Sunday, June 15, 2014

An Extreme Dog Rescue Story: Our Friend Scott

Our friend Scott Lope is all about saving animals.   This past weekend he found a stray dog and went to EXTREME LENGTHS to return the dog home! (We work with 2 dog rescues, so this story really resonated with us)
    Some background about Scott: He's made a lifetime of it. He's the founder and CEO at Animal Warriors. He worked for big cat rescue (dealing with lions, tigers, etc.); He's rescued wild birds, raccoons and all other  kinds of wildlife. He was named Animal Planet's hero of the year in 2009. He also co-authored 2 issues of Marvel Comics' Wolverine #12 and 13 earlier this year (that deals with Rhino poaching).  
Scott went to extreme lengths to get Joey home

    On June 12th, here's what Scott wrote about a dog he rescued this past weekend:
    UPDATE on the mystery pup that was rescued from a busy roadway on sunday afternoon. I apologize for not getting this up sooner, but things are crazy as always.
    I took him to a local vets office on monday morning to check for a microchip and to much to my surprise he had one. Home Again agency was alerted and they left a message at the listed contact phone number. About an hour later the agency called me to say that they hadn't heard back from the owner and could they call again and give them my cell number. I said of course and I asked if they could at least tell me the owners location. I was told the owner lived in Asheville NC, which is about 400 miles from where we found this dog. 

   The only other info that the company would give me was the dogs listed vet, also in Asheville. So I called Hawcreek Animal Hospital and explained the situation. They were super nice and double checked the microchip # and it was indeed one of their patients. My mind was swirling with theories, "were they at the beach on vacation and lost their dog ?" and " was he abducted and somehow escaped his captors ?" I learned that his name was Joey and that he was a saluki that was over 10 years old. I also learned that the he was listed as "Deceased" in their records and had last been seen their in 2009. They gave me the owners name and number and I immediately called him, completely expecting to make someone incredibly happy with news that Joey is alive and safe.
     However ... an angry male voice answered the phone with "I don't have a missing dog and you people need to stop bothering me". I was stunned and asked him if he was Mr. C and had a dog named Joey to which he refused to answer, repeated his opening statement with an added "never call here again, and hung up. 

   I immediately called the vets office back to see if they had possibly given me the wrong, but found out that they had had a very similar conversation with Mr C as well. There was no other people listed in the vet record, but the technician assured me she would she would go to the basement and pull Joeys file out of the individual pet record hard copy file. I took Joey to Aunt Kerry's Pet Stop and they gave him some yummy food and arranged for a nail trimming. Back home to wait. 
   When I didn't hear back from them all day, I called again right before they closed and the technician looked again and found Joeys old file. There was a woman's name listed on one of the forms but no contact information for her. Time to play Sherlock Holmes and figure this out. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.  
    One last attempt turned up her name as a member of an outdoor commune style community in Raleigh NC, a little closer but still 150 miles away and no contact information. As we backtracked through the searches an address about 3 miles from where the dog was found randomly popped up under the commune listing. So the only option was a stealthy drive by to see what kind of horrible hell-hole Joey escaped from. Well, as was par for my predictions up to this point, I was completely wrong and it was a very nice neighborhood. Ugh, what to do, what to do ... 

     Well, I parked the car and went up and knocked . A trio of super nice people answered the door and very kindly greeted me. I asked if any of them was Mrs HD and they all got an odd expression on their faces and said no and that she doesn't live here. So I asked if they knew a skinny dog named Joey and they all got happy, excited, and concerned immediately. So, and I promise this is almost over, I explained my side of the story and they told me theirs. Mrs. HD is indeed Joey's owner and is a close relative and she had lived there for a few years with Joey but had recently moved into a new apartment which (yes you guessed it) did not allow dogs, so Joey was now living with her daughter and grandsons about 1/4 mile from where I found him. I voiced all my concerns about returning the dog to them and they showed me pics of Joey when he lived there and yes he was always super skinny as is typical of the breed, especially a senior dog. I asked if they would look at Joey before I returned him just to see if he seemed ok and they absolutely agreed. I ran back and got the dog, he was ecstatic to see them and they assured me that he only ever weighed 40 pounds at his heaviest. They said they would check on him more often and with that I was finally taking Joey home. 
      His owner was working that night so I left him with the boys and went to get tags made for his collar, now that I had all the information. I texted the owner and told her about the ID tags and stopped back by and personally attached them to his collar. I think I scared the boys a little as I instructed them not to lose him again and with that I hugged Joey and finally went home. 
    I later received a text from Joeys owner, who is a hard-working single mom with 2 teenage boys and I'm going to share the text with you guys: "You are awesome, my life is upside down right now, then Joey getting out and getting lost was the icing. Tears pool my eyes over your amazing heart and helpful soul. This is the turning point, I know it. Things are going to be ok now. Thanks so much."
     So now, I had tears in my eyes and quickly texted her back to say that if she ever needed help or could no longer keep Joey that she must please please please contact me. I'm pretty sure she will and I will do my best to make sure Joey is ok, it shouldn't be too difficult because I can actually see their house from my backyard ! 

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next