Felix: Rescued, lost, found, then home
But not until after traveling a pretty bumpy road.
In December, the beagle-German shepherd landed in the Nash County Animal Shelter in North Carolina, where, after going unadopted, the day was nearing when he’d be euthanized.
His cause was taken up by a local animal rescue group, Promoting Animal Welfare in N.C., which persuaded a rescue group in Vermont to take him in.
Arrangements were made to ship him north, where he was deemed more likely to get adopted.
As the Rocky Mount Telegram tells it, Felix and another dog were headed up Interstate 95 in January when the van they were in crashed in Emporia, Virginia. Both dogs were ejected from their crates and the vehicle. The other dog was hit by a car and killed. Felix disappeared.
Felix spent the next three weeks wandering as dog lovers in North Carolina and Virginia joined forces to try and find him. They created “Operation Finding Felix” — a Facebook page that quickly drew more than 1,000 followers.
Frequently, sightings of him were reported, by residents and truckers who also were keeping an eye out for him. But none panned out. Promoting Animal Welfare offered a $600 reward for his return, and a search dog was hired to help track him down, but neither led to immediate results.
Each weekend, volunteers searched for the dog around Emporia, posting fliers, hiking through the woods, and enlisting the help of others, like the manager of a local Burger King who allowed volunteers to post fliers about Felix inside the restaurant.
On Feb. 24, one of the restaurant’s customers, Pat Holland, saw the dog’s picture and realized she had seen him by her apartment earlier that day.
She rushed home and found the dog on a neighbor’s front steps.
“He looked like he was hungry, so I put some food out there for him to eat and put some water out there,” the neighbor, Marty Newkirk said. “The next thing I know he was laying down at my door.”
Newkirk had let the dog inside. He was planning on letting him stay the night, and even thinking about contacting apartment management about the possibility of keeping him.
Newkirk and Holland called police, who had also been cooperating in the search for Felix.
“They were looking for the dog also,” Newkirk said. “Everybody in Virginia was looking for the dog.”
Volunteers from the North Carolina rescue group came and picked Felix up, Newkirk said. “They started crying because they were happy to see the dog, I started crying because they were taking him.”
Back in North Carolina, back where he started, Felix finally found a home.
Before his ill-fated trip north — while Felix was getting neutered, and vaccinated, and treated for heartworm — he was being fostered by a young woman. She’d tried to persuade her boyfriend and his family to adopt Felix. Already having a dog, they declined.
When Felix got back to town, after all he’d been through, they changed their minds.
(Photo: Rocky Mount Telegram)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 95, accident, adoption, animal shelter, animals, burger king, crash, death row, dog, dogs, euthanasia, facebook, felix, interstate, lost, missing, nash county, north carolina, operation finding felix, pets, promoting animal welfare, rescue group, rescued, rocky mount, transport