By Michelle LaFleche, Webster Animal Control Officer
On February 3rd, Jose and I were at the shelter along with several friends when a huge moose of a dog ran into the shelter. Following right behind was a man who advised that he was down by the lake when the dog appeared. The dog began following him so he decided to walk the dog over to the shelter.
The dog was wearing a collar and was dragging a leash. There were no tags.
Although the size of the dog was somewhat intimidating, we soon realized that the dog was just a big love.
After securing the dog in one of the empty kennels (yes, amazingly, we did have some empty kennels!), Jose took the animal control truck down to the beach to ask if anyone knew where the dog had come from. There were not many people around and those people who were, did not have any clue about the dog.
Of course, our first thought was the dog either got loose from someone and may have come across the lake over the ice or someone had just dumped this dog off, knowing the shelter was nearby.
One thing was for sure, this dog was a big boy! We offered many guesses as to what breed or combination of breeds this dog could be. Was he a Pit/Mastiff mix? An American Bulldog mix? Some type of bully breed none of us could identify at that moment?
I did not have my camera with me so I asked my friend, Ruth, if she would mind taking a picture of the dog and post it on our Webster Animal Control Facebook Group. Ruth took the picture and posted it on her Facebook page as well.
That following Tuesday, I received a call from a man who resides in Worcester. He advised he believed that we had his dog. The dog was in his vehicle which was parked at Webster Square in Worcester while he went into a store there. When he returned to his vehicle, his dog was gone. He identified his dog as an Amercan Bulldog, white with brindle spots named Lukas.
He advised he was on a friend’s Facebook page when much to his surprise, he saw pictures of his dog that my friend Ruth had posted.
He said he had been searching everywhere for his beloved furry friend and was about to give up hope when he saw the pictures.
Ironically, he was originally from Webster and had moved to Worcester some time ago.
He had no idea who would or could have taken his dog from Webster Square in Worcester to Webster Lake in Webster. A mystery that only Lukas knows the answer to, but unfortunately, he is not talking.
Also ironic was the fact that Lukas’s owner knew my friend, Ruth, as well.
Soon after our initial phone conversation, Lukas was reunited with his overjoyed and very relieved owner.
It is interesting to note that Lukas’s owner had contacted the Worcester Animal Rescue League looking for his dog and was advised that he was about the third person who claimed his dog was stolen from a vehicle in the Worcester area.
Who would have guessed that Lukas was stolen from his owner’s vehicle and was from Worcester? Not us! Our theories did not include “stolen” or “from Worcester”. Although, I’ll admit, we thought the dog, if it was dumped, could have originally been from another town and the reason it was dumped in Webster was because we operate a no-kill shelter.
The incident served to substantiate what a viable and valuable network Facebook is in connecting people and/or animals. In addition, the incident made it apparent that we cannot rule out any theories as to where an animal may have come from.
If your pet is missing, the best method to expedite finding it is to advertise – get the word out. The sooner the better! Posters (in supermarkets, vet’s offices, groomers, and other local businesses); ads in local and surrounding towns’ newspapers; Craig’slist; and post the pictures on Facebook and have people share. Most importantly, contact your local animal control officer.
Remember to take extra precaution with outdoor cats and unattended dogs living near a pond or lake in the winter. The frozen body of water can be crossed by a cat or dog, resulting in that animal ending up in an entirely different neighborhood, miles away from home or even worse, the animal could fall through the ice and drown.
Micro chipping pets provides a fast, easy, inexpensive, and secure method to identify a pet’s owner should a lost pet be found.
If you take our dog for a ride and leave the dog in the vehicle unattended, lock the doors.
Fortunately, Lukas’s story has a very happy ending.
Remember that Webster Animal Control is participating in the Shelter Challenge. To vote, please go to the animalrescuesite.com/shelter challenge and vote for “Town of Webster Animal Control.” The contest runs till April 28th and it is recommended you vote every day. We are currently fifth in the State of Massachusetts. Please show your support for our homeless animals and vote.
Till next time, appreciate and respect each other as well as all the wonderful animals that share our world.