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Friday, July 31, 2009

"Stewie/Stewart", DSH, Grey Tabby with White, Santa Rosa

Stewie is a six yer old, grey and white DSH tabby. He has lived at this home from most of his life.

He is a housemate of Maya, the Pug, whose case entry can be seen just before this post. I was called to Maya's home because she had been missing for 48 hours. On my way to their home, I received a call that Maya had been found as a neighbor's nearby home. When I got to their home, I asked if I could run Maya's track as a practice track for my dog, Dot, who is in tracking training.

The only idea that they had in regards to what happened to Stewie is that around the same time that Stewie suddenly disappeared, several other cats in the same mobile home park, also disappeared in about a two week time frame and never were found. Per his people, Stewie was a big home body cat and rarely ever strayed further than a short distance from his home, and spent most of his time at home.

I did the search with just Dino since both of Maya's people had to go to work.

I took Dino in a systematic approach all around the mobile home park. Dino does both a "Yes" and a "No." Like all other tracks, I checked in all directions going away from Stewie's home. I picked up two different tracks leading away. One was down the block, to the left and then left again back into the front gates of the park and then back to Stewie's home. The other track was into the elementary school just behind Stewie's house. The track led around several buildings and around the grassy field and then back home. Both of these tracks, Stewie's people acknowledged later as the two known territories of Stewie. They had seen him in these locations in the past.

I checked several other directions, and I got all "No's" from Dino, meaning that the scent did not exist in that direction. This gave me a very small territory of Stewie's scent. As I do on all other tracks, I will double check with Dino and ask the same thing again, and I got the same information.

"Maya", Pug, Santa Rosa - Found!

Maya is a three year old, unspayed Pug who is fawn with a black mask. She is wearing a brown leather collar. She got out of her yard when she got scared by loud landscaping being done nearby. She was missing for 24 hours when I was called out. I arrived the next morning when she had been missing for 48 hours. While I was driving to their home, I received a call that Maya had showed up at the doorstep of a neighbor's home. Since I was already on my way and over the Richmond/San Rafeal bridge I decided to finish the drive and see if I could run Dot through a practice track.

When I got to Maya's home, her people said they would love to go on a track to see where Maya was for the last 48 hours. They thought she was pretty close by and hiding. I agreed to run Dino on the track for no charge and then to run Dot afterwards as a practice.

While we were talking about Maya, they said that their cat, Stewie, had been missing for over five weeks and they wanted to know where he was. Since Dino had never run a five week old track (four weeks was the oldest) I said I would run Stewie's track for them after running Dot on Maya's.

Maya's person's daughter came along with us on Maya's track. As predicted, the track led out of the mobile home park and then went down the street and led around another nearby mobile home park. After that, Maya's track was a total surprise to her people. The track led down to a nearby creek and then turned left and when for a couple of miles to a nearby large multi sports field. The track was all over the field and then around went around the large lake and then back around to the parking lot. The track then went back onto the creek's path and continued for several more miles. We were on the track for over four hours when Maya's person decided to call it off. She was convinced that Maya's had been on quite an adventure and we were still not sure how Maya made it back to her home because where we left off was over a couple of miles from her home. She must have been going for the 48 hours straight with very little rest.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

To see the post for Stewie's five week old track, see the post that just follows this one.

To see the post for Dot's practice track, you can view her blog at:

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Jasper", Flame Point Siamese, Oakland - Found!

Jasper is a neutered, 13 year old, 17 lb, Flame Point Siamese with blue eyes. He has a purple collar with a name tag. He is not microchipped. His person was out of town on vacation and a relative was coming by to feed and care for Jasper. Jasper had been missing for less than 48 hours when I was called.

I spoke in detail with Jasper's person about what to do (where to put flyers and posters, putting ads on Craigslist, etc) on how to find Jasper until we were able to do our scheduled search. I received a call the next day that Jasper had been found while his caretaker was out looking for him.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Lola", Shar Pei mix, Auburn

Lola is a 80 lb, brown, female/spayed seven year old Shar Pei mix. She is wearing a leather collar and choke chain collar. She is not microchipped. She accidentally got out of a side gate when another dog in the home opened the gate. She had been spotted at a shopping center parking lot about a block and a half away with one other dog in the house. That dog returned on its own and the third dog was picked up by animal control a short distance away. Lola did not return with either dog. Lola had been missing almost two weeks when I was called.

We started the track from the last known location at the parking lot in the shopping center. We picked up the track there and it continued up the road and into a neighborhood park, which also borders the local water sanitation district office. The track went around the parking in various different directions and finally led out back toward the direction of the shopping center. This time the track crossed the main street and headed into another neighborhood.

The track went through this neighborhood and then down to another main street and into the feed store parking lot. The temperature was very hot by that time (around 90 degrees) so I hosed down both dogs behind the building.

We continued up the road to a walking path and across a set of railroad tracks. The scent continued up the road and into a parking lot of a business park. The pavement was so hot that Dino was unable to continue walking on the road. We tried a couple of other directions. We did pick up scent in other directions and back again at the railroad tracks. At this point the owners decided to call off the search. They said they would put up posters in this area to see if anybody picked up or saw Lola.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

"Angel", Persian/Chinchilla mix, Castro Valley

Angel is an unspayed, in season, indoor only four year old white with grey half Persian, half Chinchilla female. She is wearing a white flea collar and is not microchipped. She ran out the front door while her people where unloading groceries from the car. There wasn't a single sighting of her.

Angel's behavior of an indoor only cat who suddenly gets out did not fit the stereotypical behavior, which should be to go and hide somewhere. We found her track leading around the buildings and through a neighborhood, over a creek and into another neighborhood. We found her track go up the side yard of a vacant house and through the yard and through a hole in the fence, which led to a large open space. Her people decided to stop the search at the three hour minimum even though I felt there were several additional areas to follow the track. I gave them ideas to put flyers and bright posters up and down the street of the vacant house to see if she had come back through the hole in the fence. And to also put the flyers and posters on the busy street that led out from the dead end street where the vacant house was.

We went back to check the townhouse complex, but did not find any tracks of Angels except for the previously discovered ones that went around a parking lot and out to an adjacent neighborhood.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Bennie", Bengal, Mill Valley

Bennie is a three and a half year old neutered male Bengal DSH. He is wearing a red reflective collar and microchipped. He is always inside at night, but this particular night did not return home in time to meet his people who went out to dinner and he did not return later that night when they got home. Because their home is deep inside a long canyon and coyotes and bobcats are known to frequent the area, his people initially thought that he came in contact with one of them.

We found a track that led down the street for quite a ways and through many houses, down more streets and more streets and then through downtown Mill Valley. We followed the track many miles more over creeks, down more streets, parks, more creeks and parks and water districts almost all the way to Highway 101. By the time Bennie's person called off the search, we had been into the search for about six hours. He said that he would continue the search and put flyers up in that area.

As always in all searches, I offer to continue the search at the next earliest convenient time at the same place where we left off.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Seffie", German Shepherd, San Jose

Seffie is a two year old spayed female German Shepherd who was wearing collar with ID tags, microchipped and dragging a leash. She got loose from a house that she was staying at for a few days. She was spotted in an area several blocks from where she escaped from. We started the search there. No additional sightings had occured since then.

We picked up her track in the area and followed it for several miles throughout San Jose. She did appear to be frequently in areas over and over.

The search was stopped at the three hour minimum by Seffie's person because she had to go to work.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

"Micky", Chihuahua/Miniature Pinscher mix, Hayward - Found!

Even though I did not do a search for Mickey, we had one scheduled. This is to prove how quick action with distributing flyers can get a dog safely home.

Mickey is a four month old Chihuahua/Min Pin mix. He is not wearing a collar. He was last seen in his yard the previous night, and it is not known how he got out of his yard. I received a call from Mickey's person that he had heard from a neighbor that same evening who had a young woman come up to their door and ask if anybody was missing a dog that appeared to be Mickey. This neighbor did not recognize the woman from his neighborhood. We scheduled a time to meet for a search that afternoon.

In the meantime, I recommended that he put up as many flyers all around the neighborhood in case the woman come back that evening to see if anybody was missing a dog.

I received a call several hours later, just before we were scheduled to meet, after he had put up flyers all around, that a woman had called him, after seeing one of this flyers, to say that she had Mickey and would bring him by.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Bailey", DSH, Black/Brown Tabby, Mt. Tam/Muir Woods

Bailey is an indoor/outdoor 11 month spayed female DSH black and brown tabby who is microchipped, but not wearing a collar with tags. She had been missing for about two and a half weeks when I was called. She is basically home all day and night, but usually goes out for a couple of hours in the afternoon/evening time frame.

Bailey's person's house is adjacent to a very busy, narrow highway in Mt. Tam. She said that generally Bailey goes to the right of the house, which leads to an open space and more isolated area compared to the busy highway which led off to the left. There had been a confirmed sighting of Bailey a couple of blocks away on a narrow and isolated street, so we decided to start there.

Dino picked up Bailey's scent right in front of that house and we got permission to enter the property and check the yard, which is very large, on a hillside and thick with vegetation and an artist studio. We found Bailey's scent all over the yard and then found it exiting through a hole in a fence which went back up onto the same road.

We went back to the road and picked up the track down the road and then back into another yard. This yard led to a foot path which continued down a steep canyon and to a very isolated area of houses. We did follow the track to a steep part of the canyon which we could not go through, so we decided to back track and see if Baily went another way. We did find another track that led out of this area through some more yards and back up onto another street. This led us up onto the main highway. Here the track crossed the highway and went down the street, along the road until we got to a side street. The track went through several yards and onto another set of streets. Here Bailey's person stopped the search. She said she would continue in the area with flyers to see if anybody had seen her.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Papa Kitty", DLH, White and Brown Tabby, Oakland

Papa Kitty is an indoor/outdoor five year old DLH brown tabby with white on the chest, face and paws. He was not wearing any collar or microchip. His housemate included his mate and one of their kittens, now an adult. He had been missing for over a week when I was called. There was at least one known territorial cat in the area that was regularly coming into Papa Kitty's yard and bullying Papa Kitty and the other two cats.
We did find two tracks around the neighborhood that both led back to the house, so I figured it was two of his regular territorial tracks. We did find another track that led across the street and then over an overpass and into a more commercial/retail district. This track led us all the way up into the Montclair area that took us through many parks, schools, shopping districts, creeks. We were on the trail for several hours. There were many cross tracks in the same area. We were many, many miles away from Papa Kitty's home.
His person decided to call the search off and see if the could do some advertising in the local newspapers to see if anybody had seen him. We started the long walk home.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

As of July 28, 2009 - Still Missing

"Stella", DSH, Black, Mill Valley

Stella is a female seven month old DSH black kitty with a collar at the time of her disappearance. She does have a microchip. She had been missing for 16 days when I was called. Their property borders on the Mill Valley golf course.

Her collar had been found on the fourth hole by a course employee. The collar had been brought to the pro shop and hung up on a nail in the shop. A relative of Stella's person saw the collar hanging up and asked about it. She was told by the employee where it was found on the course and she showed it to Stella's person. The exact location on the hole was unknown so we decided to start at the tee and work out from the hole. About half way along the fareway Dino picked up the scent and started to follow it.

The scent led us up and down the fareway and up and down hillsides (the course is built into a small canyon) and up to a fireroad/jogging trail. We followed it to the right for a short distance when Stella's person wanted to try the other direction of the road which was closer to home. We turned around and checked some other directions. I recommended we continue on the fireroad, but she wanted to check in other direction. She also had a young daughter with us, and the daughter wanted to go home.

We checked in some other directions, and we did find Stella's scent. However, we didn't know the age of the track. We didn't know if this track was older or newer than the track on the fireroad. The current track led us back to the golf course and crossed a fareway. We were not allowed back onto the course, per the course management. Stella's person had to go to an appointment, so she decided to stop the track here and talk to her husband and see if they wanted to continue the track another time.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Xela", Siamese Seal Point Snowshoe, Napa

Xela is a three year old, spayed female Snow show Seal Point Siamese. She is not wearing a collar, but she is microchipped. She lives in Menlo Park, but she was visiting a relative of her person in Napa. She had visited this house many times in the past. She was staying in a bedroom for most of the stay, but she had full access to the rest of the house, which included a dog/cat door for the other animals in the house. The door leads to a small backyard and in that yard is a small hole that was under the fence that was used by one of the other cats in the house.

We tracked her to a small court at the end of the street and then the track led down the street and right along a small walking path which led to an open space and eventually a large apartment complex. From that apartment complex the track led to a creek area and a townhouse complex. From there it went under a bridge and then to a private agricultural farm. With the permission of the home owner we were allowed in a large rear garden and then eventually into another large agricultural area. This whole area was fenced. We followed her track to a small hole in the fence which led to another very large winery.

Here the owner decided to stop the track because that next area was acres and acres wide. She said she would go to that property on her own and led them know she was missing and continue her search from that area.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

"Horus", Siamese X Lynx Point, Santa Cruz - Found!

Horus is a lynx point Siamese that is missing one eye and has very limited vision in his other eye. He is one and a half years old and is indoor/outdoors. Per his person, he generally stays close by.

We found two separate tracks belonging to Horus. The first one went up a hill on a busy highway and then looped around and around a nearby neighborhood and then came back within a block of home. I figured that this was Horus' regular routine.

We then found another track that was much more extensive and never looped back. This track went all around and up and down through downtown Santa Cruz and eventually led us out to the Boardwalk and to the beach. Since the wooden sign on the beach clearly said No Dogs On Beach, we made an attempt with local authorities to ask permission to go onto the beach to continue the search. We finally spoke to a non emergency person at the local police station, but they could not stop laughing when we told them we were tracking a cat with a dog on the beach. We decided to go onto the beach and follow the track and take our chances.

The track went down onto the sand and then skirted along the concrete retaining wall and then under a large pier and out onto the beach. Dino followed the track all along the tide line all the way down the beach to the other side. The beach was very crowded, but nobody bothered or stopped us. We went all the way down without a single interruption.

The track continued left up a fresh water creek. Here we took a brief break and I let the dogs play in the water. They were very grateful.

We continued the search up the creek and back out onto the walkway. The scent continued all along the walkway until we got to a bridge that turned right to cover back over the creek. Here Horus' person decided to stop the search after about five hours. It was getting dark. He said he would continue the search on the other side of the bridge and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

I was out of town for the next few days, and I received several text messages from Horus' person that he had been putting up flyers and that he had received a couple of sightings. He followed up on those.

I did not hear anything for about two weeks. I got a text message about three weeks after our search to say that Horus' walked into his yard on his own. He said that Horus was very dirty and very hungry.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

I sent this letter out to the national Yahoo groups after getting home that night of tracking Horus on the beach.

[FindingPaws] Dino's Incredible Track Across the Beach!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009 9:20 AM
From: "Jackie Phillips"

Personally, I never thought a dog could track across the beach. I mean how do follow a track that gets washed out that night!

I was in City of Santa Cruz, tracking a cat that had been missing for almost a week. Horus is an Indoor/outdoor cat with one eye missing and the other eye barely usable. The owner swore Horus never went more than three houses in either direction. One morning he never showed up for breaksfast.

We tracked this cat all over downtown Santa Cruz, and then we headed in the direction of the Boardwalk. The crowds were pretty heavy for a Tuesday. I thought the cat would have gone down the actual Boardwalk where all the games and rides were since he would have been out in the middle of the night. Instead, Dino led us through the large parking lot and straight toward the beach. The big sign before us said, amoung other things, "No Dogs." We attempted to contact local authorities, but when they started to laugh on the phone that a dog was tracking a cat on the beach, we figured we should take a shot and let Dino continue to lead us on the track.

My other hesitation is that Dino LOVES the beach. He goes beserk in the car when he knows we are approaching and then runs around like an idiot on the sand the whole time. At first, I didn't believe that track actually went down to the beach. I thought Dino might want to play. I decided to trust him and see what happened.

We followed the track along the wall and under the pier and then straight down the mile long beach, all the way following the tideline. This is the furthest point the tide reaches each night (or so said Horus' owner who has lived in Santa Cruz for 14 years.) Where ever Horus had gone when he crossed the beach Dino never waivered from the tideline the whole time. I was blown away. We never once did a practice track on the beach, and that was our first time with a track on the beach since starting cases several months ago, and Dino followed it like he was tracking on grass.

I was so happy with him. When we reached the edge of the water, I let both of them take a break and play in the water.

Jackie Phillips
jackie@thesocialpet .com
www.thesocialpet. com

Sunday, July 5, 2009

"Sasha", DSH, Tortishell, Pacifica

Sasha is a 12 year old Tortishell DSH cat. She is microchipped and wearing a morphine patch because she was on her way to the vet for cruciate surgery when she escaped from the carrier case. She was last seen running from the bag and across the street to a private yard which backs up to a steep hillside covered in berry bushes, ivy and thickets. She had been missing for a couple of days prior to me coming out.

She previously had been an indoor/outdoor cat, but had been strictly indoors in her own yard for several months while her person was having their home remodeled and their were living in a temporary apartment.

We checked all over the hillside, sending Dot into all the bushes, berry thickets and everywhere else we could find where Sasha might be hiding, but we never found Sasha. I do feel we found her scent there because the dogs were animated and following around and around as if she was there, but we did not find a cat.

We then started on the streets behind their home. We checked on various streets and many, many yards, but never found her scent in any of those spots.

There were steep hillsides above where we found her scent that we were unable to check due to the terrain and that they were very extensive and covered in thick berry bushes.

Her person confirmed that in the past when Sasha had been out that she was always very quiet and secretive and hid very well. My belief is that since she had that morphine patch on her that she was hiding out somewhere and moving around without any pain. Once the patch wore off, which was due to be about 24 hours after the search, she would be forced to start making noise and moving around.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/8/11)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Max", DSH, Silver/Grey Tabby, San Francisco

Max is a two year old, indoor/outdoor, neutered, silver grey tabby with some white. He has a microchip and is wearing a collar and ID tag. He had been missing for almost three weeks when I was called. He did not come home one night after being out.

We started the search by following him down the street for a couple of blocks and then it made a right turn and then another right turn and then went up a couple more blocks toward a lot complex of apartments. Here the track went through a small community garden and then out the other end. In front of us was the base of Mt. Sutro, which is a large open space with another community garden and a lot of homeless encampments.

We asked around and looked around. The caretaker of the community garden (who had an attacked trained rooster who went at both my dogs numerous times), had not seen Max, but kept the flyer up nearby.

We decided to check across the street, Laguna Blvd, which is very busy. Here we did find Max's scent that then led up a very steep cliff behind some house and then out onto another street. We went up to that street and find Max's scent. He had come through those houses from behind them and then his trail went up the street toward Forest Hills. We continued through Forest Hills for a few blocks. Here Max's person stopped the search due to other time committments that evening (July 4th). She said she would continue the search for Max up in that area.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/7/11)

"Sophie", Hungarian Pumi, Oakland - Found!

This is a picture of a Hungarian Pumi. It is not a picture of Sophie.

Sophie is a Hungarian Pumi, a rare breed in the US. She is five years old, microchipped and spayed. Sophie is a shy and nervous type of dog and had gotten out in the past. This time is believed she dug her way under the fence while her people were away at work. She had been missing for a couple of days when I was called.

Since Sophie and her people go for regular walks in the neighborhood, we had to first find out where her scent was not. We started off to the left of the house. We did find a track and then continued to follow it down Broadway and then to MacArther Park. Here we found a lot of Sophie's scent around the dog park and behind it, which was very isolated along the freeway. She circled this park a couple of times. We did find a feeding station for cats. There were numerous bowls of food. I could see why Sophie would hang out in this area.

We checked all the surrounding streets leading away from the park and finally found the trail leading away from the park. This led us eventually back in the direction near to Sophie's home. However, we did find something very interesting along the way.

We were following the trail along a sidewalk and headed toward the back of an appliance store. The back yard had a large moving truck sticking out onto the sidewalk and with its back door pull up. Dino was fanatic about wanting to jump up into the back. He was attempting to do it himself, but we had to find an employee first to get permission. Once we did after several minutes, I put Dino up there and he checked around and in the cab. The owner confirmed that this truck had been outside here since about 7 AM that morning as he was moving things in and out. We checked around the yard which was full of machines and other equipment. The yard was totally fenced in. We guessed that Sophie had probably gone into that yard and possibly jumped into the back of the truck, which Sophie's person confirmed was possible since Sophie was known to scale eight foot fences.

We checked for a trail leading away from the yard and eventually found a backtrack and then down another street. The track then led back up to near Sophie's house, about one block away. The track continued up the street. The owner decided to stop the track here about a five hour search. She said she would check for Sophie up in that area, which she was familiar with.

I received a call later that afternoon and she said that Sophie was found near a cemetery, just up the road a few blocks from where we had stopped the track!

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/7/11)

Friday, July 3, 2009

"Roxy", Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix, Stockton - Found

Roxy was a black and white two year old Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix. When she went missing she was wearing a red nylon collar with tags. She wasn't microchipped or tattooed. The last time she was seen was around 2 PM in the yard of the business where her person worked. Sometimes she would come to work and hang out in the yard.

When we got to the shop, it was almost 95 degrees with no breeze. The area was totally agricultural with train tracks on one side outside the yard and a small creek that borders the other side of the yard. Beyond that is agricultural fields for miles in every direction. Per Roxy's person the train tracks carried cargo trains that ran 25 to 30 routes per day, 24 hours a day.

We started the search by going off the right since Roxy's ride home in the back of an open truck led off to the left. I wanted to see if her scent was over in the other area. We were walking along the tracks that borders the business for about 15 minutes. Dino started to pull up onto the tracks, which were elevated about 10 feet above our eye level. Once I saw it was clear of an train, we went up onto the tracks to see what Dino was interested in. It was there that we saw Roxy's body. She had been hit by a train probably soon after she left the yard. Roxy's person confirmed that was her body. She still had on the red nylon collar.

I said that we needed to pull her body off the tracks as soon as possible, but he said he was not able to do it. I said I would do it. We needed to pull his truck alongside the tracks and put her into a box and put her into the back of the truck.

We walked back to the yard, I put Dino and Dot into the van, moved the van into a large shaded area under an over pass and turned on the A/C full blast. We took his truck around onto an agricultural field and eventually found the road that led through the fields, over the tracks, over a creek and around to the other side of the tracks. He had brought a large box and we put Roxy's bed into the box. I pulled her body from the tracks and put into the large box. He taped up the box and put it into the back of his truck. We drove back to my van.
(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/7/11)

"Hannah", Akita, Oakland Hills

Hannah is a 14 year old, black and white, 100lb Japanese Akita. She is not wearing any collar and is not microchipped. She recently had started to have seizures. She disappeared from her home sometime in the middle of the night sometime between 2 AM and 7 AM. She had been getting sick and her people let her out into the front yard. She walked away from the front yard through the open gate. According to her people her eyesight and hearing were also fading. She had been missing for several days when I was called.

Their original idea was that Hannah had fallen down somewhere on the steep cliffs surrounding her home. Her people had scoured the hills and canyons for blocks around their home, but never found her.

We started the track by searching the area immediately surrounding their home, but did not find her. We started to search up the street and checked numerous homes and yards. Hannah had been walked all around the area several times a week in various directions, so it took us some time to eliminate where no scent existed. All along the way, wherever we found scent I would ask Hannah's person if this was part of their regular walking routine, and she would say yes or no. We finally found one direction of Hannah's scent that she indicated was not part of their regularly routine. We found that track leading away from the house and down to Moraga Avenue and then into Montclair District.

The track led into a small community park, around the duck pond and then out to the far end, continuing down into Montclair. At this point, Hannah's person decided to stop the track at the three hour minimum and head back home.

Once home I explained everything that had happened to the husband and he said they would follow up on the track and the direction we found. I suggested to contact the Hayward, San Leandro and San Lorenzo animal shelters to see if she had been picked up since the track was several days old. I also suggested contacting a local Akita rescue to let them know she was missing and to see if anybody had reported her.

I happened to run across a rep/volunteer from a local Akita rescue person on another track while in San Francisco and I explained to her about Hannah being missing. I forwarded to Hannah's person their information. I have not heard back anything following the search.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/7/11)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Dory", Chihuahua, San Francisco - Found!

(I got a voicemail about four days after our search that Dory had been found. She was inside a house within a couple of blocks of her home.)

Dory is a five pound black and tan Chihuahua. She was not wearing a collar and is not microchipped. She escaped by accident when the garage door got left open.

I had a lot of problems with the friend who said she was trying to help Dory's person find her. This woman was extremely confrontational from the start and repeatedly asked me why I was doing certain things even though I answered all her questions with total professionalism and patience.

She refused to wear the safety vest, so I told her she was unable to accompany us on the search, which clearly angered her. She said she would wait at the front steps in case Dory came home.

While on the track near the small park near Dory's home, I was finding kibble scattered all over the sidewalk leading up and down and around the street near the park. I asked Dory's person what this was and she said it looked like the kibble that was in the dog food bowl they were setting out for Dory since she had been sighted in the area the previous afternoon. She asked her friend if the kibble had been put out by her and she admitted to do that. I said she should have waited until after we finished the track since it was clearly distracting me dogs from following Dory's scent in the area. She said that if my dog's were good enough, that they should be able to work through it. I asked her if she had ever trained a tracking dog before and she said "no." I said she was impeding Dory from returning home since we couldn't track this area. I told Dory's person that I would be able to check other areas for Dory's scent, but that with all this kibble on the ground, I was unable to guarantee my dog's tracking in this area. At this point Dory's person stopped the track, and said she would only pay for my mileage even though she agreed to the three hour minimum. I repeated to her that she owed me the three hour minimum.

As of July 22, I have not received any payment, though Dory's person had promised to send it. On one of their phone calls, Dory's person said that Dory had been found two days prior to the phone call living with a neighbor down the street. Another neighbor saw Dory with this person and told Dory's person about it.

My interaction with Dory's person has been the reason why I can't accept payments for doing a track. This is actually the second person I agreed to accept payments, and that person never paid me either.

Note: I did eventually receive full payment from Dory's person after repeated calls and threats on my part.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/7/11)

"Willie", DSH, Silver Tabby, Mill Valley - Found!


I wanted to let you know that Willie came home today! He was gone 13 days, and today he showed up at the back gate. He is a little thin and dirty, but otherwise fine. I wish he could talk, but I’m just so grateful to have him home. I took your advice and just kept walking the neighborhood, put up more flyers and stuffed more mailboxes. I am over the moon with joy! Thank you for giving me hope that he would come home.


Willie is an indoor/outdoor, neutered, DSH, silver tabby with white. He is wearing a collar with ID tag and his micochipped. Willie has a housemate and littermate "Hank", a grey tabby. Willie was missing for a couple of days when I was referred to Willie's person by Sammie's person, also from Mill Valley. Willie and Hank were closely monitored and both let out only for a few hours a day during the day. They were not allowed out at night and always came back for dinner. Behind their home is a very deep canyon which leads to a very large open space, which eventually connects to Mt. Tamalpais. Willie's person described him as the adventurous one of the two brothers.

We started the search by checking the perimeter of the house, which was on a very steep cliff. Behind the house, at the bottom of the canyon is another very short, dead end street, which Willie is known to visit. This street connects up the road to the street where the front of Willie's house is on. We checked the front of the house and found a trail that led off to the left, where the short dead end street connects to. From there we found a track that led down the street and up a street on a hill with multiple houses and eventually a dead end with a gorgeous view of Mt. Tam. We talked to several people on that street and left flyers, but nobody had seen Willie. One person remembered that her brother said their dog was hysterically barking at something in their yard the day that Willie was last seen. She said she would show Willie's photo to him to see if he recognized Willie in their yard.

We continued following the track down the road and into a local nine hold golf course. This course was built into a canyon and was very steep in some parts and went over creeks and roads in other spots. Perfect for a cat to hide and play in. We followed Willie's track throughout the course to the far end and out to the main road. The track continued down the road to a local ball field, creek and park with a playground.

We checked all around the creek area and playground, but did not find Willie or a track leading out anywhere. After numerous attempts we finally did find a track almost doubling back up the main road back in the general direction of Willie's house. We followed the track up the road and back down the short, dead end street behind Willie's house. We climbed all over the steep and thickly wooded canyon, apparently following Willie's scent. Willie's person did acknowledge that this scent is probably part of Willie's territory since he was know to spend a lot of time back there. This is also an area where coyotes are seen and heard. By the way, one golfer we met while on the course said he has seen coyotes lounging on the open fareway in the middle of the day with golfers all around, seemingly unaffected by people.

After checking the canyon for over a half hour, we determined that Willie was not there. We went back up to the street in front of their house and checked down the street to the end, which leads to a very large open space and hiking and jogging and horseback riding trails. We checked up and down the trails, but did not find a scent of Willie or Willie. At this point the strongest track was still the one through the golf course and down into the park and creek area.

My strongest possibility is that Willie has become lost and disoriented from his regular territory. I believe that, since Willie and Hank went out together, and Hank later returned after several hours that evening, and they went way beyond their regular curfew of late afternoon, that they both decided to venture a little further than their usual territory and routine. I think Hank decided to go back and probably tried to convince Willie to return with him, but that Willie decided to continue on further and got lost.

I recommended to Willie's person to follow the track we found at least once a day putting up posters and flyers along the way and talking to people and then ending up back at their home. This would put her scent out onto the track and hopefully give Willie a direction back to their home by helping him to follow her scent, which is repeatedly being laid down day after day.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/7/11)