One of Missing Pet Partnership’s most challenging cases has been the effort to locate and capture a missing dog named Sophie, a 7-month old Bernese Mountain Dog who slipped out of her collar and bolted in a state of panic in Federal Way, Washington.
Missing Pet Partnership (MPP) volunteers became involved in the attempted recovery and quickly discovered that this was an opportunity for our organization to learn about panicked dog behaviors while also working to develop innovative skittish-dog-recovery techniques. Under normal conditions we could never spend this long (seven weeks!) on one investigation, but we turned down other search requests and focused all our attention on bringing this one dog back home in order to develop a protocol on how to capture xenophobic, skittish dogs. Our recovery efforts were often hampered because MPP did not have the equipment that we needed. (Help MPP recover more lost dogs by visiting our Wish List page or click on the “Make a Donation” PayPal link at the top of this page). During this investigation we videotaped and logged invaluable information that MPP will ultimately pass on (through our Web site and training program) to other shelters, rescue groups, and lost pet search-and-rescue teams who face the challenge of capturing a skittish, fearful dog. Here’s how it all went down:
Fri June 27th, 2008 – While on a walk with family, Sophie became panicked, pulled back, slipped out of her collar, and took off running. Her family launched a campaign to search the local shelters, post over 300 flyers, and scour the area on foot.
Sat July 5th, 2008 – Sophie managed to make it through a series of thunder storms plus 4th of July fireworks. Amazingly, she didn’t end up running for miles like many dogs do. By this time, she’d been missing for 2 weeks when her guardian, Mike, contacted Missing Pet Partnership (MPP) for assistance. This was at the Kent Animal Shelter where MPP set up a booth and handed out free florescent posters and advice to people who had lost or found a dog. MPP gave Mike giant florescent posters to help in the recovery.
Sun July 6th, 2008 – Mike and his wife Jennifer received confirmed sightings of Sophie on Dash Point Road, five miles from the original escape point. He expanded the area where he placed his posters and continued to look for his dog.
This is only the beginning! There’s a lot more reading to do! A very interesting writing on their efforts to capture this loose dog who is too skiddish to even come to mom and dad! It took many volunteers and countless days and nights, looking through surveillance cameras and tracking her behavior. Click on the link above to finish reading. Did they capture Sophie?!?!?