Sunday, August 7, 2011

Annie, schnauzer mix

A community effort to find missing dog pays off in the end
By George Austin, Editor
July 27, 2011

A schnauzer mix dog has done a lot of traveling recently from Tennesse up to New England to a Somerset home and over to Swansea. But "Annie," the dog that ran away after a day and a half at a home on South Street in Somerset, finally is back home after an intense search by people from the area over the last four weeks.

Annie, a schnauzer that had run away from a Somerset home that had adopted her, has been found and is back living in a foster home.

The dog had ran away on June 20 and was found on July 19 after Have a Heart Traps were put out in an area where Annie had been spotted. Joann Bentley, the Somerset resident who had adopted the dog, had a lot of messages that Annie had been found on her cellular phone after coming out of a meeting last week.

"I just like burst into tears," Ms. Bentley said of her reaction to finding the dog. "I was so happy."

Ms Bentley said the dog was owned by a man in Tennessee who was a hoarder and had about 80 dogs. The dogs were sent to shelters through an organization called Paws New England. Annie was put into a foster home for 5 1/2 months before Ms Bentley adopted her. But shortly after Ms Bentley took the dog in, it ran away.

In trying to find the dog, Ms Bentley put posters up around Somerset and searched the woods. She said people would call her and say they saw Annie. She said putting up a lot of posters really helped to get the word out so that people would call when they saw the dog.

"We knew she was around," Ms Bentley said. "We were always just one step behind, but we finally got her."

Ms Bentley received a call that Annie had been seen at Simcock Farm. Owner James Simcock told Ms Bentley that he had seen the dog, but she looked too afraid to get close to him. She said posters of Annie were given to customers at the farm's ice cream stand in case they saw her. People communicated on Facebook about the search effort to find the dog.

A call came in to Ms Bentley that the dog was seen in the Hailes Hill Road and Dillon Lane area in Swansea. Looking at the pattern of where the dog had been spotted, it was figured out that Annie was following a stream in the area and so Have a Heart cages were set up along the stream at three locations at Simcock Farm, Hailes Hill Road and Dillon Lane, and that is how the dog was found and brought home.

The traps were provided by Swansea Animal Control, Paws New England and from the town where the dog's foster mother lives. The traps are cages that are two feet wide by three feet long and two feet high. The cages have a trigger inside so that when an animal goes in to get food the door is shut.

"It was just a real community effort," Ms. Bentley said of finding the dog. "Everywhere I went, people would say, did you find your dog. Everyone was great helping to try to find Annie."

When Annie was found, the dog had lost 16 pounds from what had been a 35 pound body. The dog's foster mother brought Annie to a veterinarian who said other than the weight loss, the dog was in good health. Ms Bentley decided to give the dog back to the foster mother who lives in Needham. The dog at Simcock Farm, named Rascal, came from a Paws New England shelter. Ms Bentley said Mr Simcock and his wife, Beverly Simcock, were a big help in finding Annie.

"She would want someone to do that for her fur baby if she ever got lost," Ms. Bentley said of what Ms. Simcock said to her about helping to find her dog.

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