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.
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 FindToto.com 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.”