black collar, staring at him from the truck's window.

Then he watched as his white GMC truck began backing out of the parking lot.

As Ewasiuk ran toward the fleeing truck, he cursed himself for carelessly leaving the keys on the console. But he was more upset about his miniature dog.

"I almost got run over. I wasn't even worried about the truck," he said, adding the company truck was equipped with GPS.

Thanks to the electronic tracking device, police found the truck across the city in the northeast community of Bridgeland a short time later.

A woman who was arrested refused to co-operate in locating the missing dog, police said.

Police called Ewasiuk at home about 1 a.m. to tell him someone reported seeing a tan-coloured dog in the neighbourhood.

Ewasiuk was too worried to wait, so he went out looking for Rowdy himself.

"It was hard to sleep, anyway, so I went out at 6:30 a.m. and called her and called her and all of a sudden she just appeared," said Ewasiuk.

He dropped to his knees, calling her name. She ran to him and jumped into his arms.

"She was shaking and licking me," he said. "It goes from depressed to happiness. I was so worried about it. It was so crazy."

Five years ago on Christmas Eve, Ewasiuk bought Rowdy from a pet store.

"I always pictured myself having a big dog, but she was the one. She caught my eye," he said.

"She's been through everything with me. I'm so excited she's back."

Amanda Gail Wick, 38, of Calgary, is charged with theft over $5,000.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Maya, collie-spaniel mix

Homeward Hound: Waco family reunited with dog after two years, thanks to microchip
By Erin Quinn Tribune-Herald staff writer
Thursday April 1, 2010

The Hairston family was reunited with their dog, Maya, after the dog was gone for two years.

Sara Hairston cried for a month when her collie-spaniel mix, Maya, and two puppies ran away two years ago from her family’s not-quite-enclosed backyard.

“I was just devastated,” Sara, 11, of Waco, said.  Sara and her family slowly moved on after Maya ran away. They adopted Molly, a 10-year-old border-collie mix, about a year ago from Fuzzy Friends Dog Rescue. But they always wondered what happened to sweet little Maya and her puppies.

The Hairston family was reunited with their dog, Maya, this week after the dog was gone for two years. Monday, Happy Endings Dog Rescue called and said Maya had been found.

A Hewitt woman called Happy Endings Dog Rescue and told employees that a friendly dog approached her while she was gardening. The woman could tell the slightly dirty mutt had been well cared for, said LeAnne Fuller, Happy Endings’ adoption and foster volunteer coordinator.

Happy Endings told the woman to bring the dog in and scan her in hopes of finding an identifying microchip, a device the size of a grain of rice that is placed between a pet’s shoulder blades and can be installed in a few seconds. The dog was scanned. Sure enough, the Hairstons’ information popped up.

The Hairstons had adopted Maya four years ago from Fuzzy Friends Rescue, a Waco nonprofit rescue organization that gives new owners the option of microchipping an animal before adopting it.

Fuller and her staff got in touch with the Hairstons, who were at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport returning from a friend’s wedding in New York when they got the call.

“We were just in shock,” said Cullen Hairston, 13. “It was unbelievable.”

The next day, they went to get their long-lost dog.

“She jumped right in my husband’s arms,” Loryn Hairston said. “I don’t know if she’s extremely friendly or she really did remember us.”

Watching the reunion brought joy to Happy Endings employees.

“In this business, there are a lot of sad days,” said Fuller, who said she has worked in animal welfare for 25 years. “But this makes all our efforts worthwhile.”

What happened to Maya between the day she and her puppies strayed from the Hairstons’ backyard and the day she jumped into Thad Hairston’s arms might always be a mystery. And the Hairstons haven’t seen Maya’s puppies since.

“Until you lose a dog, you don’t realize how important microchipping is,” Fuller said.

“With microchipping, if you lose your dog, at least you have that safety and comfort of knowing that you still have that chance of getting your dog back. Without that little chip, this dog never would have been reunited with her family.”

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Copper, yellow dog

An Accident in Washington Leads to a Happy Ending
Volunteers from a local organization make an amazing rescue!
By Jennifer Ray; posted by Brandi Bennett, Best Friends Network
September 30, 2008 : 4:06 PM

On September 16, 2008 Andrea, Chad and their dog Copper was driving down an old forest road when an animal, possibly an elk stepped out in front of the car. Andrea did what her father always told her not to do, she swerved. She instantly knew her mistake and told Chad, "hang on, we're going over".

What they didn't realize until daylight was that "over" meant a 150 foot cliff. After what seemed like eternity the jeep finally came to a rest upside down. Andrea was unconscious and covered in blood, the windows were blown out and Copper was missing.

Chad woke Andrea and got her out of the seatbelt, they climbed back up to the road. Chad went down 4 times looking for Copper, he found nothing.

They sat on the service road and built a fire for the night waiting for daybreak. Again Chad went down and looked for Copper and found nothing.

They ended up hiking home as no one stopped to help them. Later at the hospital they discovered that Andrea had 2 broken vertebrae, gashes in her head and 2 lesions on her brain. Chad had 3 cracked ribs. All they could think of was to get out so they could get back to looking for Copper. Copper was after all, their child.

The next day a car club got together and spent four hours pulling up the wreckage from the gully below. No one saw or heard Copper. They brought squeaky toys and called for him days after the accident. Still nothing.

They posted on several sites, hung flyers and even posted on Craigslist four days after the accident. Someone saw the posting and forwarded to a group called Wags to Riches Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in Union Gap, Washington. They had been involved in an eerily similar rescue after a rollover car accident not 30 days before. They found that dog after ten days. It was alive.

Wags contacted Andrea and told her, "Have hope, we will find him".

Four volunteers set out on Sunday, 5 days after the accident. They were told that because no one had seen or heard the dog that this could be a body recovery. But they needed to do it, for the family, so they would have closure and could begin to heal.

Bob Chism, Kim and Chris Wertenberger and Jennifer Ray spread out and went over the cliff to the gully. They methodically started to comb the area. The girls went together and the men went on the outer corners. The brush was so thick that a machete had to be used to make a path. At the bottom of the gully was a small creek. The girls jumped over the creek and went up and around to walk on the other side. One yelled out "Copper". A few minutes later they heard barking. Mama Bear came out and they threw all caution to the wind as they ran and wildly scraped at the branches and brush trying to get to the dog. All the while yelling "It's okay baby we're coming. Good boy Copper!"

When they got to him, he had made a little nest for himself right by the creek. When they realized he was not going to let them put a leash on him they sat down beside him and spoke soothingly to him. Bob drove down to where Andrea and Chad were staying to tell them Copper was found but they needed someone to come and call him to motivate him. In the meantime Chris cut a path through the brush for Copper to go through.

The look on Copper's face when he heard his momma yelling his name! His ears flew back, he barked in reply and stood up to come out of the hiding place.

After a bit of confusion, a lot of encouragement and praise, Copper made it up that cliff to his waiting parents. Everyone was crying and hugging. Copper was alive and well.

Standing on that cliff side, looking down, it's hard to believe that all three made it out alive. The love and devotion of a dog, a family's hope and a group's determination had reunited them again.


Copper, on the day he was found.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sweebie, black dog

Lost dog survives car accident and 2 weeks in Ann Arbor winter
Gale Marcoux
Posted: 10:49 a.m. January 20, 2010

What do the following items have in common? Family pet, car accident, microchip, good Samaritan.

The answer is - a happy ending.

How is it those items have a common thread? The following story is true. It happened Monday, January 19 at Westarbor Animal Hospital.

The staff of Westarbor received a call from a concerned client. Nancy Shipway was heading out from her Cavanaugh Lake home to run errands. She didn’t get very far. She found an older mix breed dog walking down the country road. Since Nancy is an avid animal lover, she stopped to see if this lone soul needed help!

The skinny, older dog jumped into the back of her car. Well, now what? Nancy called Westarbor Animal Hospital. She said I’m on the way with this cute skinny, old dog. Her biggest worry was that he had been dumped in the winter to fend for himself. His tags were old and almost illegible. His sweet, sad face struck every one at Westarbor. He needed our help.

Stefanie Hedding, Practice Manager, had Dr. Teresa Londenberg give the old guy a complete check over. A Westarbor technician scanned the old soul for a microchip. Lo and behold, there was an Avid Microchip. The staff called Avid and got the information that this dog was from Oklahoma. The chip was assigned to a veterinary hospital.

That’s when all the pieces fell together. This sweet boy had been involved in a horrible car accident on I-94 by Kalmbach Road. His human parents were severely injured. The accident caused the back window of the car to blow. Sweebie ran from the accident scene dazed and confused. He left behind his human parents and other canine sibling.

“By the time the paramedics arrived on the scene I was pretty dazed," said Mark Sisson, who had been visiting from Oklahoma over the holidays with his wife Betty Ann. “I thought I was pretty lucid, but my wife was already pretty hysterical about Sweebie being missing. She refused to leave the scene until some of the rescue workers agreed to look for him.”

The post-holiday accident occurred Jan. 5. “My wife and I were so depressed, but still holding onto hope. Two weeks in the Michigan winter is such a long time for any animal. We weren't sure if he was hurt.”

“Sweebie is a very special animal to me because he was my gift to myself after a year of volunteering at our humane society in Stillwater, OK.,’ said Mark. “I would walk dogs every Friday and sometimes on Tuesdays as well, and I really became fond of Sweebie and his sister Teena. When Teena was adopted, I made a vow that I would rescue Sweebie as well. He had been in our shelter from early October of 2000 until May of 2001 when I adopted him. Since then we have had nine really grand years together, and he often comes on road trips and usually stays with me at my art studio at Oklahoma State University where I am a professor. We just do everything together. We think our other dog, ZuZu, a 14-year-old Basenji, really misses him as well.”

Almost two weeks later, Sweebie was found by Nancy Shipway. How many people had passed him and kept going? Where did he sleep? What did he eat? How did he survive? He lost almost 12 pounds in two weeks time. Dr. Londonberg found nothing physically wrong with him, except that Sweebie was thin and exhausted.

When Westarbor called Mark, he couldn’t believe it. He sent his parents to retrieve his long lost canine. Sweebie quickly ate several meals from Westarbor and feel asleep on the fluffy quilt given to him by the staff.

When Mark’s parents arrived, Sweebie took a minute to reconnect with them. His eyes became bright again, and his tail starting wagging like crazy. Sweebie will be reunited with his owners in a couple of months.

“I can't thank you, Nancy Shipway and the folks at Westarbor Animal Hospital enough. My folks are going to nurse him back to full strength, and we hope to pick him up on Spring Break, which is mid-March," Mark said.
"I'll certainly pay you a visit at that time. You have made our recuperation from our physical ailments much easier by easing our heavy emotional burden.”


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hambone, pitbull

Hambone the famous dognapped pit bull is home
Posted March 25th, 2008 by Jan
March 22, 2008

Hambone is Home!

Amazing, right? The little dog that became our Hambone was found – safe and sound.

Here’s the email that went out to Hambone followers last night. Read on:

Dear Friends,

At 9:50pm this evening I received a call from someone who saw the Craigslist posting about Hambone. He said that two days ago he was jogging along the LA river in Studio City, and there was a dog, by himself, that was friendly and started running with him. The dog had no collar. So he took him in, fed him, and took care of him. Tonight, as he was surfing the web, he ran into the Hambone info, and he gave me a ring.

“I’m not sure, but I think I may have your dog here… he’s an awesome dog… very gentle… black body, white head, white socks…” I asked him about his eyes… “different colored eyes…” he said. I asked “what about the tail?” He said it’s black. And when I asked about the tip of the tail, he said it had a little white tip… “I’ll be there in twenty minutes”, I told him.

Lisa and I jumped in the car, grabbed my friend, and hightailed it over to his house. I approached with caution, not knowing what to expect, but I had a feeling. The 20′ish kid, Damien, opened the door and greeted me with a smile. He showed me into his house, and had me wait in the living room while he went to get the dog he had rescued.

I was so anxious, so anticipatory, so hopeful, so scared… he opened the door, and brought out this little black dog with a white head. It took about half a second for it to register, but it was him… HAMBONE. I dropped to my knees and broke down. He walked over to me as if to say, “what up?” That was it… nothing dramatic. Nothing Romantic… just “what up?” He licked me on the face, and we said hello, like two friends that hadn’t seen each other in six weeks. Well, at least that’s how he said hello to me. Me? I was a little more enthusiastic.

Damien had said that Hambone was a pleasure to have around the house, and that he was actually a bit sad to see him go. But the genuine look of happiness to see that he had reunited me and Hambone was astounding. He was beaming with pride in knowing that he had done such a good thing.

And, so far as the reward is concerned, it couldn’t be going to a better guy. Damien Rinaldi was a professional track and field athlete, until a while ago, when he was hit by a car (hit and run) that left his right femur shattered. His track career over, Damien had to move back in with his parents, and now has $50k in medical bills to pay off.

So now I’m sitting here on the couch with my boy, and all I can do is shake my head in amazement, while he sleeps soundly next to me. It’s been a hell of a month and a half. And I’ve learned some extremely valuable lessons.


So thank you… thanks to all of you… Thanks to Chris Derose and everyone at Last Chance for Animals, Minnie Driver, all of the news outlets that shone a light on the problem of dog theft, everyone who said a kind word, kept an eye out, thought a prayer, offered a suggestion, lent time and effort, volunteered resources, gave me a hug, spoke words of encouragement, kept me focussed on the days when I was overwhelmed, sent light and love to Hambone and me… and thank you to Damien for taking care of my boy, and thank you to the Universe for delivering my best friend back to me safely. I am happy. I am blessed to know each of you.

Now on to lighter fare… Next Saturday, March 29th, from 1pm to 3pm, we are inviting everyone to come out and meet the little fella that you’ve worked so hard to bring home. The Hambone Meet and Greet will take place at Hambone’s favorite place on Earth… the Lake Hollywood Park, on Canyon Lake Drive in Hollywood. We hope you can all make it so we can thank you in person.

With Love,


Note that during the six weeks he was missing, it does appear that Hambone was forced into dog-fighting, as a bait dog, as evidenced by what was probably the real first photo. The photo above must have been taken after his wounds healed.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Harry, bull mastiff

Harry's Big Adventure
Silver Oaks Ranch
August 2007

Big Trees

It all started on Saturday morning, August 11, 2007 at 9am in the morning. It was a glorious day in the California Sierra Nevada; the air was crisp and clean and the scent of pine and sequoia trees was wafting through the air. We were just starting a brief holiday in the serene Big Trees area. We were staying with close friends at their hideaway mountain home which is situated on one of the corners of the Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Harry (our bull mastiff) bounded out the door and into the forest after his breakfast that morning. That was the last we saw of him till Tuesday, August 14, 2007.

Flyer for missing Harry


Harry got lost in the forest. We searched for two and a half days for Harry. We called day and night for Harry to come home. We slept little and the whole weekend seemed like a bad dream that we wished we could wake up from. We traversed the roads and covered the area in flyers. We even ventured deep into the forest in hopes of locating him. But all that we tried did not reveal Harry’s location to us. It was a difficult time and we were all starting to lose hope that we would ever see Harry again.

To Lake Tahoe

On Monday, August 13, 2007 we left Big Trees and proceed up to Tahoe. We had previously planned to meet friends in Lake Tahoe. We tried to put on a good face but we were all miserable. However, all was not lost.

During dinner that night, I glanced down at my cell phone and noted that I had a message waiting for me. The message was from our friends in Big Trees. I went outside the restaurant to pick up the message. I was hoping that it was good news, but I was also trying to prepare myself for the worst. I dialed their number and waited.

Kathy answered the phone and told me the good news; Harry was found alive and was with them! I was so relieved that my knees wobbled and I had to sit down.

Harry Found

The next day we headed back to Big Tree and to our reunion with Harry. What a joyous reunion it was. The story of how Harry was found is better than fiction. He was found on the North Fork of the Stanislaus River about 10-15 miles away from our friend’s mountain home. The red “x” on the map is where we were staying and the red circled area was where Harry was found.

The Rescue Story

A man named Bruce and his nephew were fishing three miles beyond the end of the trail of the North Fork of the Stanislaus River. Not many people go out that far and it is quite remote. They heard an animal howling in desperation. The howling was coming from the other side of the Stanislaus River, which is quite deep and has a strong current. Bruce braved the river and swam across it navigating around submerged boulders to reach the other side and investigate the noise. He climbed over the rocks by the bank to find a rather large dog trapped in a crevasse. He had to climb in and lift the dog out which was not an easy task, since Harry weighs about 140 lbs.

Harry was dehydrated and physically exhausted. He drank heavily from the river and tried to follow Bruce and his nephew out but Harry was so worn-out that Bruce had to carry him a good portion of the way back up the ridge to his vehicle (about a 3 mile trek). He took Harry to the Park Ranger who had heard about the missing dog from the flyers and our efforts to talk to as many people as possible in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The ranger called our wonderful friends and they picked Harry up from the Ranger’s station. Our friends thanked Bruce for his heroic deed and told him about the $1,000 reward for Harry’s return.

Bruce is one of those rare, good-hearted people. He did not want the reward and was just happy to help out. Needless to say we insisted that he take the reward. He decided that he would donate the reward to a charity of his choice.

We are very lucky that we have such good friends and that Bruce and his nephew discovered our dog. It is wonderful to know such quality people.

Source (and lots of great pictures at):

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tilly, terrier-looking mix

Happily Ever After
August 15, 2009

Has your heart ever dropped so fast, you were too shocked and jolted to even cry?

This is Tilly. She is… indescribable. She is solid sunshine. She is warm, real comfort… friendship, beauty, and unfiltered goodness. She is the neediest, sweetest, most skittery dog I have ever met. She is family and I have loved her like family from the moment my dad brought her home, a pound puppy of unidentifiable breed, ten years ago.

I found out at work, a few hours before my lunch break. The heat wave in Seattle has been replaced by a pouring of rain, real rain – dark skies and fat drops that fall like bullets. We think something must have happened to Tilly as a puppy, something awful, because she is frightened by the strangest things… the sound of ripping paper, fireplaces, motionless soccer balls… Rain is one of her more ordinary fears. And in the torrent of rain on Wednesday night, Tilly vanished.

At first, I was so worried I could hardly keep working. But deep down, I felt certain that Tilly would come back. Dad was looking for her, and she was smart enough to know her way around the neighborhood. But the whole day passed. Dad spent hours calling her name, not even eating. He put up hundreds of posters and received two calls, both false alarms, not Tilly but unfamiliar dogs roaming the neighborhood. His calls and texts grew more and more hopeless, and as his outlook deteriorated, so did mine.

I’ve seen lost dog posters before. Everyone has. You look into the dog’s eyes a moment, read the phone number, tell yourself that you’ll keep an eye out. “Poor thing,” I always think. “His owners must be so worried.” But unless your own dog has ever gone missing, without a collar or chip or source of identification, it’s impossible to understand how worried you really can become. How guilty and pessimistic.

I imagined Tilly slinking, still frightened, in dark alleys and shady neighborhoods. I imagined her streaking through the rain between speeding grey cars, barely avoiding them. I couldn’t bear to imagine her hit by a car. I thought about Tilly injured, scared more horribly than she’d ever been in her entire life and never so alone. It was physical pain to want to hold her and I tried to remember the last time I’d hugged her, whispered to her.

Suddenly, for no reason at all, I thought about an image that I’d always wanted to photograph. After dinner, we always clear the table and mom washes the dishes, humming. Tilly stands at her side, ears perked, tail wagging like a metronome, waiting for the moment when a scrap might accidentally fall. I love the way Tilly looks at that moment and every time I think to myself, “I ought to get a photo.” But I never do. Driving back home, as I realized I might never get that photo, I started to cry for the first time.

It was late, maybe 9 PM, when I felt my phone vibrate. It was a text from my dad – “I have Tilly!!!!!” And the relief was so overwhelming that I sat down and nearly cried again because I was so happy.

When I saw Tilly again, I just wanted to hold her and never, ever let go, to make sure she was really there and really just fine. Tilly seemed to know too that she was the luckiest dog in the world, because she had been rescued by the nicest people.

We don’t know what happened to Tilly the whole night, but at one point she was seen by a family driving by in the rain. They said Tilly looked terrified (understatement) and “out of place.” Amazingly, they decided to turn around, go back, pull over and pick her up. I mean, I am a compassionate dog person, and I wouldn’t have done that for a strange dog.

Tilly was so freaked out and distrusting that she turned and ran. They chased her into an open garage, where she tried to claw through cement to escape. They scooped her up and took her home. They even gave her a bath, so that when I hugged her for the first time, she smelled good. They were planning to take her to the shelter the next day when they saw one of my dad’s posters. And just like that, it was a happily ever after, after all.

I’d wanted to make dog treats for a while. In fact, I’d thought about blogging them so I’d have an excuse to show you my dogs Tilly and Otis. But I never did, and it might have never happened. But with Tilly in my lap, I knew today would be the end of stalling. The first thing I’d do was make some yummy dog biscuits and the second thing I’d do was bake a killer cake for the family who took care of Tilly.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Buster, hero dog

Missing Dog Found Thanks to Craigslist Ad
Reported by: Eddie Flores
4/01/2010 11:49 am

WESLACO - On January 22, Leon Escalon was held up at gunpoint at a convenience store in Weslaco. His dog, Buster, jumped in and took a bullet for Escalon and then ran away scared.

The family says they gave up hope of finding Buster, since he had been missing for three months. But Escalon's aunt thought differently and never gave up hope.

"I knew it all along. I told Leon we can't give up. The Lord is good. We've got to find him," she tells us.

Since Buster's disappearance, Trisha Cisneros has been putting Buster's picture on Craigslist. Today, she got a hit from an anonymous caller. The caller told her where he lived and he found a dog that looked like Buster.

Buster was miles away from where he disappeared, in Colonia next to the Donna landfill.

"He recognized me right away. I unhooked him and he bolted straight into the truck. I had the door open and he jumped straight into the truck and sat right there where he originally was, like nothing ever happened at all," Escalon said.

The people who had Buster chained up said they had no idea who he belonged to, but they were happy to see him back with his rightful owner.

There's no question as to whether it's Buster or not. He has the bullet wound to prove it.

Now Buster can live out his life with the family who's given him unconditional love.

The family will now take Buster to the vet to take a look at his wound. There is no exit wound, so they think the bullet may be lodged inside his body.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Garfield & Cleo, doberman pinschers

Virtual Lost Pet Tracking Helps Garfield & Cleo Find Their Way Home
April 2nd, 2010

Nadene had spent the last two months working with others to try to help find a lost little dog, and that search had never gone well. She wanted to give up, but giving up was as hard as going on. So when she found herself with a few minutes and a Washington Post newspaper, she turned to the classifieds. You never know when someone might decide to run a classified ad to say they'd found a dog that might be someone's lost dog.

Well, there wasn't anything like that, but there was an ad that jumped out at her. It's hard to miss an ad for TWO dogs lost together, especially when both of them have the presence of doberman pinschers.

Here's the web version of the ad that Nadene saw:

By now, Nadene had memorized all the dogs at the Fairfax County shelter, having looked at their postings on the website so many times in the last eight weeks. She knew she'd seen a pair of dobermans listed as being at the Faifax Shelter on Pet Harbor. Here are the postings Nadene had seen so many times:

It didn't matter that Marshall VA is around 25 miles down the road; how could there be 2 dobes missing and 2 stray dobes within 25 miles of each other that aren't the same pair of dogs? Both black & tan, and both consisting of a male and a female? Not a chance this could be coincidence.

She called the number and spoke to the woman, Lisa, who told her that with their children grown, the dogs now ARE their children. Within minutes, Lisa looked on the website and saw her family's prescious family members right there, at the Fairfax shelter where they had been since five days after they went missing from Marshall - a little more than two weeks now. Shocked, she said she would never have thought to check with the Fairfax County shelter because of how far away it is from where they went missing.

So let this be a lesson to us all -- several lessons. Virtual pet tracking can help lost dogs get reunited with their humans; it usually takes patience (and nicely for Nadene, it can also happen unexpectedly) but it can pay off big time. Another lesson: a lost dog is not necessarily going to be found within a 25 mile radius of the escape point. And a lesson that I for one need to heed, which is that people do still place little classified ads in newspapers. I thought it was a practice that had all but died.