I don’t know about you, but I have become pretty paranoid about my dogs getting loose and getting lost. Maybe it was my whole experience with Cupcake last year (she was lost for 12 very long days) or maybe it’s seeing all the lost dog postings on Facebook every day, but I am now super vigilant about where my dogs are at, whether at home or out and about.
I think one of my biggest worries used to be that someone would leave one of my gates open and the dogs would get out. I have read one too many stories of dogs who became lost after a construction guy or a plumber or a yard guy left the gate open and the dog escaped. What is up with that anyways? Do they not have a brain?
Yesterday I saw another posting, this one on Lost Dogs Arizona. It reaffirmed my belief that putting locks on my gates was not as crazy as I first thought (I could care less if it offends the neighbor).
The posting was a frantic message about a Cattle Dog named Jessi Jane who was lost after the “yard guy left the gate open” and then “chased Jessi Jane” after realizing his mistake. Of course, this only scared her even more and she ran even harder. (Side note: Chasing a dog is the worst thing you can do. If anything, run away from the dog or lay down like you are injured or open your car door and ask them if they want to go for a ride.) Jessi Jane’s mother was absolutely frantic. Who could blame her? I would be too! Fortunately, Jessie Jane returned home one day later. The yard guy was fired and Jessi was home safe.
Seeing yet another story about a lost dog that was the result of someone leaving a gate open made me wonder if this is more common than I think. So I would like to ask you… Have you ever had your dog escape the yard because someone left a gate open? If so, was it someone you hired ir maybe a family member? Has it happened to you and what happened with your dog?
For those of you who follow me on my Facebook page or follow the Lost Shelties MN page, you already know the good news. Sunny, the Sheltie lost in Maple Grove, Minnesota, is now safely home in Ohio. After 96 days and 23 miles, he was reunited with his dad on Friday evening. It was a very special moment and one I am sure Sunny’s dad and family won’t forget.
For those of you who don’t know the story, I think you will find this worth reading. It is a good example of how important it is to get the word out… AND just how to do it.
Before I share Sunny’s story from beginning to end (My thanks to Cindy from Lost Shelties MN and Mary McTie for letting me share this!), I would like to thank all of the people who helped in his successful return. I would love to name each and every one of you here, but there were so many of you that I am afraid I would forget someone!
Instead, let me just share some of the things you did to bring Sunny home:
- Offered support to Sunny’s family and coordinated the handing out of flyers (including updating the flyer map on numerous occasions so we knew where to go next).
- Updated the missing dog flyers so the latest information could be handed out in neighborhoods and posted in store windows.
- Placed, checked and moved traps in the frigid cold and deep snow – more times than we even know. (Trust me when I say this is hard work.)
- Managed the incoming calls with sightings of Sunny and handled inquiries from the general public (both on Facebook and over the phone).
- Made calls to local shelters, police departments and city managers in cities where Sunny was sighted.
- Monitored all the places that help lost dogs – AHS website, Lost Dogs – MN, Craigslist, in case Sunny was brought in as a stray.
- Called radio stations to ask them to ask the public to keep an eye out for Sunny.
- Handed out flyers over and over and over again – and then did it once again (many times in frigid cold).
- Contacted local newspapers and online news media outlets to alert them to Sunny’s story and the search for him.
- Placed ads in newspapers and posted info on Craigslist.
- Made signs to be placed in areas he was sighted.
- Kept all of the volunteers motivated week after week after week (you know who you are!).
- Shared Sunny’s picture and story on Facebook and asked friends to share.
- Prayed, sent good thoughts and hoped that Sunny would be reunited with his family.
- Called and reported each and every sighting, no matter when that sighting occurred.
A very special thanks to Patti and her husband for reporting that one final set of sightings that brought Sunny home and to Cindy from Lost Shelties MN who handled so much more than we know with absolute grace and charm.
So, without further ado, here is Sunny’s story as it was shared on the Lost Shelties MN Facebook page in Sunday. It still brings tears to my eyes.
Hi Everyone…This is long…I apologize…but it’s been a long journey for Sunny, his family and the rest of us. This is a story worth telling. Thank you all for EVERYTHING you have done to help this precious boy. A lot of hard work by all…but so very rewarding. Grab some coffee and enjoy. And please share this also, as I’m sure through the 96 days that Sunny was gone, there were a lot of people who have seen your likes & shares. Thank you…from the bottom of my heart.
(First, how Sunny was finally caught.) On March 20th, Sunny’s owner called to tell us he got a call from a lady who had seen Sunny. Her name is Patti and she lives in Vadnais Heights. Patti feeds stray cats and she and her husband have a live feed video camera near the bowls. They started to see a Sheltie come around about 11pm, he had been eating at the bowls at least eight times in the last week and a half. Patti checked Craigslist and was sure that dog was Sunny. We were cautiously optimistic. Almost 23 miles (via Interstate 694) from where Sunny went missing on Christmas Eve. If this was Sunny…he was heading for Ohio!
Minnesota Sheltie Rescue (MNSR) volunteers brought a live trap over that night. Patti had a huge bowl of cut up hot dogs, another big bowl of chicken, along with cat kibble and a heated bowl for milk. We set up the trap with the chicken and hot dogs inside. We left the kibble and milk outside – usually we don’t want to leave food outside the trap but a big tomcat was watching the whole time and we figured we would probably catch him multiple times if we didn’t leave something out for him.
The first night, Patti’s husband stayed up til 2 a.m. watching the video…no dog! We set up a motion-activated camera. We thought if we at least saw him come around again, then we would put the word out for flyers in the area. But the dog stopped coming by (or at least he did not appear on the love camera or when anyone was watching the live feed). More days passed and no dog. We started thinking it must have been a neighbor dog, who was sometimes let out to stroll late at night. It started to seem like nothing was going to happen here.
March 28th – Patti called to say they caught a raccoon in the trap! Not good, but there’s always the thought that you have to catch something else before you catch the dog.
6:30 a.m. on March 29th – Patti calls to say they have the dog in the trap! What dog…must be a neighbor dog…some other dog that needs our help? Could it possibly be Sunny? Patti and her husband knew not to open the trap but they offered to bring it inside their garage until our volunteer Pat (another MNSR volunteer) could get there.
Pat and her granddaughter arrived, along with Sunny’s owners’ in-laws. The markings looked right, the size looked right, but there was that tiny bit of doubt that it was another Sheltie that looked a lot like Sunny. The dog sort of wagged his tail at the father-in-law. He was matted and full of burrs, but otherwise didn’t look too bad. They sent pictures to Sunny’s owner in Ohio, and he was on the road by mid-morning.
Sunny went to Karen’s for the day. Pat’s granddaughter spent some time picking burrs out of his coat and he was amazingly relaxed. He got a good nap for the rest of the morning.
At noon on Friday, March 29th, Sunny went to MNSR’s vet, he was checked out and overall opinion was that he is in pretty good shape (blood work results will take a day or two), not thin but obviously he was tired.
Sunny had to meet some more MNSR volunteers later in the afternoon, and he was quite calm for that too. He didn’t approach us, but he didn’t hide or cower. Maybe still somewhat in shock and maybe relief that he didn’t have to run anymore.
Friday evening about 7:00 p.m., Sunny’s owner, Dick, arrives at Karen’s. Sunny looked at him, walked over and sniffed him, and then his tail started to wag a little. He never left Dick after that. Dick sat on the step and talked and Sunny looked at him and listened. Dick would say familiar words and his ears would perk up. He relaxed and laid down at his feet for a while. We could tell that all was well in Sunny’s world again.
Sunny left Karen’s equipped with a Minnesota Sheltie Rescue (MNSR collar), a harness and was double leashed! After all that, Dick carried him out to the car anyway. Sunny and Dick are driving back to Ohio Saturday morning and should be back home by evening. (Update: Sunny is now home and his overall blood work was good.)
Thank you to everyone who helped in this 96 day search to get Sunny back home. The flyers, the Craigslist ads, the Maple Grove Patch and the City of Brooklyn Park, the sharing on Facebook, twitter and other social media. Thank you to Patti and her husband for feeding such good food to stray cats and a lost Sheltie from Ohio.
Sunny – you captured our hearts. Safe travels home, Sunny and Dick!
* * * * * *
Chronology of the search for Sunny
December 24 – Sunny, a Sheltie visiting with his family from Ohio, goes missing.
December 26th – Volunteers hit the streets of Maple Grove flyering the neighborhoods.
January 5th – Sunny sighting south of 85th, by Fleet Farm. Other Sunny sightings. (Major snowstorm January 4th.)
January 13th – Sunny sighting on the west side of the Coon Rapids Dam. Volunteers look on both sides of the dam, the area is heavily flyered.
January 15th – Three Rivers Park (Coon Rapids) police report seeing Sunny near West River Road and chase him into the park. MNSR live traps are set, something is eating the food out of the traps, but nothing is ever caught.
Mid- January – We get a couple reports of a Sheltie near highway 610 and also in Coon Rapids. (Temps the week of January 21st ranged from -30 to -20 degrees with -30 to -40 degree windchill.)
January 26th – A Sheltie is reported in Ham Lake near Constance and Urbank. Volunteers place signs in the area. The traps at the dam are still being checked.
Early February – We start to get multiple sightings in Blaine. Volunteers flyer the Blaine neighborhoods. People see us posting signs and tell us they got the flyer and are watching.
February 13th – Sighting back in Brooklyn Park at 104th and Douglas Drive. Volunteers are back distributing flyers in that neighborhood.
February 14th – 16th – Multiple reports of a Sheltie near Bunker Hills Golf Course. Volunteers flyer a large area in Blaine and Coon Rapids.
February 18th – A woman in Blaine catches the Sheltie in a garage. He is extremely underweight, tired and scared. He’s not Sunny, but he definitely needed us.
February 24th – A man calls to say he saw a flyer but that he saw the dog laying on the side of northbound highway 169. It was at least 2 weeks after he had the sighting. Karen from MNSR drives and walks the area, looking for the dog. Mary goes out March 2 to take one more look before the next big snowstorm. No sign of a dog.
March 11 – Another report of a sighting at 93rd and Noble in Brooklyn Park. Volunteers flyer the area.
March 19th – A sighting in Andover. A live trap is set in the backyard. (Major snowstorm March 18th.)
March 20th – A sighting in Vadnais Heights. A live trap is set next to the house.
March 27th – A report about a dead animal in Blaine. Started thinking the Vadnais Heights dog wasn’t Sunny.
March 28th – A racoon is caught in the Vadnais Heights trap.
March 29th – A dog is in the Vadnais Heights trap. A happy ending to a 96 day search for a lost Sheltie from Ohio.
Two more updates: Rumor has it that Sunny’s story may be featured on the John Williams radio show on WCCO on Monday between 3-6 p.m. and he is once again featured on the Maple Grove Patch (the first time was when he was still missing).
However, it’s not just the dog owner who needs to know what to do when a dog goes missing. Those who want to help in the search need to know what to do as well. Often the most well-meaning dog searcher can hinder a search by what they do and say. Some have even caused a dog to go missing longer because they were trying to “help” and inadvertently ended up hurting the search.
I thought I would put together a list DO’s and DON’Ts for both owners and those who want to help them. Please feel free to share.
Owner of a Lost Dog
- Tell everyone you know that your dog is missing. Call all local shelters, animal control facilities, vet clinics and local police to let them know.
- Make a flyer with the most pertinent information – dog’s picture, coloring and weight, where lost, contact information (i.e., phone number). If you have a shy dog, make sure you also add DO NOT CHASE to the flyer.
- Place flyers at all local vet clinics, animal shelters, stores and local businesses. Also, start canvasing the area your dog was lost and handing the flyers out to people walking their dogs.
- Leave a flyer in each residence’s newspaper box (It is illegal to place in mailboxes.) or inside their screen door.
- Place an ad on Craigslist.
- Ask for help from friends and family. Ask them to help spread the word or pass out flyers.
- Share information on Facebook and Twitter – If you have a Lost Dogs Facebook group for your state, share there. There are quite a few that have been created, including ones in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Texas, Minnesota and Illinois.
- Create signs that you can place in strategic locations so drivers can see them as they drive past. Keep the sign simple (e.g., Lost Sheltie and a phone number) so people can read it quickly.
- Pay attention to where your dog is sighted. Generally, a dog will establish a pattern of places they visit or hang out. Once you have a pattern, set up feeding stations so he/she stays in the area. When you are certain that they have gotten used to feeding at these stations, set up a trap or traps at those locations and move the food inside the trap.
- Consider utilizing one of the many services out there to help spread the word – Pet Amber Alert, FindToto.com, etc.
- Send positive thoughts to your dog. Tell them to go into the trap or to seek out a person for help. It may seem silly, but it does work.
- Place an article of your clothing or your dog’s bedding in a crate or trap near the location they were lost so they are drawn in by the scent. If your dog went missing from your home, place it in your backyard or in an area they could enter it.
- Carry smelly treats with you that you can toss to your dog if sighted. Make sure you sit down facing away from your dog or sideways to them and sit quietly with your head down. Don’t speak right away. Just toss the treats towards your dog. (Cupcake was lost for 12 days and by the time I found her she was in survival mode. She didn’t recognize me by sight or sound. It was only when I sat down and allowed her to safely approach me that she was able to smell me. That is when she recognized me.)
- Give up hope. Dogs and cats are much more resilient than we think. They can and do find food and shelter. Princessa’s Story is good example of how dogs can survive the cold of winter.
- Assume your dog will run right up to you. Chances are they won’t. I wrote about this a couple of months ago – Why your lost dog may not run back to you.
- Share trap locations with more than a couple of people you trust. The more people who know about the trap locations, the more the risk you will have too many people monitoring the traps and this could scare your dog away. Make a plan for who will know the trap locations and who will check them and when.
- Drive around assuming you will see your lost dog somewhere. Utilize flyers and get more eyes looking for your dog immediately.
Lost Dog Searchers
- Offer to hand out flyers and spread the word. (It was a stranger who offered to hand out flyers that led to me getting Cupcake back. Flyers really do work.)
- Offer encouragement and hope to the owner of the lost pet. One of the reasons a lost pet is not found is because the owner gives up hope. Help to keep that hope going.
- Share the lost dog’s story and information on Facebook and Twitter. Most people don’t share because they assume that people don’t live in the area and don’t care, but this is not the case. (When my Cupcake was missing people shared across the globe. One of the people to see her story lived in New York. His parents just happened to live a few blocks from me. They became instrumental in my search for Cupcake and her eventual capture. People know people who live near where the dog was lost. Never assume they don’t. It can make all the difference.)
- Call in sightings to the owner ASAP.
- If you see the lost dog, sit down facing away from them or sideways to them and bow your head and toss tasty treats their way. Don’t talk to them, but do call the owner immediately. The objective is to keep them there until the owner can come to get them.
- Send positive thoughts to the missing dog and encourage them to enter the trap or seek help from a human. Negative thoughts do not help the dog or owner.
- Add to a lost pet owner’s fears by talking about the chance their dog could be killed by coyotes or cars or cold weather. They already know this and your sharing this information is not helpful.
- Try to catch the lost dog yourself. Most dogs go into survival mode and will run away from all people, including their owner, because they are afraid. I wrote about this a couple of months ago. Please read it – Why your lost dog may not run back to you.
- Chase the lost dog. You only risk scaring them further away from the location. We want them to STAY in the area.
- Ask the owner to call you when the dog is found. (I had many a well-meaning person contact me to find out if Cupcake had been found. When informed she had not, most of them asked that I call them back after she was found. I am sorry, but the last thing on a lost pet owner’s mind is keeping you informed on the status of the missing dog. They are too busy looking for their lost dog.)
- Assume that the owner hasn’t tried everything to get their lost dog back or make derogatory remarks about how they lost their dog. Under the right circumstances, every single one of us could face this situation with our own dogs. To assume your dog could never get lost goes against all the statistics that say otherwise.
- Assume that you will be the one to find the lost dog. Offer to help where you can, but realize that what really finds lost dogs is not someone chasing the dog down. What works is getting flyers and signs out there so more eyes are watching for the dog and an call the owner as soon as there is a sighting.
- Go looking for the traps after they have been placed. The owner’s scent should be the one that is near the trap not yours. You could inadvertently scare a dog away from the trap by hanging out near it or traipsing around in the area surrounding it and end up leaving your scent behind instead of the owner’s.
Losing a dog is such a heartbreaking and terrifying experience, but knowing what to do can make all the difference. Those who help them need to know what to do too. I hope this helps.
I was reminded once again this past weekend how much we dog owners don’t know about missing pets. That’s not a judgement in any way, just an observation. So few of us really know or understand what happens to a pet when they become lost.
This past weekend someone asked me why any lost dog would not just go to their owner once they saw them. It’s a good question. I think most of us just assume that our own dogs would come running to us as soon as they saw us. After all, we’ve cared for them, fed them, cuddled with them and loved them. But, sadly that is not the case for every lost dog – even your lost dog.
I first read this story (“Dog Lost for Four Months Recognizes Family by Whistle“) on Life With Dogs back in October. It’s a good example of how a lost dog can become confused and disoriented when they are lost for several days or months. Luna, the dog in the story, was missing for four months. When her family finally found her again, she didn’t recognize them, and even walked away from them when they arrived to be reunited with her. It took two days, six visits and a distinctive whistle by the owner, for her to realize it was them. What had been a puzzling circumstance finally resulted in a happy reunion for all.
As many of us already know, not all dogs are created equal (if they were our lives would be pretty boring!). Some dogs are happy-go-lucky, love people and other dogs, while others are much more wary and unsure. Puppy mill dogs are especially wary of strangers. They’re also more skittish. They are less likely to stick around and see if the human approaching them is “their” human or someone intending to harm them. As a result, they are much harder to catch and usually have to be trapped.
But a dog does not have to be a puppy mill dog to react this way. Many lost dogs tend to go into “survival mode”. They are frightened, unsure, hungry, tired (exhausted) and on constant alert. In many cases, they are fending for their lives. The longer they live in this state the less likely they are to recognize their owner on sight – and in fact, they are less likely to stick around and wait to see if it if the person approaching them is their owner.
A year ago this week, my foster dog, Cupcake, was missing. As a lost dog and owner, Cupcake and I had a lot going against us finding one another again – she was a puppy mill dog, had only been with me a little over a month, and was frightened of strangers. She was dodging traffic, coyotes and people in the twelve days she was missing. Talk about being in survival mode – she was definitely in it.
When we finally were able to see each other again it was at a warehouse loading dock. Even as people blocked all her avenues of escape, she continued to run back and forth, trying to find a way out. I was standing right there and she didn’t even recognize me. I called her name and she kept running. I asked if she wanted to go home to see Daisy and Jasper (my other two dogs) and she stopped for a second, then kept running – she was in survival mode, searching for a way out.
It wasn’t until I sat down with my body turned sideways from her, with my head bowed down and avoided eye contact with her, that she came close enough to smell me. I still remember the moment she started to realize it was me. She lifted her nose to the air and sniffed me. Then she moved closer and sniffed again. When she finally got close enough to really sniff me, and to hear my voice, she sighed. It was at that very moment she realized it was me. She leaned into me. She finally knew she was safe.
All lost dogs act differently. As owners, we need to know that before our pet goes missing.
We need to know that chasing a lost dog is one of the worst things we can do. It only reaffirms to the dog that people should be avoided.
So what should you do when you encounter a lost dog or your own lost dog?
- Sit down.
- Turn your body so your back or side is to the dog.
- Keep your eyes averted and bow your head so as to look non-threatening.
- Toss tasty treats (hot dogs, chicken, smelly cheese, etc.) behind you or to the side of you.
- Don’t talk.
- Wait patiently for the dog to approach you. Don’t make any sudden movements, but continue to toss treats.
- Don’t grab the dog when they get close, but wait patiently and build trust.
- Speak softly, but if they back away, stop talking and just continue to toss treats until they trust you enough to come closer.
As a dog owner, it pays to know what to do if your dog becomes lost. Below are some sites with some great tips on what to do. I really encourage you to check them out.
Lost Dog Tips
I know I say this quite frequently, but I really did have something else planned for today’s post. Something informative. Something interesting.
Maybe it has to do with how long she has been missing – 32 days as of November 13th.
Or maybe it’s the cold weather we are experiencing right now – 19 degrees as of this Tuesday morning.
Or it could be where she is hanging out - a brushy field alongside a man-made lake where coyote and fox dens are plentiful.
More than likely, it’s also because the anniversary of the day I first lost my dog, Cupcake, is fast approaching – November 18th.
I can’t help but feel strong emotions as I watch the drama of Lizzie’s story unfold so much like it did for Cupcake. My memories of those 12 days are still so strong even now, a year later. I still tear up when I remember how Cupcake sighed and sank against me when she finally realized she had found me and was safe. I think it was in that moment that I fully understood how scared and worried and fearful she had been during her ordeal. I certainly knew how scared I had been. Finding one another was one of the most intense, most powerful, moments of my life.
I cannot help but feel the same feelings as for Lizzie. I know she must be so very frightened. And, there is so much that is similar to Cupcake’s story.
- Went missing while away from home. Her home is in Rochester, Minnesota, but she was staying with her owner’s daughter when she got away from her.
- Seems to be staying in the same general area now, although she did travel quite far at first.
- Has mostly been sighted in the early morning hours or late evenings.
- Is hanging out in areas known to have coyotes.
- Has many of the same people searching for her that helped search for Cupcake.
- Was even sighted sleeping near a wooded area – just like Cupcake.
I know we are close. She has been sighted many times and seems to have a pattern to her days. It is only a matter of time before we get her. But until then, I will worry and pray and hope that she stays safe. This one is too close to my heart and too close to my own recent experience not to worry.
If you want to help, please send some good thoughts Lizzie’s way and pray she stays safe until we can get her. If you live in Apple Valley, MN, please keep an eye out for her. She has been seen in the downtown area. If you do see her, DO NOT CHASE her. She is a former puppy mill dog and afraid of most people. She even ran from her caretaker. This is what Shelties do when they are in survival mode. Instead, if you see her, please call 651-206-4777 or 507-319-5547.
I’ll keep you updated on Lizzie’s progress. I hope she is caught soon.
It’s me! Your delicious, scrumptious, sweet little Sheltie friend. Remember me? I was lost for 12 days last year and lived to tell you about it.
Oh. I didn’t tell you about it? Are you sure?
Well, maybe some things are better of left unsaid.
Let’s just say I am very happy to be back home.
In an unusual moment of insanity, Mom has decided to let me take over the keyboard today. I have to tell you, she’s a bit reluctant to let me do so. She knows why I want to write today and she’s a bit nervous about the whole thing.
But, I convinced her it was important. I told her it was time.
“Time for what?” you ask.
Well, it’s time to reveal my little secret.
It’s something I have keeping from you for some time now. Something that only those closest to me know.
Lady is not my real name.
“What?” you ask, “What do you mean Lady isn’t your real name?”
I know. It’s a shocker (almost as shocking as who shot J.R. in Dallas).
Lady is a really great name. I prance around like a lady, I look as beautiful as a little lady and I often clean my paws at the end of a good meal (what lady wouldn’t?). But, such a serious name can also be so limiting. After all, how can one be silly if they are expected to act like a Lady all of the time?
I am sworn to secrecy about the reasons behind my public name change, but I can tell you that the reason for the change was a good one. I was in the Witness Protection Program for Dogs.
What? You’ve ever heard of it? Ask your dogs. I am SURE they have heard about the WPPD (Witness Protection Program for Dogs). Every dog knows about it. It’s our last resort when we get into trouble. “Contact the WPPD if you ever need help.” That’s what all dogs say to one another.
And you thought you knew everything about us. Ha! Did I also tell you about our secret society? No? Well, maybe I should leave that one for another day.
I can tell you that I am now out of the WPPD (thanks to my mom). Getting a forever home meant I could leave the WPPD. And now that I am safe, I can come out of the dog house.
Oh. You can still call me Lady if you want. I won’t mind. I just prefer mom call me my real name. (To be honest, I think she’s having a hard time trying to keep the two names straight. She often forgets and calls me by my real name in public. I hear that humans have trouble remembering things as they get older.)
So what is my real name you ask?
Let’s see if you can guess.
My name is….
Still not sure?
No. My name is not Birthday or Candle or Happy Birthday.
Update: Early this morning, Aug. 30th, Cappy was sighted near home. Miracle of miracles, he is home safe now!
I had another post planned for today, but a more urgent matter came along this Wednesday night.
We have another LOST SHELTIE from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue. His name is CAPPY and he went missing Wednesday (August 29th) night. He is a very small (only 12 lbs.) and shy little guy and is in need of our help. Cappy went missing in Lake Elmo, Minnesota near Manning Trail and County 15 (Manning) in Lake Elmo, which is in Washington County.
Please share, especially if you know someone in Minnesota. Share with them and ask them to share as well. You can keep updated on the search for Cappy on Minnesota Sheltie Rescue’s Facebook page or on Lost Shelties of MN.
If you tweet, please retweet: Lost #Sheltie in #LakeElmo #Minnesota. Name: Cappy. Blue merle. Afraid of people. Tweet @melzpetpals if you see him. bit.ly/PPgbMp
If you are on Facebook, please ask your friends to share with their Minnesota friends a picture of Cappy or refer them to this blog post so they can see his picture.
If you go out to help hand out flyers or look for Cappy, please DO NOT CHASE. SIT DOWN and CALL one of the numbers listed below. Remember, Shelties are skittish dogs and will go into survival mode quickly. This means they will not approach a stranger and may not even approach their owner at first. Chasing or calling to them will not bring them to you. If you see Cappy, please call the numbers listed.
Here is the most current information we have on Cappy:
Date Lost: 08-29-2012
Dog’s Name: Cappy
Breed of Dog: Sheltie
…Neutered / Spayed: Neutered
City where lost: Lake Elmo
Closest Intersection: Manning Trail and County 15 (Manning)
Zip Code: 55042
Color or Markings: Blue merle with a white and tan face
Dog’s Age: 8
Dog’s Weight: 12 lbs.
Dog’s Demeanor: Shy/Timid
Dog was: Wearing tags, Wearing Collar
Any information on how lost, description etc. Cappy is a rescue sheltie we’ve had for about 8 months. He was restless today and shot out the front door before we could block him — he ran down our cul de sac and we quickly lost sight of him.
Contact’s Name: Kris Killian
If seen, sit down and call 651-777-3428 or 612-804-9204 with exact location, direction the dog headed and description of dog.
One of my biggest concerns this coming week is the upcoming 4th of July holiday. Having been through the awful experience of having lost a dog this past November, I can’t help but worry and wonder – how many pets will be lost this coming 4th of July?
For those of us with dogs who are already afraid, protecting them and keeping them away from fireworks is a no-brainer. We already know that our pets (like my Daisy) suffer greatly when the fireworks begin – panting, drooling, shaking, pacing and hiding, all are symptoms of a dog who is afraid of fireworks. For owners like us, our goal is to simply keep them safe and get them through the event with the least amount of stress possible.
But the pets I most worry about are the ones who have never displayed symptoms of fear when fireworks have gone off in the past. These are the dogs that many owners think are safe to bring to a fireworks display or to walk at night or in the day as they are going off in the neighborhood. These are the dogs that no one expects to bolt and run, but as statistics show, they do.
That’s why I was so happy to discover that PetAmberAlert.com had created and shared the infographic below, showing how many pets are lost on the 4th of July, and how few of them ever make it back home. I encourage you to share it with your friends and to go to the PetAmberAlert.com page to find out more information.
Please, please please – encourage your friends and family members to leave their pets at home this 4th of July. Yes, it’s always nice when we can enjoy a beautiful day with our pets, but on this one holiday I ask that you please do your pet, and you, a favor. Keep them home. Keep them safe.
Trust me, you don’t want to go through what I went through when I lost my dog.
(My personal thanks to Neil over at Life with Cats for sharing this.)
Some additional stats:
In 2010 and 2011, Lost Dogs of Wisconsin had 25 dogs posted to their site as lost the day after July 4th.*
Lost Dogs Illinois had 34 dogs that were reported in that same time period.*
*The average number of lost dogs on these sites is about 3-4 per day (these are averages, particular days may actually have more than that, depending on the day).
All one has to do is look at the Lost Dogs-MN Facebook page to know that there are a LOT of missing dogs out there. A LOT. In fact, almost too many to count. Then you head on over to the Lost Dogs of Wisconsin page and you begin to realize, this isn’t just an issue in Minnesota, it’s an issue everywhere. It makes one wonder… How many missing and lost dogs are there out there?
Between January and May of 2012:
Lost Dogs Illinois – 825 dogs reunited with their owners (778 safe, 47 deceased)
Lost Dogs-MN – 258 dogs reunited with their owners (240 safe, 18 deceased)
Lost Dogs of Wisconsin – 497 dogs reunited with their owners (450 safe, 47 deceased)
Combined total of Lost Dogs- MN, Lost Dogs of Wisconsin and Lost Dogs Illinois for this year so far is 1588 reunions (1476 safe, 112 deceased).
(If we averaged that number just among the three states in which those pages reside (Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin), that would be approximately 529 reunited dogs per state. Extrapolate that number across all 50 states and that’s 26,450 dogs that could be lost and reunited nationwide – and that’s just January through May!)
Given these numbers, it makes me wonder why we continue to use the word “stray” anymore. If there is anything I have learned over the past seven months, it’s that many of the dogs we have called a “stray” is someone’s lost pet, someone’s stolen dog, someone’s missing companion.
We’ve got to start changing our mindsets and our vocabulary when it comes to the dogs we see running around our neighborhoods and cities. Yes, I recognize that some dogs do get dumped and left behind by their owners, certainly this is the case in many of our larger cities, like St Louis and Los Angeles, and even in our smaller, rural towns. But it’s not always the case. There are just too many missing pets out there to not wonder how many
“stray” dogs are actually just lost dogs.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of this when I saw this posting by a shelter in rural Minnesota on the Lost Dogs-MN page. In the past, this dog would have been labeled a stray and no one would have thought anything more about it. But thanks to organizations like this shelter and Lost Dogs-MN, this dog was reunited with his owners.
Let’s stop thinking stray and start thinking LOST, shall we?
Original posting: One more found dog today. Randy is a found boy about 1 year old. He was found in the northern part of Mora. The finders had him for awhile and tried to find his home with no luck so he came to the shelter about a week ago. We have noticed he is a happy dog that seems well cared for. So we are hoping a weekend visitor had lost him and will look here at the shelter. If you know anything about Randy please call the shelter. Please share to see if we can get this boy home.
Here’s the update: Today the family came to see if it was him. Randy was getting happy to be at the shelter with new friends but he barked like crazy so happy to see his people. Did all his tricks and we were sure he was one of the family. He is on his way home and happy now. He had a thankful look on his face as he said good bye.
I am happy to report that Elicia and her dog, Tobie, were reunited this morning! Here is how they were reunited in Elicia’s own words from the Help Elicia Find Her Dogs! Facebook page.
For those who didn’t hear how Tobie was reunited: we saw her running towards the cows this morning. Anita Grady and her husband mike flew a plane to help sight tobie with cows Several friends were driving below the plane for sighting directions. Susie fain and her guardian angels were on the way to help find tobie. She passed tobie walking on the eastbound i-10 shoulder heading in and out of traffic in the opposite direction. Nicole and I received a call from Susie about the sighting on the freeway. We chased her across the median onto the south side of the freeway and into the ravine. The plane then flew over to locate her in the ravine. The communicator with whom we were working got her to stop. She then was able to recognize who I was. Ran to me like we had just finished an agility run and gave me a hug.
More details to come.
Also good news. Being discharge from ER now (on good pain meds). Punctured lung healed and ins of bruising. But Alive and grateful for life!!!
What a wonderful dog community we have in this world. People from across the world (and I am not kidding) offered to help in whatever way they could. Prayers, good thoughts, money, planes, horses, campers, etc – all were offered to help reunite Elicia and Tobie. Such an amazing event. Truly a miracle.
One last update on Elicia and her dogs:
Thank you ALLl for EVERTYTHING !!! I am so grateful for all of your love, support and generosity!! Your unending and unconditional support is what I believe made the miracle of reuniting with Tobie alive!! Just left the vet office – thanks to veterinary specialists of tucson- all dogs are stable. Ice is having hardest time from the banging around in the car. Amazingly tobie is intact with some . Destiny only hasI have so much I want to say but am on my way to the ER for my follow up Care, now that everyone has been stabilized at the vets. I am so grateful!!
One last note from me: I know that the gal from Wilcox Animal Shelter was out helping Elicia look for Tobie and Nika for hours and on into the late evening. She also cared for some of Elicia’s dogs when she settled down for the night. If you feel the desire to give to this small shelter, please do.
A huge thank you to Wilcox Animal Shelter 1525 E Stewart rd Willcox Az 85643 520-384-0163. FB City of Willcox humane shelter. The shelter cared for ice and destiny while breesea helped in the search for tobie. Thank you Kelly and Vicki for taking dogs to shelter and destiny to the vet, and helping in searching for missing tsunami, nika and tobie.
Here’s what I know about dog people. They are giving and kind and resourceful and generous, and they are willing to help another dog owner when they need it most. They are exactly the type of people Elicia Calhoun needs right now.
At approximately 5:20 PM Monday night I saw a post on Facebook (by Leslie at Johann the Dog) that a well-known agility trainer had been in a terrible car accident along with her six agility dogs. Sadly, one of her dogs, Tsunami, died at the scene and Elicia was rushed to the hospital while some of her dogs were rushed to a vet. Two of her dogs are still missing in the Arizona desert.
Immediately, dog people (agility people, veterinarians, dog lovers, truckers, farmers, horse people, etc.) began to mobilize from across the country and in Canada to try to help. In the four hours since I first read about Elicia’s ordeal, a Facebook page, Help Elicia find her dogs!, was set up go provide updates and mobilize search teams, a Paypal site was set up to collect donations for the search and to pay for Elicia and her dogs’ care (nearly $8,000 raised by 10:50 PM Central). People shared her story on Facebook and Twitter, some made fliers and posted them and shared them, some gave them to truckers and anyone near the crash site (which is near Wilcox, Arizona, at mile marker 351). Others offered to ride out on horseback or to donate a helicopter or to search on foot. Many just offered prayers and words of support and encouragement. In almost 4 hours, 2100 people had joined Her Facebook page.
I know that the dog community contains some amazing people, having experienced it firsthand when Lady was lost, but I still can’t help but be impressed by the groundswell of support for Elicia and her dogs. Dog people are amazing people. Big-hearted, amazing people. I am so proud to be a part of this special group. When we put our heads, hands and hearts together we can do almost anything.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I hope and pray that it will be good news for Elicia. In the meantime, I know the dog community will continue to rally around her and to show their support for her and her dogs. I hope you will send your good thoughts and prayers to Elicia and her lost pups. She needs all the support we can provide right now.
Update: Sadly, Nika was found shortly after Elicia left the hospital to go search for her two missing dogs. She was hit by a car and did not make it. However, the search for Tobie continues. I hope and pray she is found soon.
Update (6:25 AM CST): Tobie was not found overnight, but the search continues this morning. They believe she has been traveling between the accident sight and where Nika was hit. Please pray that she is found today. I received an update last night that the three dogs who were taken to the vet are being cared for locally until Elicia finds Tobie. To read the latest on the search and how you can help, go to the Facebook page.