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Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Ziggy", DSH, Grey/White Tabby, Walnut Creek

UPDATE: Two days after this search Ziggy had been spotted at his old house by neighbors in that area. Ziggy's people are going to set feeding stations and traps to lure him in.

Ziggy is a four year old DSH cat that is grey and white tabby. He has a "kitty" door that he goes in and out of all day and night into the yard, and he also has a small space to leave from under the garage door. One morning, Ziggy did not arrive home for his food. The previous night, the neighborhood had a large power outage, and Ziggy's people feel that he may have been startled by all the noise and commotion. The neighborhood is flat suburban.

When I was called in, Ziggy had been missing for one week.

Dino found Ziggy's trail leading away from the yard and making a right down the street to a canal that wound for miles up and down and throughout the county. Dino picked up Ziggy's scent on both sides of the canal and on both sides of the street. We decided to check further down the street to see if Ziggy traveled further. We checked the next intersection and found Ziggy's scent going off to the right, down to the end of the court and through a dilapidated wooden fence. On the other side of the fence was a very busy boulevard. We decided to check that spot later to see if a trail led away.

We came back toward the house and checked the other direction and other streets. We did find Ziggy's scent down a short street and over a fence that led into a private/community pool. This pool was almost behind his house. We were allowed into the pool area, and we checked the trail leading away from the fence. We found Ziggy's had traveled around the pool to the BBQ area, behind a pool equipment storage area and then back out to another neighborhood.

We continued to follow his track which went through several neighborhoods, over several fences, across busy streets, through more neighbors and down to a busy shopping center. We found his track all around the buildings and particularly in the back where all the trash and dumpsters were. By this time, Ziggy's dad had gone home and went to the shelter to see if Ziggy had come in, and Ziggy's' dad's daughter stayed with me. We were both surprised to see how extensive Ziggy's trail was becoming, and we had not reach an end yet.

At this point, we were somewhat near the old dilapidated fence from Ziggy's neighborhood, so we walked up there. We definitely found Ziggy's trail leading away from the hole and down back to the location of the shopping center and along the way, there was another opening to the canal. Dino picked up Ziggy's scent, again, on both sides of the canal and on both sides of the street.

We checked another neighborhood near the canal, but we didn't not find any of Ziggy's scent in there. We came back out to the busy blvd and decided to check the far side of the street this time, which had a lot more vegetation like ivy and thick trees. We did pick up Ziggy's scent in that area. This took us back to the shopping center.

The daughter said there was another opening to the canal further up the street, and this same canal also led back to their last house, that they moved from several months ago. Her guess was that Ziggy may have gone back to the old house, which was only about a mile away. She also wondered if the two territories somehow overlapped.

We found the opening to the canal, which also bordered a small local park. Dino did pick up Ziggy's scent on this part of the canal also. We decided to check the park also. Dino did indicate that Ziggy had been in the park, and Dino led us up a small path, which led to a golf course, which borders an open space. We did pick up Ziggy's scent going into the golf course, but not on this canal, which was separate from the other canal. This meant that Ziggy had gone straight up to the golf course and not been on the canal, or at least off to the sides.

My best guess at this point is that Ziggy is still somewhere inside his territory, which I felt we never hit the perimeter of. This meant his territory had at least several blocks in multiple directions. He also may have decided to go beyond his territory and got lost and couldn't get back, or wasn't ready to come back yet. We decided to let traps in a couple of safe and secluded spots we found in his territory, hoping to catch him when he comes back to these spots.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/21/10)

Friday, May 29, 2009

"Chili", Chihuahua/Jack Russell Mix, Fremont

Chili is a four year old Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix. She was wearing a collar with ID tag, but did not have a microchip or tattoo when she disappeared. The location is suburban.

Chili was staying at her person's parent's house for a couple of weeks while her people moved. Chili had spent a lot of time at this house, and, at one time, had lived there with her person. The single yard extended to both the front and back of the house. The front of the house led out to a busy street, and the back of the house was adjacent to another backyard.

At about 9 PM, Chili was put out into the yard to eat her dinner. When her people went to sleep at around midnight, they thought Chili was back in the house, however, she was not. They went out to the yard, and Chili was no where around. Since the yard was totally fenced and gated with the fences and wall being at least five feet tall or higher all around, it was completely unclear how she had escaped. I was called about three days after Chili had escaped.

I walked the entire yard, and there was no clear way that Chili had escaped. The walls were solid and there were no holes. The gate to the front yard could only be opened through a buzzer inside the house. What I did see was at the front of the yard, there was some short wooden furniture pieces up along the wall, and if Chili was able to scramble about another three feet up the wall, she could have made it up and over. We decided to go with that idea to begin with.

However, when I took Dino out to the front of the house, we checked up and down the street and up and down side streets. We could not find any scent anywhere out front. We doublechecked all the streets again, and still no scent. I decided to go back to the yard, and check again to see for another way out that we missed the first time.

We checked the yard again and this time we did find another possible exit. The back fence, which was wooden, had a pile of landscaping rock up against the fence that raised up a couple of feet. When I stepped on them, I was tall enough to look over the back fence into the next door neighbor's yard, and I am only five feet tall. I thought that we could check the street out of front of this house to see if Chili's scent was there and if it led away somewhere.

At this point, Chili's person came over and took over for her father on the search. I explained to her that we did not find any scent out front and that I wanted to check the house behind her parent's house to see if Chili's scent was there. She did confirm that Chili was known to climb trees and could jump straight up. But she was very confused why Chili would intentionally leave the yard.

There had been two potential, but unconfirmed, sitings of Chili at a school and a park, and we decided to check out those locations and see if Chili's scent came from the neighbor. Along the way, we checked an intersection at the end of the street to see if Chili's scent was there. Three of the directions showed no scent. However, the fourth direction did indicate Chili's scent and Dino went in that direction. This direction headed us toward the first sighting.

Along this way, we came upon and crossed the street that led from the street in front of the house behind the house where Chili escaped from. This told us that Chili had escaped through the house behind the house. We continued along the street past the school where the first sighting was, which was along the way from the house where she got out of the yard. According to Dino, Chili's scent continued along the side of the park. We decided due to time, to move onto the second sighting, which was at a large community park that was next to a school.

Dino should us the Chili's scent was all around the park and the school, which told us that Chili had been spending time in the area. I found out also, that Chili's person and her father had been driving around the area trying to find her after they received the report of the sighting. I felt this was keeping Chili in the area, since she would recognize both of their scents and want to stay around.

We also found her scent down the street past the park and into Ardenwood Regional Park, which is a very large suburban park, which was also private property originally and had a variety of large houses and large gardens. There was a solid cyclone fence all around the park, but under the large gate, there was an opening where a small dog or cat could fit through to go in and out. Dino indicated that Chili had gone into and out of the park.

We decided to focus on the community park and setting up feeding stations back at the park, in order to draw Chili into the park and keep her there to prevent her from going back into Ardenwood or leaving the area to find food. We found an isolated part of the park where we could put out feeding stations inside bushes that would be not visible to people. We also decided to put out Chili's bed in the area to keep her there. We thought to put these out at night and pick them up in the morning.

When we got back to her parent's home, Chili's person found out that a sighting of Chili had been made about one block from the park while we were there. The father had received the call, but he was not able to reach Chili's person by cell phone to let us know and he didn't know where we were. They decided to go back to the area to look for Chili.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/18/10)

"Malcolm", DLH, Orange Tabby, San Mateo - Found

"September 2011
I've used Jackie's (and Dino's) services twice.  Both times the pets were found.  If you really love your pet AND YOU HAVE a really good scent article, it's worth a try.  My suggestion is one person can accompany them, but hang back and don't be a presence so you don't disturb what is an unfathomable process by the dog.

The first time I called Jackie, our big, male orange tabby disappeared after 15 years of always being there.  Hundreds of color fliers later, and two weeks or whistling and walking.  Nothing.  Lots of calls from well-meaning people though.  Part of a bonded pair, the remaining cat was clearly in pain, sitting and watching out to the west all day.

Jackie and Dino came, listened and decided to head off into the steep and wooded open space preserve by our house.  The wind was blowing pretty strongly and, this being my first time hiring a tracker dog, I'm wondering what the heck I'm doing (crazy?  fool?).  Searching isn't organized and it was so steep, I was helping Jackie hold the lead while she scrambled, then I scrambled.  The dog, having four wheel drive, didn't care.

Long story short, after 20 minutes of scrambling, the dog made some gesture and Jackie reversed course and let the dog take its lead.  Heading DOWNWIND, the dog disappeared into a huge thicket that we couldn't go through.  I told her to let the lead go and I went to the other side about 75 ft away and crawled in.  A couple feet in, Dino had found the remains of our cat (coyote).  This isn't a happy ending, but when you read about closure, well, I can tell you it's important.  I brought the remains home and buried him in our yard.   I have no idea how the dog could smell that from upwind, but you could see he had a mission and he knew.  They smell like we see, I guess.  There's zero zero chance it was luck.

The second time, I was away traveling and my wife called and said our one year old cat had disappeared.  When I got home, on Day 6, i called Jackie and she came over.  We had an excellent scent article (EXTREMELY important).   Because this cat loved to go in a cloth shopping bag to hide, we set it up for him and the other cat never went near it... When my wife called to tell me the cat was missing, I told her to get a fresh ziplock bag and grab the shopping bag with a paper towel and seal it in the ziplock bag.

Long story short, we slogged down a long road and I called and clapped every block.  Jackie thought by the trail that someone had picked up the cat.  I never would have looked in that direction.  When I got home the cat was dragging up the hill itself.  He had heard me and backtracked my scent home.

Hiring a tracker is an article of faith, but if you're nutty about your pet, and have a good scent article (and can be a calm presence on the hunt), you increase your chances.  I don't believe success is guaranteed, but I'm a very rational person (engineer by training), and I've seen the dog do amazing things with my own eyes.

Darrell Strickler"

"We lost our beloved Malcolm. He just wasn't there one morning. We posted flyers and walked and whistled for several weeks. Following a tip from San Mateo Human Society, I contacted Jackie to see if she could help. I had absolutely no idea what to expect since my experience with search dogs is watching TV. I took the leap of faith and Jackie came with Dino late on a Saturday almost three weeks after Malcolm missed breakfast. She was very kind and professional. It's a difficult task with a lot of uncertainty. Where to look? Amazingly, Dino found Malcolm. Unfortunately, it was not a happy outcome since apparently a coyote nabbed him when he must have gone outside the fenced in backyard into the field.

But knowing was so important to move on. Being trapped somewhere between hope and despair is a terrible experience. It's so familiar from the paper when you read about a missing child. We were able to bury Malcolm at home under his favorite tree and start to move on. Jackie was very kind throughout and the service was reasonably priced."

San Mateo

Malcolm is a 14 year old DLH orange tabby. He is an indoor/outdoor cat that hung out close to home within a block or two most of the time. He had been missing for about three weeks when I was called.

Malcolm's person told me that Malcolm had last been seen outside the back of the house sitting on the top of the fence. The back of the house is up against an open space of deep canyons that included deer and coyotes.

We started out searching in the back of the house in the canyon. The hills were very, very steep with lots of very thick trees, bushes and brush. We were searching up and down the hills for any signs of Malcolm, when Dino was insistent upon going uphill into some bushes. We went up there and we found some remains that appeared to be from Malcolm. We feel that Malcolm had fatal contact with a local coyote and that it appeared to be relatively near the time of his disappearance based on the age of the remains.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/18/10)

"Luna", DSH, Black, Tracy

Luna is an all black nine month old spayed female. Her people had recently adopted her a few days earlier from a local shelter.

She had been taken out to her backyard on a leash and collar. She panicked, got loose from her leash, jumped the fence of the yard and took off. I was called in about one and a half month later.

Luna's people said that they had put out food for a couple of days following her disappearance, and that somebody was eating the food. They also have a trap set at their front door with food being set inside.

We started out the search by checking the immediate block. Dino definitely picked up her scent in the immediate area. We followed the track around the block and across the street to a large empty lot. This lot had a lot of ground squirrels. The lot also has a lot of people visitors. We did find Luna's scent throughout the lots. We continued the search around the neighborhood and we found a track that led out of the immediate neighborhood and then it made a left alongside a busy boulevard. The track continued back and forth across the blvd as if Luna had spent regular time going back and forth, so we decided to check the other side of the blvd. We did find more scent on the other side. We talked to several people at these houses. They had not seen Luna specifically, but they were aware of other cats coming and going onto their lots. One woman on a large lot with gardens and buildings said she regularly puts out food for cats, but she had not seen Luna.

On this same side of the street and we found a couple of vacant lots. We left flyers at the doors and check the outside and tried to see over the fences.

We found more of Luna's scent down another street with a small canal/waterway alongside the street. We followed the waterway a ways and Dino indicated her scent along the way. We checked other offshoots of this same canal, and we found Luna's scent here also. This would make sense to give Luna access to food and water like insects, rodents and lizards.

We decided to head back and go back to the neighborhood and check out a large park a couple of blocks away from her person's home. We found Luna's scent throughout the park. We decided to walk back to their home since we had pretty much covered the entire area.

I explained that I believe, based on what Dino found, that Luna is still hanging out in the area. Her scent was all around the area around the house for at least a couple of blocks in each way. I suggested to set out a kitty buffet for a few days and see who shows up. I mentioned that I was in the process of purchasing a motion sensor camera, and that that type of camera would be best to set out to see who was coming to the buffet. If they found out that Luna was coming to the dishes, then set up a trap near the dishes and then move the dishes slowly toward the trap, and then put one of the dishes inside the trap without the door triggering. After a couple of days of knowing the food is being eaten, then set the door so it triggers.

The primary purpose of setting out the food dishes is to keep a cat in the area since they need food. This prevents the cat from roaming further and further out of the area to find food. This keeps the cat close by and dependent upon your dishes so you can trap her.

(Entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/18/10)

"Peeky", DSH, Grey/White Tabby, Los Altos

"Peeky" is a petite grey and white tabby who jumped into the van of a neighbor across the street from where she lives. Unaware, the van's owner drove to a elementary school about one and a half miles away from where Peeky lives. When the van got to its destination and opened its door, Peeky jumped out, ran toward the school playground and then turned back toward the van, ran past it and jumped the fence into a yard of a house that borders the school grounds. That was the last time Peeky was seen.

When I came with Dino, we started in the yard of the house that Peeky jumped into. Per Dino's reaction, it was clear Peeky had been in the yard and may have been around it, maybe trying to find a way out. The trail did seem to lead out of the left gate to the street. We walked up and down the street, down to the end of the dead end and then up and down the two courts off this short street. We also made numerous contacts with residents in the area, and we checked many yards. However, we didn't come up with anybody who had seen Peeky. After this thorough search, I was confident Peeky had not been down this street.

We continued the search across the street from the school, which had heavy traffic. We checked out all the short streets, but we came up with not scent on any of those streets. We checked up the main street to the top of the next intersection, and we found no scent.

At this point we were all perplexed. If Peeky didn't come out onto the street, then where did she go? Her person suggested checking the school yard. I said "OK" since we didn't seem to have other options. Once we got into the yard, Dino immediately picked up Peeky's scent going around the right side of the yard, around the playground and all around the far perimeter. What this means is that Peeky backtracked over the fence back into the school yard.

We did find a gate leading out of the school grounds that led out to a neighborhood and a small set of medical buildings. We made a mental note to check on the other side of that gate to see if Peeky's scent was found.

We checked the rest of the school yard and continued to find Peeky's scent. It led around the buildings and past an opening in one of the school buildings, which was big enough for a petite Peeky to fit into. I suggested that her people ask the maintenance people if a trap could be set there, and/or a feeding station to see if Peeky is still in the area.

We drove around to the back to the back gate, and we did find Peeky's scent leading away and around and in and out of the medical buildings.

My primary suggestion to catch Peeky was to set up the kitty buffet feeding station near the opening of the school building to keep and contain Peeky into this one location. Then once Peeky is coming regularly then set up a trap nearby and then move the food closer to the trap and then move it into the trap.

(Entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/15/10)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Nan", Grey/White Tabby, Alameda - Found!

Update - About one week later I received an email from Nan's person that Nan was found underneath a car hood in their neighborhood while they were out posting flyers. They found out who owned the car, opened the hood and pulled her out. She is now safe at home.

(This is the letter from Nan's family)

Dear Jackie and Dino,

I am happy to report that we found our Nan! My children, my dog and I
were just heading out with a stack of 50 more fliers, and were going
to go door to door at the houses I haven't been to yet. We had just
started down the street when I heard Nan start meowing . I thought she
was underneath a car, but I got down on my hands & knees to look, but
no Nan. My next thought was the nearby storm drain, but the meows were
to close. I then realized that her meows were not coming from under
the car, they were coming from INSIDE the engine of the car!!! I got
down under the car and I could see her tail , and then other parts of
her as she squirmed and tried to get out.

The neighbor whose car this was was lives two doors down. She was not
home, but another neighbor reached her on her cell phone. She has been
in Vancouver for two days. A relative came over immediately to unlock
the car, pop the hood, and I was able to wedge her out and put her in
the cat carrier. We took her home and gave her food and water, but
kept her in the carrier, so my husband could take her down to the
emergency vet for a thorough exam. She received some fluids for mild
dehydration, but otherwise she seems great, just a little thin and

It is unknown what would have happened had she not gotten trapped in
the car. I am glad we kept the buffet, camera and traps going, as this
may have been the best way to get her, had she not helped us out by
trapping herself!!!

Thanks so much for all your help. I am so glad to be able to report
our happy ending!

(Search details)
Nan is an indoor only eight year old grey and white tabby. Her person believes she escaped from the garage in the back of the house last Wednesday. I came out yesterday, which was almost one week. She is wearing a collar with an ID tag, but no microchip.

Nan's person has been putting out feeding stations just behind her house and has been setting humane traps on her driveway. She said she can tell animals have been eating and going into the traps.

Dino picked up her track leading from the rear garage, down the street, across the strip park along the frontage road that is behind Nan's house. We than crossed the street and went along the chain link fence that surrounds the old Navy base. This base is massive and is, for the most part, deserted and abandoned. We did pick up Nan's scent along the fence and then Dino indicated Nan went in and out through small holes in the fence. We continued down the fence to another large open gate. Dino crossed that street and then indicated the scent went right and crossed back over the frontage road, back toward the neighborhood where Nan lives. We checked up and down the strip park again, but Dino indicated there wasn't any scent there. Instead he went up into the neighborhood and went around a couple of blocks and back to within a 1/2 block of where she lives. We checked the area to the right of the house, but there wasn't any scent there.

We decided to drive back over to the base and check for scent coming out of the holes in the chain link fence and look more closely at that area. Once inside the base, we found the holes in the fence that Dino indicated, and he quickly picked up Nan's scent and went into another fenced building, which led into a network of fenced and deserted buildings.

We did find a person inside one of the fenced buildings who had a storage unit inside one of the buildings. He said he thought he heard a cat meowing a few days ago inside another building. We brought Dino and had he check the building, which was full of all kinds of storage items. He did indicate one spot under a bunch of furniture that had very strong scent and he scratched and pawed at the area, which is his indication of the source of the scent. Since the person with the storage unit said they were about to leave, Nan's person decided to come back the next day when he would return and set a trap inside the buidling to see if animal was still inside the building.

After three hours, we determined that Nan was still around in the area. She could be returning to her neighborhood to eat the food being put out. We also think she is hanging out at the base, which provides isolation and more freedom. Nan's person will continue to put out the feeding stations both behind her house and at the base. She also has a motion sensor camera to see if Nan is coming to the feeding station. We want to keep Nan in the area close to home which the feeding stations will help with instead of forcing her further into the base or into another neighborhood to find food.

"Buddy", Siamese Mix, Sacramento

Buddy is a 10 year old, large Siamese mix. He was wearing a collar with ID tag. He had no microchip. He is indoor and outdoor with a regular routine that "a person can set their clock to" according to his people.

Buddy's normal routine is to hang out closely to his apartment in the busy and urban section of downtown Sacramento. The Capital is one block away, which includes a large four block wide city park. This park is well landscaped and maintained daily by an onsite crew. This park also gets a lot of walking traffic by local employees hanging out and doing laps around the mile long border.

The last time Buddy was seen was around 4 PM on a Monday by a neighbor. His person is usually due home from work nearby at approximately 4:30. On this day, Buddy was not at the door to meet her. I was brought in two weeks after that last Monday after his person did a thorough search of the area and put up numerous flyers. Many people knew of Buddy, but had not seen him for several days.

By having Dino find a perimeter of where Buddy's scent was found, we discovered that Buddy actually had a territory that extended throughout the park, but did not extend past the park, even though his person's work was only one more block into the middle of all concrete towers. On the other side of the apartment building, we found his territory extended for another block, and for another two blocks on both sides of the apartment building. The location is 95% apartment buildings and is highly landscaped and clean. The loud Metro train was one block away.

Buddy's scent was throughout the park, but, according to Dino's reaction, did not appear to be fresh scent. Dino's body and reaction to finding the scent is very different when finding fresh scent (up to five days) and finding older scent (more than one week). One thing that Dino was very strong on, which helped a lot in this particular case, was his indication of where scent was not. Not only does he tell me where scent is based on his following the scent, but he also will say where there is no scent so we can positively determine Buddy's boundaries and confirm that Buddy had not walked away on his own. This is different from other cat cases where we did find a track or tracks that led away from the known territory.

Based on this information that we found no track leading away from the area, and we were confident that he was not loose in his known territory, we decided upon two possibilities for Buddy's disappearance. We decided that Buddy has been involuntarily removed from the area, either driven away in a car or picked up and carried away. His person did confirm that many of the apartment buildings, including a local senior center, all allow pets, including cats. They also confirmed that Buddy was so friendly that he would allow somebody to pick him up or put him into a car.

If he had been driven away in a car, then the search would need to extend outside the local area. If he had been picked up and carried away, then the search would be local. For either way, I recommended putting up large, bright flourescent posters in front of her apartment building and going into the park and on corners stating that Buddy was still missing. We are hoping that the person who picked him up would see the posters, or somebody who saw somebody pick him up would say something. Also, I suggested to continue going door to door and handing out the flyers to let everybody know he was still missing. Also, I suggested to check out Craigslists beyond the local area in case he was driven out.

When I got home I forwarded Buddy's Lost and Pound report to two national lost animal lists.

(added to lost pet questionnaire 2/14/10)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

"Max" Shih Tzu/Maltese Mix, Mather

Max is a four year old neutered male. He is microchipped and was wearing a collar, but no tags when he went missing from his yard by a gate that accidently got left open by contractors. The weather was heavy rain. As soon as Max's person knew that Max did not come back after being left out into the yard, she immediately went around the neighborhood looking for him, but did not find him.

His person put up flyers all over the neighborhood, which is an isolated newer neighborhood, miles from retail stores or businesses. Dino tracked Max's scent for only a short distance down to the post office box, which is about one and 1/2 blocks to the right of where Max lives. We checked all corners and all directions and all streets. There wasn't any scent in any direction, except for this one.

We figured that Max had been picked up at the spot of the mailboxes by a passerby that doesn't live in the area because they would have responded to the flyers. Max's person is going to put up large flourescent posters coming and going from the neighborhood to catch the attention of the person who picked him up.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/10/10)

"Gordo" Pit Bull, Blue Brindle, Oakland

Gordo is a 1 1/2 year old male blue brindle pit bull who broke out of the gate of the backyard along with his housemate, Zombie. Gordo is unneutered, microchipped, and not wearing a collar.

Zombie was found at the shelter the next morning, but Gordo was not with him. Gordo's person put up flyers all over the immediate neighborhood. He called me the next day.

Initially, we started tracking Gordo around his immediate neighborhood, and Dino would come back to Gordo's house. Part of this was because Gordo's person would walk Gordo regularly in the neighborhood, so Dino was picking up on Gordo' recent scent. What we had to look for was a track that led in another direction where Gordo's person confirmed he had not walked him previously. After about a half hour, we found a track that led away from the house to the right of the gate where the two dogs had escaped.

This track took us all throughout Oakland for miles and miles and hour after hour. While we were out tracking Gordo we would hear from people that said, "I saw that dog yesterday." and "I saw that dog this afternoon." and "I saw that dog just two hours ago." and "That dog was here just recently sleeping in the corner."

By 9 PM, we were within one 1/2 hour behind Gordo back at Gordo's neighborhood and we got a call that Gordo got picked up by a senior lady walking by in the neighborhood.

Gordo's person is still trying to find out who this elderly lady is.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/10/10)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Junior" Grey Tabby with White - Dublin

Junior is a large grey tabby with white who is neutered, microchipped and an indoor/outdoor friendly cat with both people and other cats. He wasn't wearing a collar or tags. Junior did not come home from his nightly outing. His people know that his territory extends for as least three blocks. There is another elderly cat in the house that sometimes Junior follows, but that cat did not go out that night. The area is a dense suburban neighborhood with small lots and wall in on one side by a very high sound wall with a freeway on the other side. The other sides are bordered by a busy feeder street.

We started first checking the house's yard to confirm Junior was not stuck in the yard. His known way out of the yard was over the back fence, usually leaving his home from the sliding glass door of his house. Then we started a house and yard check in the immediate block, which was a dense suburban neighborhood. We went to each door and showed them the flyer and asked to check the yard. A couple of houses were vacant, a few people let us check the yard, a few did not, and many, many people did not answer, which was surprising given it was only about 10:30 AM on a Saturday. I was told that this neighborhood received many solicitors, so many people, apparently, don't answer their doors to a stranger.

We did receive a couple of people say that they had seen Junior in their yard in the past, but had not seen him in a few days. This helped us to confirm Junior's territory, and also that he was going out in the daytime, in addition to nighttime.

His people ran out of flyers, so they went back to their house to print up more. I continued with Dino around the neighborhood to determine Junior's track. We followed his scent around the neighborhood, in and out of courts and then out to a feeder street. Dino crossed the street and made a left turn. We continued for another two blocks and then made a left to another street that was outside Junior's immediate neighborhood. We followed Junior's scent down this whole street and then it suddenly stopped as the street made an elbow turn to the right.

About 45 minutes later I met up with Junior's people after they made more flyers. I showed them the street and where it stopped. Along this wall is very thick vegetation with high trees and bushes. This is the same wall that extends back down to Junior's neighborhood, and Dino had picked up Junior's scent along the street where the other wall is inside Junior's neighborhood.

My opinion is that Junior is out having a good time and decided not to come back home right away. We did talk to a couple of people along this route that put out cat food and they know that various cats come around to feed. We left flyers with them in case Junior showed up. Since he has only been gone for three days, my guess is that he hasn't figured a reason to come back yet. He is left along for long periods during the day and night, so I figured that Junior got a little bored and decided to stay out and get some entertainment. One of his people is going to go into the fenced space along the sound wall and to see if he can find Junior in that location.

I also suggested that, in addition to continuing to hand out flyers door to door in the neighborhood and having them check their yards, to post large flourescent posters on the short streets coming and going from and to the neighborhood. Also, to post the posters on the street next door to the neighborhood where Dino tracked Junior.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/5/10)

"Jack" Doberman Pinscher - Vallejo

Jack is an adult black and tan Doberman and was wearing a black, studded leather collar and matching harness when he jumped out of his person's vehicle while driving on Highway 29 in Vallejo at about 8:30 PM. He jumped into oncoming traffic and it is unknown if he was injured from the fall. His family lives nearby in another neighborhood of Vallejo. He is a frequent visitor to the dog park on Mare Island.

There had been a couple of sightings of him that night, and I came out with Dino the next afternoon. We started at a set of railroad tracks where Jack was spotted, which was a few block from where the live and a few blocks from where he jumped out.

Dino led up down the tracks, which were not in current use. There was a lot of garbage and obvious signs of very heavy homeless use. We continued down the tracks and then turned up a path to the busy street. Dino crossed the street and was very insistent about going into a small local market. We asked if a Doberman had been seen going in, and they said "no." We checked the area again both directions, and the scent seemed to stop right at this store.

We continued up the street to the spot where Jack had jumped out of the car, and Dino picked up the scent again, going up 29 and turning right, which led us to a small block size park, that had a lot of construction going on. Dino indicated the direction out of the park and back into the neighborhood, which eventually led us to cross 29 again. This took us to another neighborhood and then, eventually, back out onto 29, where, after several blocks, the scent ended at a large intersection.

My advice to Jack's family was that he had been picked up sometime in the night at that large intersection after he made the rounds of half the city during the night. I suggested that they put up large flourescent posters at that intersection and along the way of the track to see if anybody saw anything.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/4/10)