Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mitzy, beagle-pointer

Lost dog finds her way back home
By Robert Linnehan
June 28, 2012
It’s not exactly “The Incredible Journey,” but if Mitzy the beagle pointer mix could talk, she would have some amazing tales to tell.

The two-and-a-half year old rescue dog disappeared in Evesham Township on Saturday, May 19, after running away from her owner and into the woods behind Georgia O’Keefe Way.

After more than two weeks on the lam, the frightened dog was found on Wednesday, June 6, on William Feather Drive in Voorhees Township.

Mitzy was hanging out at a friend’s house, one that she had only been to on a handful of occasions.

No, seriously.

Her owner, Dina Greenblatt, said she believes that Mitzy caught the scent of her dog friend Molly – a golden labradoodle – while she was running through the woods behind Sturbridge Lakes in Voorhees Township. Mitzy and Molly are both fans of the dog park in John Connolly Park in Voorhees Township and play there frequently while their owners chat.

“The only other people outside of the four members of our family that she trusts are her dog friend Molly and her mommy Maryanne,” Greenblatt said. “It was unbelievable. She had only been to Molly’s house twice before during our two-year friendship.”

The rescue dog is extremely nervous and skittish, Greenblatt explained, and was most likely abused before the Voorhees Township family adopted her. The family had been visiting relatives in Evesham Township when Mitzy disappeared on May 19.

After spending hours in the woods looking for Mitzy – and having to be rescued herself by the Evesham Township Police after she got lost – Greenblatt returned home and immediately went online to see what could be done.

Greenblatt started a Facebook page and posted a listing on Craigslist urging all residents in the area to call if they saw the dog running through their neighborhood. They posted her information on a pet tracking website called as well, which sent out a phone message blast about Mitzy to registered users.

After only a few hours, calls started to pour into their home. Sightings of Mitzy were happening all over Evesham Township.

“We were so distraught when it happened. By the time I would get anywhere after people spotted her she would be gone. We were out every single day looking for her; we were getting sightings around Kettle Run mostly, people I didn’t know were calling us and texting us with sightings, it was crazy,” Greenblatt said.

An hour after she ran away, the Greenblatt’s got their first call. The escaped dog was spotted on Kettle Run and Hopewell at 5:30 p.m. on May 19. The next day she was spotted standing on the front lawn of a residence in the same neighborhood, but ran away before she could be caught.

Later on that night, a resident called and said she saw Mitzy on Kettle Run Road and Clearfield Avenue, but the dog ran away during the phone call.

For the rest of the week, Greenblatt said the dog completely disappeared. False sightings were being called in, she said, and she wasn’t positively identified again until Wednesday, June 6, some 17 days after her last appearance.

An employee from a dog chipping service called Greenblatt and excitedly told her that he had spotted Mitzy in the Sturbridge Lakes area in the township. He tried to corral her, but the dog ran away, and he and Greenblatt spent the rest of the day riding around in his truck looking for Mitzy. While looking for her they got another positive sighting of Mitzy at Egret Road in the township later on in the day, but she was gone when they drove over.

With so many close calls and no results, Greenblatt said she was ready to give up hope.

But she received one last phone call on the same day from her friend Maryanne, informing her that Mitzy was in her backyard barking her head off with Molly.

Maryanne said she had heard Molly barking like crazy a little after 9 p.m. on June 6, and she was surprised when she heard another dog join in. She was even more elated when she recognized Mitzy, Molly’s best dog friend from John Connolly Park.

Her home is about three-and-a-half miles away from the location where Mitzy had been last spotted. She had wandered through the woods in the Sturbridge Lakes area of Voorhees Township to get to the home.

All told, Mitzy traveled almost six miles from Marlton to Voorhees during her 17-day adventure.

And for her troubles?

Mitzy is now the proud owner of “doggie GPS” which allows the Greenblatt family to monitor her location 24 hours a day.

“Ultimately, the power of puppy friendship was stronger than all the human searching that we could muster. Mitzy showed up at her BFF’s (Best Furry Friend’s) house in Sturbridge Lakes 17 days after running away,” Greenblatt said. “People went out of their way to help us. We’re so grateful.”


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Charlie, chihuahua

Missing Chihuahua reunited with owner
By Clare Huddleston
Jun 20, 2012

A missing Chihuahua has been reunited with his owner. Charlie survived ten days wandering the streets of downtown Birmingham looking for food, water, and shelter.

Charlie (L) and Chip happy and back together
Laird Foret says Charlie went missing Friday, June 1. 

"He went missing from an office party on Beacon Parkway and we chased him on foot. Me and my employees chased him as far as we could go but he ran down some hills and into some woods," said Foret.

Days later Foret got a phone call from a woman who said she saw Charlie running towards George Ward Park. In fact, she told Foret two men in a pickup truck stopped traffic on Greensprings Highway so Charlie could cross safely.

Foret searched that area, but couldn't find Charlie. The next Charlie sighting came in Glen Iris.

"He actually went into the Idle Wild Circle area and some people tried to feed him and approach him but he's shy and so he's not easy to approach but they described him as a small white dog who was visibly shaken," said Foret.

Visibly shaken and hungry. Maybe the smell of barbeque lured Charlie to his next sighting at Dreamland. After that he made his way towards UAB and that's where police cornered him in some bushes until Foret arrived and coaxed Charlie into his arms. It's something he'll never forget.

"I didn't realize how connected to these two little animals I was. They're my family. They just happen to be dogs," said Foret.

Charlie's brother, Chip, was also devastated when Charlie went missing. Forest says Chip would search the house looking for his brother, only to be disappointed. Foret says he too would have been disappointed had it not been for help from complete strangers.

"It's a story about the kindness of strangers and the community at large that came together through prayers, words of encouragement, their stories and helpful tips. I never would have been able to recover Charlie on my own or by myself," said Foret.

Foret hopes no one else has to go through what he went through with Charlie. That's why Foret wants his software company, Isotope Eleven, to develop an app that would alert you on your cell phone if there's a missing animal in your neighborhood.

Printer-friendly version here

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Oliver, pug

 Blackburn boy reunited with his stolen pug
Friday 22nd June 2012

A SIX-year-old boy is celebrating the return of his dog after an appeal in the Lancashire Telegraph.

Levi Elliott, of Infirmary Street, Blackburn, made a plea to the two thieves caught on CCTV calmly walking off with seven-year-old pug Oliver after stealing him from the family’s back garden on Monday afternoon.

After the article was published a 20-year-old man contacted police after finding Oliver wandering near the Leeds Liverpool Canal in Ewood.

Dad Mark Elliott, 37, said: “I was at the police station anyway, going through the CCTV, when they brought Oliver back.

“I got on the phone to the school and told Levi, and he’s overjoyed. He’s been very concerned, as have the rest of us, because Oliver doesn’t like going out much if it’s very rainy or very sunny.

“He seems okay physically, but he’s a bit startled and he’s not eating properly.”

“Without the Lancashire Telegraph, I don’t think we’d have got Oliver back so soon. I think someone’s seen the front page, panicked, and dumped him by the canal.

“It might seem nothing to them to steal a dog, but he’s everything to Levi, and I’m so relieved and pleased for him.

“I hope they catch whoever has done this. It serves as a warning to anyone else who thinks it’s okay to steal a dog.”

Mr Elliott, a student at Blackburn University, said he will be buying CCTV cameras for his back garden and will be monitoring Oliver more closely.

No arrests have been made in connection to the case, and police inquiries are ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.

Printer-friendly version here

Friday, June 22, 2012

Samson, cocker spaniel

Pennsylvania Woman, B.J. Ross, Cremates Beloved Dog
Only To Be Reunited With Long-Lost Pet On The Same Day
Huffington Post

Returning home on her lunch break earlier this month, Altoona, Pa., mom B.J. Ross was heartbroken to discover that her beloved 15-year-old cocker spaniel, Bigsby, had died in her absence.

"She was my absolute best friend and soul mate," Ross, 36, told The Huffington Post. "She used to do everything with me."

Gathering Bigsby into her arms, Ross drove to the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society with her mom to get the dog cremated.

Ross told the Altoona Mirror that Bigsby's death was the second loss she'd had to endure in the past year.

Her other cocker spaniel, Samson, had gone missing last July near her former home. Ross said Samson's loss had come as a terrible blow.

"I hung up pictures, I called the humane society and the radio station, but I couldn't find him," she said.

Sitting in the waiting room at the humane society almost a year later, Ross was faced with another painful goodbye.

"I was really distraught. I was just crying and crying," she said, adding that she was so overcome with emotion that she barely noticed the man with a brown-and-white cocker spaniel who was in the waiting room with her.

Thankfully, her mother, who was by her side, was paying attention.

"My mom overheard the man say that he found the dog about a year ago in Juniata," said Ross, referring to her old neighborhood. "She got up to take a look at the dog and said, 'That's Samson!'"

Ross said she was stunned when she took a look at the dog herself.

"I was like, you gotta be kidding me. It's been a year and there he was, it was him," she said. "I'm just crying and crying, and my mom asks me, 'Are you crying because you're happy or sad?' and I said, 'Both.'"

John Aurandt told the Altoona Mirror that he had found Samson in a parking lot.

"Me and my boy went up and down the streets trying to find the owner," he said. "I thought he was stray, but my boy wanted to keep him."

Aurandt said he was reluctantly giving Samson up because he didn't get along well with his other dog.

"They were aggressive toward each other," he said. "I just couldn't keep him."

After showing staff members pictures of Samson to verify her claim, Ross was permitted to take her lost dog home.

"The timing was just amazing. Just five minutes later and he would've been surrendered," Ross told The Huffington Post. "And if my mom hadn't come with me, I never would've seen him."

Humane Society Volunteer Coordinator Tammi Ingham told the Altoona Mirror that she was amazed by the improbable reunion.

"I get the goosebumps just thinking about it...There are odd things that happen here, but nothing like that," she said. "It sure made my day."

Ross said Samson has not left her side since his return and her two young children are over the moon that he's back in the house.

Though she admits she's still deep in mourning for Bigsby, she said her reunion with Samson has been nothing short of a "modern-day miracle."

"That day was so surreal. I had just lost my best friend but I was so happy to have my dog back," she said. "You know, I wasn't looking for a dog, but as my mom said, maybe he was looking for me."


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tessa, terrier

Dog feared eaten by coyotes reunited with family FOUR YEARS after she vanished
By Tom Gardner
20 June 2012

A cherished family dog feared killed by coyotes has returned home – four years after going missing.

Distraught Sophie Roorda, now 11, never quite came to terms with losing her three-year-old little black and white terrier, even with the passing years.

And to her utter amazement, she has been reunited with her beloved Tessa after the pet was discovered wandering in the wilderness near the family home in Barnhart, St Louis.

Reunited: Sophie Roorda has been reunited with her dog Tessa after four years thanks to an implanted identification chip

A family spotted the stray animal looking thin and disheveled and took her to a nearby animal sanctuary.
Staff at Webster Groves Animal Hospital found a microchip with her owner's contact information.

Sophie’s father Jeff Roorda, picked up the dog last week, told ‘She came right to me when I called her name. She seemed pretty happy to see me.

‘It would be fascinating to find out how she got from Barnhart to Webster Groves and what happened in the last four years.’

Angel Venegoni, the animal hospital's administrator said her hospital regularly reunites microchipped pets with owners, but four years could be a record for them.

Sophie’s parents had tried to fill the void left by missing Tessa and bought the sixth-grader a cat, Jayda, and a Shih Tzu named Jazzie.

Nancy Roorda said: ‘We got her to replace Tessa. At that time, my father and Sophie's great-grandmother had passed away and then the dog disappeared, so it was a really rough time for her.’

And a month ago her treasured cat also went missing. Its remains were discovered near a coyote den near their home, which appeared to confirm the theory that the same fate had befallen Tessa.

That was until they received a call from the animal hospital saying their pet had not in fact been eaten by wild dogs.

Reunited Tessa has not struggled getting reacquainted with her old domestic life, climbing in to her favourite arm of the family's couch as if no time had passed.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Taylor, golden retriever

Joy as special needs boy and lost dog are reunited
By David Raleigh
Tuesday June 19 2012

MYSTERY surrounds how two missing dogs escaped from a car trailer and were eventually relocated running along the road -- 60km away from their starting point -- by their frazzled owners.

Katie and Seamus Fleming, from Milltown, Dublin, were distraught when they discovered the dogs had escaped -- as one of them shares a huge bond with their special needs son, Patrick.

The couple, who have been reunited with the dogs, had left Castleisland, Co Kerry, on Sunday and were driving back to Dublin. It wasn't until they were near Moneygall, Co Offaly, 172km later, when other motorists brought the empty trailer to their attention.

Ms Fleming explained that the golden retriever, 'Taylor', provides a lifeline to their 11-year-old son Patrick, who has Down syndrome and does not speak.

"My son can't verbalise but the dog understands him. They have their own method of communication. It's an amazing bond. It was vital we got Taylor back," she said.

The couple believed the dogs could be dead after they pulled off the road and discovered, to their horror, that the trailer was empty.

"There was no way we expected them to be alive -- let alone be found together. We had no hope... I was panicking about how I was going to tell Patrick. I don't know how he'd have coped," Ms Fleming said.

She contacted her sister Nancy, who lives in Kerry, who in turn contacted local radio station Limerick's Live 95FM, to make an on-air appeal on Les Dineen's show. The family contacted Garda Cathy Healy in Askeaton, Co Limerick, who put the appeal out on Twitter.

A couple spotted the dogs and contacted gardai who held Taylor and his adopted sister Pixie Belle until the Flemings arrived.

"We don't normally do missing dogs but considering the dog was so important to the boy's wellbeing, I put out the appeal during the show," said Mr Dineen.

"It was a long shot. Then I started getting text messages from people saying they had spotted the dogs running near Newcastle West. I rang Nancy back and she was delighted. She wanted to give me a reward. I said the only reward was knowing the boy would be reunited with his dog."

Printer-friendly version here

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cairo, boxer

Ohio man reunited with lost dog after month of searching by Indian River County volunteers
By: Janet Begley, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers
Posted: 06/16/2012

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A lost dog from Ohio has been reunited with its owner, thanks to some good Samaritans from Vero Beach.

Cairo, a 7-year-old male boxer, was lost May 10 while his owner, Brent Pirich, was visiting Vero Beach for a master dive class. The dog got away and escaped into the woods near U.S. 1 and 53rd Street in Vero Beach.

Pirich posted signs throughout the area, and searched for the dog unsuccessfully for days. While posting a flier, Pirich met Kory Casey, a volunteer for the Coastal Boxer Rescue of Florida, who offered to keep looking for Cairo because Pirich had to return to Cleveland.

"I was searching for Cairo more over a month," said Casey, who is a chiropractor in Melbourne. "Brent was beside himself with worry and all of us at the Coastal Boxer Rescue really wanted to help him find his dog."

Also joining in the search for Cairo was Osceola Magnet School teacher Cheryl Campbell and her 15-year-old son, Eric.

"I noticed there was a flier up about the missing boxer and we would look in the area before and after school," Campbell said. "People in the community would see me searching along the side of the road and would stop and ask me about the dog and whether he had been found yet."

On June 8, the dog was spotted in the 53rd Street area near the cement plant, but he ran off when volunteers tried to catch him. Indian River County Animal Control officer Jeff West helped with the search and eventually lured the dog into a humane trap so he could be rescued. Cairo spent several days at the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County waiting for Pirich to drive from Cleveland to claim him.

"It's one of those stories that tug at your heartstrings," Campbell said. "It was such a wonderful feeling to know that the dog is expected to have a full recovery."

Pirich was emotional when he described the feelings he had when he thought the dog would never be found.

"You figure you're never going to see him again," Pirich said. "And when Kory called to say they found him, I was shocked. I think they were as happy to see him as I was."

Although he's about 30 pounds lighter, Cairo seems healthy, Humane Society officials said, and he was excited to see Pirich when he arrived at the shelter June 11.

Pirich credits Campbell and volunteers from the Coastal Boxer Rescue group including Casey and Don Jackson with never giving up hope that the dog would be found.

"I was really shocked that people who didn't even know the dog would go to all that trouble," Pirich said. "I'm very grateful."

Printer-friendly version here

Friday, June 8, 2012

Smilla, Norwegian sled dog

Lost sled dog Smilla's run ends with rescue
May 8, 2012

Smilla's wild tour of the Snoqualmie Valley and greater Eastside is over.

The Norwegian sled dog, who spent seven weeks on the loose after busting out of her crate March 10, has been captured.

Groggy from a sleeping drug in her snack,
lost sled dog Smilla is snagged by a net April 29.

Smilla is fortunate: Not every dog lost for so long gets to come home, says Jim Branson, president of the Missing Pet Partnership and a lead organizer of the Valley search.

"Smilla did me a favor by letting me catch her," he said.

On her way home from the Iditarod sled race in Alaska, the dog broke free when an overloaded crate broke. Locals noticed her many times as the dog circled Fall City, ranging to Preston and as far as Renton but resisted every capture attempt.

Volunteers finally threw a net over her on Sunday, April 29, at Twin Rivers Golf Course, after slipping her the mickey, via some dog food.

Last week, Smilla ran from Fall City to the Greenwood Cemetery in Renton, 20 miles away. She spent the day in the cemetery and then ran back to Fall City where she started.

The partnership received reports on Saturday and Sunday that Smilla was trotting around Twin Rivers Golf Course in Fall City. Going to the course, Branson and MPP volunteers Scott Dungan and Miriam Kelly were watching Smilla and keeping her safe.

Smilla likes women better than men, so Miriam fed Smilla some sedative pills hidden in liverwurst. The dog settled down for a nap, but never fell into a deep sleep.

"Several times, she woke up just as I was sneaking up on her with a net," Branson said. "The three of us followed her around the golf course for about four hours as she found new places to nap and we tried to sneak up on her."

Branson rushed the last 10 feet, throwing a net over her as she was getting up to run.

"Nothing went exactly as planned, but it worked," Branson stated. "She was too sleepy and disoriented to run away quickly."

Smilla was not happy about being trapped, but volunteers were elated.

"We are all very pleased that she will no longer be at risk of being struck by a car," Branson said.

Once dogs are on the run, afraid of strangers, they start learning to distrust all humans.

"It's common for dogs to get in this state of mind when they're on the run," Branson said.

"Now that she's back with people, she's perfectly fine. She's friendly, she wants to be with people. She's accepting food."

The dog was suffering from a giardia infection when she was found, but is otherwise healthy. And for a dog on the run for seven weeks, that's surprising.

"She didn't really lose much weight," Branson said. "That's because everybody was feeding her, trying to catch her, giving her treats, bowls of kibble. She at pretty well."

Smilla's behavior made the big difference in her getting back to safety.

Branson says many lost dogs wind up in remote places. Smilla, in contrast, preferred to take a nap in the afternoon in a sunny, grassy place.

"She chose places that 360 degrees of escape. This made her very visible," Branson said. "So a lot of people saw her. This allowed us to keep track of her."

Volunteers, some from as far away from Ocean Shores, have invested hundreds of hours trying to capture Smilla, as have locals at the campground, cemetery, golf course.

More than a thousand called with sightings following a report by this newspaper.

"We received 2,000 calls from people who had seen the story," Branson said.

Smilla is now being boarded by a friend of Carl Jesltrup of Fall City, a local acquaintance of her owner, sled dog racer Silvia Furtwangler of Norway.

Should Furtwangler choose not to be reunited with the dog, Branson said there are several people who have volunteered to adopt the dog.

Branson hopes everything works out for Smilla.

"She is a high risk for escaping again," he said.

The most important thing now, Branson said, is for Smilla's handlers to make sure she's wearing an escape-proof collar.

Branson is amazed by how far the dog roamed—and how she always found her way back to Fall City.

The dog ran all the way to Renton, and "ended up back in the same place," he said.

"She was building a mental map of the area," Branson added. Lost dogs often circle and check out their surroundings, learning where water and food sources can be found.

"This is the first time we've had a case that a dog ran so far away from the point of escape and then all the way back."

Printer-friendly version here