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Tag: runaway

Did the scent of sizzling bacon draw missing pit bull puppy back to her foster home?

A pit bull puppy, still recovering from being abused by dogfighters, ran off from her foster home in New Jersey, but she was apparently drawn back by the smell of bacon.

Or it could have been the love.

Misty, only nine months old, was found on a Brooklyn street corner earlier this month, covered in wounds and bites from being used as a bait dog.

She was placed in a city shelter, then pulled by Second Chance Rescue, which moved her into a foster home. On Friday, she escaped from the backyard of that home.

Friends and neighbors joined in on the weekend-long search. Thousands of flyers were posted, and a $2,000 reward was offered. More than $4,500 was quickly raised to help in the search, and more than 14,000 people had, by Monday, “liked” her Facebook page.

But it was bacon — not social media — that apparently led to her safe return.

“The whole thing is unbelievable,” Misty’s foster mom, Erin Early-Hamilton, told NJ.com.

When someone suggested slapping some bacon on the backyard grill to lure the dog home, Early-Hamilton — despite being a vegan — was willing to give it a try.

She was sitting in a chair, and her husband was at the grill, when Misty came wandering home around 2 p.m. Monday.

(Photo: Facebook)

Columnist’s best friend?


In the old days, when a newspaper columnist started writing about his dog, it meant — at least in the eyes of your more crusty and jaundiced types — he or she had run out of things to write about.

Of course, it (usually) wasn’t true then. And it’s even less true now.

Newspapers, as they did with the Internet, have belatedly realized that dog stories are important, that dog stories draw readers, and that dog stories are actually human stories, in disguise. They’ve finally begun to catch on to dog’s new place on the social ladder, and the wonders within them, and the serious issues surrounding them, and that they are far more than just cute.

None of which probably mattered to Steve Lopez when he decided last week to tell the story of his family’s new rescue … rescue-me-again … rescue-me-one-more time … dog.

Who is also pretty cute.

Lopez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, decided with his wife that their daughter, at age 9, was ready for a dog. Their search took them to Tailwaggers, a pet store in Hollywood, where adoption fairs are hosted by Dogs Without Borders. Though dogless for many years, Lopez knew rescuing a mutt — as opposed to purchasing a purebred — was the preferred route these days.

Canine ownership has gotten a lot more complicated than it was when he was a kid, noted Lopez, who definitely has a crusty side.

“First of all, unless you want a rescue dog, you face the withering judgment of do-gooders who have devoted their lives to saving pups from the boneyard,” he wrote. “…I live in Silver Lake, not far from a sprawling dog park. And if an abandoned infant were spotted on the curb of that busy corner, across the street from a dog with a thorn in its paw, I guarantee you dozens of people with porkpie hats and tattooed peace signs would rush to the aid of the dog instead of the child.”

At the adoption fair, his family became enchanted with a 3-year-old Corgi mixed named Hannah, who was described as “a very timid, shy and fearful little girl ” in need of “a home where she can blossom!”

(As Lopez, author of “The Soloist” and other books, may have noticed, those involved in the world of rescuing and rehoming dogs tend to use a lot of exclamation points!)

They then began the adoption process, which, he noted, required many forms: “As I recall, applying for a mortgage wasn’t quite as involved. And many of the agencies insist on a home inspection, as well as a donation fee of up to $450.”

They took Hannah home for a trial period, as a foster. There, unlike at the fair, she refused to walk on a leash.

To get her to go to the bathroom, Lopez says he carried the dog, who they renamed Ginger, to the bottom of the driveway. Given she didn’t move when he put her down, and to build some trust, he said, Lopez unhooked the leash.

Ginger took off.

Lopez ran to his car and began the search.

“My daughter had waited five years for this pup, and I’d lost her in five minutes.”

His wife called the adoption agency to report the escape and got a scolding for letting the dog off her leash. “I must admit, they had told us rescue dogs can be runners, and that we shouldn’t let them off the leash,” Lopez wrote. “On the other hand, if you’re going to call yourself Dogs Without Borders … what message are you sending?”

They searched all day, put up fliers, and posted Ginger on Craigslist as a missing dog. The next day, they found her on a neighbor’s patio and took her home.

The next day, a Monday, Lopez returned from work to learn Ginger had jerked away while being walked and disappeared again, this time dragging her leash. Reasoning that maybe Ginger didn’t want to be there, he and his wife agreed that — once they found her again — they might want to return her.

“Maybe she’d been abused, but it seemed unlikely she’d ever be the warm and cuddly family pet we wanted our daughter to have.”

On Tuesday morning, Lopez was awaked by a scratching sound on the front door. When he opened it, Ginger walked in, her leash still attached. That sight, it seems, cut right through the columnist’s crusty parts.

“We’re keeping this dog,” he said.

I’d be willing to bet they do, and that someday — when there’s nothing else to write about, or even when there is — we’ll be reading about her again.

(Photo of Ginger by Steve Lopez / Los Angeles Times)

Amid family’s sorrows, lost dog is found

20091211_inq_ptuti11-aIt has been a rough few weeks for Wilma Berrios and Tuti.

Three days after Berrios’ uncle died while waiting for treatment in a Philadelphia hospital emergency room, her dog, a 3-year-old male miniature pinscher, wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers hoodie, ran away, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

In between spending time with her family to mourn her uncle, Berrios walked her neighborhood streets, sometimes in the early hours, posting and handing out fliers with Tuti’s picture — for nearly two weeks.

Eventually, both a letter carrier and a  police officer phoned Berrios with sightings of Tuti, and in tracking down those leads, she learned that Tuti had been picked up and taken to the SPCA animal shelter in Hunting Park.

When she arrived there, though, Tuti was gone. It turns out he’d been picked up by a rescue organization,  N.J. Aid for Animals in Sicklerville, and taken to New Jersey to be put up for adoption.

The SPCA contacted the rescue group and on Thursday Berrios and Tuti — still wearing his hoodie, but minus a couple of appendages — were reunited. The rescue group neuters all animals for which it seeks homes. Neither Berrios nor Tuti seemed to mind, the Inquirer reported. 

“I’m overwhelmed,” Berrios said.  “I’m so happy. There are no words in the dictionary to express how I’m feeling. I didn’t think I would get him, but there’s a God up there.” 

Berrios’ uncle, Joaquin Rivera, was a Philadelphia musician and community activist. He went to Aria Health – Frankford Campus for treatment of chest pains, was robbed of his watch while he sat in the waiting room and died while waiting, which hospital staff reportedly didn’t notice for an hour.

(Philadelphia Inquirer photo by Akira Suwa)

A good reason to have two bloodhounds

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A bloodhound in the employ of the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office ran away from her handler in Waldorf last week, but was returned yesterday.

Zoey, a 5 1/2 -year-old bloodhound, is expected to resume full duty, the Washington Post reported.

Authorities said the missing dog was found wandering the streets by a man who contacted Zoey’s trainer after seeing an Internet posting about her disappearance.

 Zoey slipped out of her collar on Aug. 5 while on a walk with her handler. Police searched for Zoey, trained as a search and rescue dog, for six days.

Zoey, who has been with the sheriff’s office for 3 1/2 years, was trained to search for people in distress and had most recently helped locate missing children and Alzheimer’s patients who had wandered away from their homes, authorities said.

Chihuahua survives 2 days with fork in brain

A 12-week-old Chihuahua named Smokey survived two days with a barbecue fork in his head.

Smokey was being fed some table scraps at a backyard barbecue in London, Kentucky, when the person scraping scraps into his dish used the fork to shoo away another dog. The handle broke, sending the prongs flying into the dog’s skull, said veterinarian Mark Smith.

Smokey immediately ran off into the woods, where he hid for two days. When Smokey finally returned home, he was alive, and the large fork was still stuck in his head.

He was rushed to the Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital where Dr. Smith, after taking X-rays, anesthetized Smokey, disinfected the area around the fork, and simply pulled it out.

Smokey is recovering. “His nerve endings around the eye still seem to be a little slow but I think that will heal over time, he really is a little miracle,” a second veterinarian said.

Dr. Smith ordered six weeks of bed rest for Smokey, most of which will be spent in a crate.

Allentown IronPigs missing their Champ

Champ, a mutt who is a familiar face to fans of the IronPigs, a minor league baseball team, is still missing after bolting during Friday’s fireworks display at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.

Champ belongs to Janine Kurpiel, the merchandise director of the team’s Majestic Clubhouse store, and he accompanies her to work each day. The IronPigs are a Phillies AAA affiliate.

The search has inspired many people to help, including Kurpiel’s mother, Barb, who drove all Friday night from Detroit, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Ironically, the paper reports, the Phillies World Series trophy played a role in Champ’s getaway.

The gates opened several hours before Friday’s 7 p.m. game, so fans could pose for pictures with the trophy — an event that required Kurpiel’s presence. Grounds crew members offered to look after Champ in their office. But someone opened the door as the post-game fireworks began and a frightened Champ ran off.

Champ is a 4 1/2-year-old German shepherd mix, between 40 and 55 pounds. He’s brown with some black on his back, and he was wearing a purple collar. Anyone who has seen a stray dog resembling Champ in the Allentown area is asked to call Janine Kurpiel at 610-554-0474.

Is shoplifting dog on the run from Oregon?

KSL-TV in Salt Lake City says it has heard from a woman who thinks the dog caught by surveillance cameras shoplifting a rawhide bone in a Utah supermarket is hers — a Siberian Husky named Balto who she lost four months ago at a motel in Oregon.

The otherwise unidentified Siberian Husky entered Smith’s Food and Drug store in Murray, Utah, made his way to the pet food aisle and snatched a rawhide bone from a shelf. He was last seen leaving the store with the bone clutched firmly in his teeth, ignoring the store manager’s order to “drop it.”

The story generated big national interest, with regular showings on CNN and one of the busiest days ever at KSL.com.

The TV station says they were contacted by Chanda McKeever of Washington state, who believes her dog Balto wandered all the way from an Oregon motel to Utah’s Salt Lake Valley. So far, there has been no confirmation that she’s the owner and the dog remains at large.

The original “Balto,”  was the sled dog who led his team on the final leg of the 1925 run to Nome, Alaska to deliver diptheria antitoxin  — a trip commemorated by the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. There’s a statue in his honor in New York’s Central Park. (His name has nothing to do with Baltimore; he was named after Norwegian explorer Samuel Balto.) After his death, he was “stuffed” and donated to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

If McKeever’s Balto is the dog that shoplifted in Utah, he has covered an equally impressive amount of ground, though he may not become quite as famous as the original. He hasn’t save humanity; he just stole a bone. But there’s a certain admiration for him — and his successful you-do-what-you-gotta-do heist — and it seems to be growing, judging from Internet comments.

We’ll keep you posted.

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