In my animal consulting business, one of the main areas that I focus on is assisting with lost animals. It’s understandably a very difficult time, emotionally and physically, when a person’s beloved animal companion goes missing. It presents an even greater challenge if the dog unexpectedly gets away from her handlers while being transported across multiple states for placement in her new forever home.
Such was the case when I was contacted by a volunteer with Furry Friends Network to help locate DaisyMae, a 7-year-old German Shepherd mix, who escaped when she was in route from West Virginia to Pennsylvania. DaisyMae is a dog full of energy, very inquisitive but also very fearful and timid about everything and everyone around her. She was being transferred from one rescue group to another when, during the transport, DaisyMae escaped from the back of the van she was traveling in.
The driver had stopped for gas and to rest. Naturally, he checked on DaisyMae. Little did he know the crate’s latch had come undone, allowing DaisyMae to escape. DaisyMae was now in a strange location, near the interstate and running free. The transport team was far from home, with no support team in place to assist them in this location.
However, the volunteers did not panic, and instead started pulling a support team together from local residents, workers, and volunteers who drove in to assist. They contacted me, took all of the detailed suggestions I provided them with, and implemented them exactly as I had suggested. They didn’t waste a single minute. I provided them a one mile grid area, in order to narrow their search area. The team spread out and started to focus on all corners of the grid and everywhere in between.
I was impressed with how well-coordinated the group of volunteers were in searching for DaisyMae. They created hundreds of flyers and posted them everywhere, they created a page on Facebook, and they asked everyone who worked outdoors in the area where DaisyMae went missing to keep an eye out for her. They approached one of the turnpike workers and showed him a flyer and a picture of DaisyMae. He indeed had seen DaisyMae near a field with tall grass and trees. He showed them the area — it was within the grid they were searching.
The volunteer coordinating the search spotted and approached DaisyMae. She didn’t run away. She was taken safety, and then she was on to her new foster home. Mission accomplished!
When I contacted the team shortly after the ordeal, this is what they shared with me regarding DaisyMae:
From Alisha Frohman of the Furry Friends Network: “DaisyMae is doing WONDERFULLY. We all shed a lot of tears and experienced a swell of emotion when she was rescued. First and foremost, gratitude to finally have her safe and inside. Thank you for sharing in our celebration of such a happy ending to her seven-day ordeal in the snow and cold, and an even happier beginning in a loving foster home.”
“DaisyMae has been eating a small amount and drinking water. She is EXHAUSTED. She is still fearful but wagged her tail when she met her new foster siblings, a nine-year-old Cocker Spaniel and nine-year-old chocolate Lab. She is hunkered down in a nice warm spot and sleeping. Sweet dreams, DaisyMae!”
From Lisa Ackermann of 2nd Chance for Life: “DaisyMae traveled very cautiously to her new foster home. She waited about five minutes before deciding to be coaxed out. We took a walk and she decided to walk to the front porch by herself. I can only think she knew there was a warm bed waiting inside for her. We thought it best in her anxious state that she have her own room for the night to get much needed rest.”
“She was a bit grumbly, but I would be, too. She saw the resident dogs from upstairs and her tucked tail bounced up and wagged. Then she grumbled again and turned to retreat into her room. Tomorrow, hopefully, she will wander on out and meet the family.”
It is such a wonderful, heartwarming story with a very happy ending. I was glad I was a part of the team that worked so diligently to bring DaisyMae in safe and sound. The story caught the media’s attention as well, and started the inquiries of people wanting to adopt her. At last report, she is doing well with her permanent family.
A well-coordinated search can make all the difference when a dog goes missing!
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