Beyond a Lost Pet Disaster
By Annalisa Berns, Pet Detective
A fluffy little black and white puppy mill rescue dog named Gary escaped from a boarding facility in the middle of the desert in Southern California. Beyond shy and skittish, Gary was nowhere to be found. The only animals the search party found was a swarm of coyotes.
What would you do if this puppy was lost from your facility? Cut bait and move on? Stop everything, suspend business, and search day and night for the dog? Something in between?
The response we have to a lost pet might or might not have a huge impact on business, but emotionally it can be a roller coaster. Angry calls from the pet owner, crying on the phone and anguishing decisions disrupt the flow of the day and breaks your heart.
In the search for the lost dog in the desert, all of the common sense bases were covered: Shelters, Fliers, Social Media. After an extensive search, everyone came to the obvious conclusion that the dog couldn’t have survived the hot days with no water and cold nights with coyotes.
How long would you search for a lost dog from your facility? 24 hours? A few days? What about 3 weeks? Months? Years?
This story has an amazing twist. Twenty long days later, a possible sighting came in via Facebook of a black and white dog running around approximately seven miles away. It seemed impossible that the tiny dog could have made it that far. The dog’s owners were frantic, but lived in another state. They thought it was impossible that it could be their dog, but they had to know for sure. They hired me, a professional real–life Pet Detective, to come out with Search Dogs and check the area. To everyone’s surprise, the Search Dogs not only picked–up scent, but we found the little dog!
Gary was living in the middle of the desert with only a few houses to be seen, but right next to an extremely busy highway. The Search Dogs found where Gary was getting water, from the drain off of a swamp cooler on a building. Gary’s tiny dog footprints were all over the area where Gary was finally found. Interestingly, he was avoiding cactus plants and other nasty plant dangers by traveling in dry creek–beds. He used them as pathways, like a doggy freeway in the desert.
Of course, the fearful puppy mill rescue was not going to let just anyone approach him. With confirmation of his identity, the owners immediately flew back to the location and camped out all night.
The little dog came up to his loving owner the next morning—lured with a hamburger!
The family returned home, now complete, with their beloved dog, Gary. However, now it was time for Gary to get a surprise! While Gary had gone missing, the family had rescued another little black and white dog to join their family, so Gary had a new sibling when he returned home.
Thankfully everyone got along marvelously. His family sent this update, “Gary is doing wonderfully! He is settling back into his old routine and really hasn’t missed a beat. He is definitely a better eater now! He has received a clean bill of health from the vet and is fully enjoying his new baby brother, Moose.”