Police and witnesses say Jacqueline “Jackie” Watts, 33, was found in the Flatrock River, where she was last seen chasing a poodle who had gone missing a few days earlier.
The poodle, named Ringo, was also found dead along the river.
Watts dropped her own pets off with a friend in Columbus Friday in preparation for a trip to Washington. Likely, she spotted the missing dog on her way home.
Her car was found with its flashers on and her purse inside, leading to a search of the area along the river.
Crews found her body Saturday morning on a sandbar in the Flatrock River in Columbus, just north of Noblitt Park.
Police say they don’t suspect foul play.
An autopsy completed Monday established that the cause of death was accidental drowning, according to the Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office.
The family of Ringo had posted on social media about his disappearance. They said the poodle had cataracts and was almost deaf.
After finding the body of Watts, police found the body of a small white dog on the river’s banks, just south of Noblitt Park. Police confirmed that it was Ringo with the animal’s owners, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Watts, an esthetician, served as teaching assistant in Indianapolis Public Schools and was known as an animal lover.
“The bottom line is we lost a very special person,” said Columbus Police Lt. Matt Harris. “It’s my understanding that Jackie was the type of person that when there was an animal that was sick, she would take that animal in and provide hospice care… That she was trying to help a lost dog and sadly appears (to have) lost her life doing so, that doesn’t seem out of character for her.”
Family members says she fostered dogs and rabbits. She volunteered with Kentuckiana Boxer Rescue and Indy Claw Animal Rescue.
“She cared deeply about the well-being of animals. If she believed she could help an animal in need, she was going to do so without hesitation,” the family said in a statement. “We know that Jackie gave her life for what she believed in.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 7th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: catch, columbus, death, drowning, Flatrock River, indiana, indianapolis, indy claw animal rescue, jackie watts, jacqueline watts, kentuckiana boxer rescue, lost, noblitt park, poodle, rescue, Ringo, river, sandbar, save
A former Army medic flew from California to North Carolina last weekend to reclaim the dog she lost more than six years ago.
Kelly Accettola reunited with her Italian greyhound, Bemis, on Saturday, according to the Gaston Gazette.
Accettola flew from San Diego, where she now lives, to Charlotte to get the dog that went missing while she lived in Norfolk, Virginia.
It’s unknown what happened with Bemis during the six years he was missing, but somehow he ended up 300 miles from Norfolk.
He was spotted on the streets of Gastonia by Tracy Tucker as she drove to work and taken to Wilkinson Animal Hospital.
“I opened up the car door and he just hopped right on in,” said Tucker, who says she often rescues and fosters animals in the area. “Right after work we came here and found his chip and everything.”
Accettola was notified last week that Bemis had been found.
Bemis is in good shape, but needs about $1,200 worth of dental work.
To help pay for her travel and veterinarian bills, Accettola started a Go Fund Me page, which has raised $575.
According to the Gazette, American Kennel Club Reunite, a Raleigh-based organization which helps connect lost animals with their owners each day, matched his microchip to an address in Sacramento, California — Kelly’s mother-in-law’s home.
The American Kennel Club has offered to pay for all of Bemis’ veterinary bills, the newspaper reported.
Bemis disappeared after being let out into the back yard one night, Accettola said. “I went out to the backyard to see what was going on and sure enough he wasn’t there. It was just like he vanished without a trace,” she said.
She adopted the dog about nine years ago while living in upstate New York with her husband, Donavon Both were in the military, Kelly was a combat medic in the Army and Donavon was a nuclear engineer in the Navy.
Upon reuniting with her dog, Accettola cried: “Oh, my gosh, Bemis. Hi sweetheart. You look just the same.”
“You know, you hear these miracle stories about people who get their missing pets back after years apart and you think, ‘That’ll never happen to me,'” she said later. “But my God, it has.”
(Photo: NBC26, Scripps Media, Inc.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 23rd, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american kennel club, animals, army, bemis, dog, dogs, found, gastonia, go fund me, gofundme, italian greyhound, Kelly Accettola, lost, medic, microchip, norfolk, north carolina, pets, reunion, reunite, reunited
When singer-songwriter MadLyn filmed her latest music video she chose Salvation Mountain as the setting — a location that’s near the top of my list when it comes to American places of quirky and unnatural beauty.
And she brought her dog, Lucy, along to serve as the video’s co-star.
Salvation Mountain, built of trash, straw, adobe and and thousands of gallons of vibrantly colored paint, was one man’s tribute to his faith in God, and even though I’m not religious, I was fortunate enough to drop by and meet him twice (the mountain’s creator, not The Creator) when he was alive.
Once, for a magazine story, and once during my Travels with Ace, I spent some time with Leonard Knight — an admittedly reclusive and obsessive sort who let nothing stop him in his quest to fashion a mountain where there was none. Knight died in 2014 at age 82.
Salvation Mountain pops up like a colorful hallucination in the otherwise bleak, almost lunar, desert terrain around Niland, California.
MadLyn went there in July with her director/father and a cinematographer to film a video for her song “Will You Take Me Home” and she did all the things that people do in music videos — prance, skip, sing, twirl, look pensive, wear multiple outfits and toss her curly locks about.
In one scene, MadLyn was to stand in front of the mountain and hold her little dog as a camera-equipped drone zoomed in on them and passed overhead.
Lucy didn’t like that. She jumped out of MadLyn’s arms and took off.
Lucy had gone all day with no leash (she was playing the role of a stray), but when the drone approached for a close-up she “starts freaking out and jumps out of my arms and runs out into the desert,” MadLyn recounted.
As the sun went down, MadLyn, her father and the cinematographer searched for hours, on foot and by car, enlisting the help of Slab City’s other denizens, but Lucy could not be found and was not responding to their calls.
Because the cinematographer needed to get back to his family, they drove back to Los Angeles, a three and a half hour trip.
The next day, a Saturday, MadLyn called animal shelters located near Niland, printed up flyers, checked with the company Lucy’s microchip is registered with and sent out pleas on Facebook.
Then she and her father headed back to Niland to search some more for Lucy.
Sadly, and a bit ironicallly, what had happened in real life was exactly the opposite of what director Fred Fuster had in mind for the video.
While the song’s lyrics seemingly pertain to man-woman love, Fuster (being a father) envisioned a different, more innocent, interpretation of his daughter’s song.
“As director I insisted on having that story line — where this woman who has a hard time finding love meets this dog at Salvation Mountain and I guess falls in love,” he said.
But instead of finding a dog, Madlyn, in real life, lost one.
She later took her mother’s name, Madlyn, to honor her.
She has been active in raising money to fight breast cancer. Last year, she released the song, “I Call Her Mom,” with 100 percent of all digital sales going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
No strangers to loss and dealing with dark times, Fuster and his daughter pulled into Salvation Mountain after nightfall to look for Lucy and seek out people who might have seen her.
They went a gathering spot in Slab City called The Range, where an open mic night was being held, and showed Lucy’s picture around.
One man told Fuster that it was unlikely a small dog like Lucy — given all the hawks and coyotes in the area — was still alive after 24 hours.
That’s when Fuster sat down and began to pray.
When he opened his eyes and looked down, there was Lucy.
After a tearful reunion, Fuster and MadLyn put Lucy in the car and gave her some water. The 18-pound dog drank 24 ounces, MadLyn says.
MadLyn, as you can see in the video at the end of this post, clearly considers what happened a miracle.
“Lucy was missing in the desert of Salvation Mountain for 24 hours completely by herself, and through the grace of God alone, she came back,” she wrote in an email to ohmidog!
She says the video is “dedicated to all shelter and foster animals looking for a loving home.”
I have a feeling Leonard Knight would like this story.
I know I do.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 20th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, california, dedication, dog, dogs, faith, filming, fred fuster, god, leonard knight, lost, lucy, madlyn, miracle, miracle dog, music, music video, niland, pets, rescue, salvation mountain, shelter, singer, songwriter, will you take me home
When the Humane Society of Tampa Bay sent a Weimaraner home with a new adoptive family, it didn’t realize it was giving away somebody’s service dog.
And now that Delilah has been rehomed, the agency says, it’s too late for an autistic boy’s family — who relied on the dog for six years to help detect eight-year-old Zack’s oncoming seizures — to get him back.
“He lost his best friend,” Zack’s mother, Michele Carlisle, told WTSP. “He doesn’t understand and he asks me for her all the time.”
Carlisle and her three sons moved from Alabama to Brandon, Florida, last August — and within days of the move Delilah ran off.
The family posted flyers, searched the streets, and checked the shelter closest to them every weekend, but found no signs of Delilah — not until November when they spotted her on the Humane Society’s adoption page.
Carlisle called the agency — only to learn the dog she recognized as Delilah had been adopted back in August, apparently within a week of her arrival at the shelter.
According to the Humane Society, Delilah was turned into the shelter (she had no tags nor a microchip) on Aug. 11 by someone who found her on the street; and she was placed with a new family on Aug. 15.
“If a dog has no identification then it’s not legally their property after three days. That’s what the county has put into play,” said Dr. Nicole Cornett, the veterinarian for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. “We ideally want them to go to the home that they came from, but if we can’t find that home we’re lucky enough to find another home, someone who will love them and take care of them.”
The Humane Society says it contacted Delilah’s new owners and explained the situation, but they did not want to give the dog back.
Carlisle wants to plead her case to them, but the Humane Society won’t share details about the new owner.
She said Delilah was trained to detect Zack’s oncoming seizures.
“She would pace and would go crazy and start making noises and circling him and I knew that Zack was in trouble. They had this bond almost like she was his mom,” she said.
“I just want them to be reunited, even one time,” she added. “I think if (the new owner) saw the bond between Delilah and Zack she would change her mind.”
(UPDATE: That owner did change her mind. Details here.)
(Photos courtesy of Michelle Carlisle)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 31st, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, animals, assistance, autism, autistic, delilah, detecting, dog, dogs, found, humane society, humane society of tampa bay, laws, lost, michele carlisle, ownership, pets, rehomed, seizure, service, shelter, surrender, waiting period, weimaraner, zack
A dog who ran off after a car accident in Alabama that killed her owner was found after a three-day search and driven more than 700 miles home to be reunited with the accident victim’s family in Arkansas.
Sgt. Jonathon Whaley and another officer were at the scene of the single-car accident that killed the driver and injured the passenger when they learned that the victim’s dog — a pit bull named Kai — had also been in the car, but ran off after the crash.
Police in Dothan, Alabama, said Mckenzie Amanda Grace Catron, a University of Arkansas student, was driving the car when it ran off the road and into a telephone pole last Saturday. Catron, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passenger, also 19, was rushed to an area hospital.
The two were on a spring break trip.
Once hearing from witnesses that there had been a dog in the car, too, Sgt. Whaley said, “We felt we needed to find the dog. We were going to do whatever we needed to do to reunite this dog with this family.”
Dozens of community members felt the same way, Fox 5 in Atlanta reported.
For days, police, firefighters and volunteers searched the area around the crash for Kai. They posted flyers, and started a Help Find Kai Facebook page, through which they stayed in touch with Catron’s family in Arkansas.
One of the volunteers was Benjamin Irwin, a Dothan attorney and animal lover. He and his wife offered a $1,000 reward to anyone who found the missing dog.
“We just really wanted this family to have this piece of their family back, something to help remember their daughter,” he told Al.com.
Irwin and another volunteer spotted her from afar.
Joined by others, they pursued her for more than a mile before capturing her in a shed.
“Over the city blocks and miles of both running and driving we found mutual friends who eventually jumped in and helped as well,” Irwin said. “Once our number was up to eight people we were able to get Kia to relax enough … to grab her collar.”
After Kai was taken to an area vet, Sgt. Whaley and his wife Ashley, offered to take her back to Catron’s family in Bentonville, Arkansas — a 12-hour drive.
Kai was reunited with Catron’s family Tuesday, and Kenzie Catron’s funeral was held Thursday.
No one collected the reward money, and Irwin said it would be donated to the animal shelter in Arkansas where Kai was originally adopted.
(Photos: From the Help Find Kai Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 25th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, alabama, car, community, dog, dothan, facebook, found, help find kai, jonathon whaley, kai, killed, lost, mckenzie catron, pit bull, pitbull, returned, reunion, reward, search, spring break, student, university of arkansas
Wag!, a tech startup that touts itself as an Uber for dog walkers, has its tail between its legs this week.
A dog walker hired through the new app that connects pet owners with walkers lost a Brooklyn couple’s Chihuahua, who subsequently was hit by a car and killed.
Morgan Stuart and Mischa Golebiewski had a regular dog walker, also through Wag!, but when that dog walker called in sick on Nov. 18, another Wag! walker was assigned.
The woman was supposed to take out the couple’s oldest dog, Chicken, and check on Duckie, but apparently she either misunderstood the instructions, or Duckie slipped out of the building.
The couple said they cautioned the new walker that Duckie, who was adopted two months earlier, was fearful of strangers and would probably be too anxious to go for a walk.
“We had a text conversation explaining the situation,” Golebiewski told the New York Daily News. “She said she could do it and was comfortable.”
The California-based company claims on its website that all their dog walkers are “certified” and “rigorously screened/vetted.”
The couple spent the next seven days searching for the dog.
Wag! executives contributed to the search, calling upon other dog walkers to help.
They also installed motion detecting cameras in nearby Prospect Park and set traps near where Duckie had been spotted, the Daily News reported.
“We do have a plan in place in the .00001% chance something like this can happen,” said Wag! co-founder Joshua Viner.
According to Wag! representatives, Wag! co-founder Jason Meltzer flew in from Los Angeles to search the park for a day, and the company’s New York manager spent 18 hours a day in the park for a week.
On the day before Thanksgiving, Duckie’s owners got a call from a veterinarian saying the dog had been fatally struck by a car on Seeley Street, near the edge of the park.
“We feel terrible. It hurts us,” Viner said, offering an apology that sounded pretty self-centered. “This literally stopped my week.”
(Photos courtesy of Morgan Stuart and Mischa Golebiewski)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 2nd, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, app, brooklyn, chihuahua, dog, dog walker, dog walking, dogs, dogwalker, dogwalking, duckie, lost, pets, technology, uber, wag, walkers
After a Fresno family shared a post on Facebook about their dog Ziggy going missing, and Ziggy showing up not much later on Craigslist for sale, a good Samaritan said he did what he had to do — buy Ziggy back and return him to his family.
Ziggy, a Maltese, was stolen Friday from a crate in his front yard in Fresno, Calif., his owner, Kris Villasenor, told ABC News.
By Saturday he was returned to the family, by a stranger named Jeremiah Lee.
“I was browsing Facebook the other day and my aunt shared a post about a lost dog,” Lee told ABC News. “I read it and realized that the dog was stolen in my neighborhood.”
Lee made a mental note to keep an eye out for the dog, and followed Villasenor’s post on Fresno’s lost and found pets Facebook page.
When he saw that someone had commented on the post that they had seen the dog listed for sale, and provided a link to the Craigslist ad, Lee took action.
“I texted the number thinking that there was no way that they would respond and just told them that they had broken a little girl’s heart and to do the right thing.”
To Lee’s surprise, the seller answered his text, claiming they had bought Ziggy from a homeless person and had no idea that he was stolen.
While skeptical of that story, Lee met the seller Saturday and paid $40 for the Maltese he had never met.
Lee got in touch with Villasenor through Facebook, informing her he had her dog, and she picked Ziggy up right away.
Villasenor insisted on reimbursing Lee, even though he protested.
“I wanted to help because I would hope that someone would do the same for me,” he said.
“It’s amazing what Jeremiah did just to get the dog back,” Villasenor said. “The kids are super stoked about it. It’s a wonderful feeling.”
Posted by John Woestendiek November 12th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ad, advertisement, animals, bought, california, craiglist, dog, dogs, facebook, family, for sale, found, fresno, good samaritan, lost, maltese, missing, pets, returned, stranger, ziggy