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Monday, March 29, 2010

"Oscar", Scottish Terrier Mix, Milpitas - Found!

On April 2, several days after the search, I received the following emails from Oscar's person:

"I have good news, I found my oscar. He was in the hayward animal shelter. I think you were right, I'm guessing he was with a homeless person and traveled that far, homeless people sure can walk. I also got him microchiped, Ya! I feel a lot better knowing that he has something that ties back to me.

Oscar was found wondering on the corner of Soto Dr. right across from the Hayward animal shelter. (how funny huh?) They said he was alone just walking. One of the animal control people picked him up and brought him in. They found him on the 30th but they didn't post him until the 31st.

Also, I don't mind if you use my e-mail at all. I trust you do whatever you need to do to help your business. I think you did a really good job and my husband was happy with your effort too. I attached the best picture that I have of oscar, Thanks again.

Anyway, thank you for all your help and effort in searching for my dog. You and yo dogs did a great job, thank you."

Search details:
This is a great story about somebody who refused to give up looking for her dog, even after seeing the track and seeing how far away he was taken. The search with my dogs do not ever stand alone as a way to find a pet. There is homework and follow up that the people must do and continue to look for their pet. The search can give you an idea of where to look and how far out to extend the search. 

Based on the search it appeared Oscar had been picked up by a homeless person based on the track which followed homeless camps, dumpsters, trash cans, recycling areas, under roads, isolated areas, etc. Oscar was not wearing his collar and was not micrchipped (he is now!) and he is very friendly and would go up to anybody. 

We followed his track for six hours until it got dark and we were all tired.

I suggested that the search should extend beyond the immediate Milpitas area since he could have been taken to any area. If he is with a homeless person, they can travel long distances. I suggested checking with the Fremont and Hayward shelters and letting them know he was missing. 

She told me that she informed both the Fremont and Hayward shelters and that she was checking their websites daily in case he came into the shelter. Since he had no ID on him, they would not know who to contact. 

After Oscar was found I was told that his person checked the Hayward shelter and found him posted and called immediately! That is how she got Oscar back. 

View Oscar's Track in a larger map

Total Distance: 16.62 km (10.3 mi)
Total Time: 3:50:22
Moving Time: 2:41:04
Average Pace: 13.86 min/km (22.3 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 9.69 min/km (15.6 min/mi)
Min Pace: 6.67 min/km (10.7 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -38 m (-125 ft)
Max Elevation: 127 m (417 ft)
Elevation Gain: 866 m (2843 ft)
Max Grade: -1 %
Min Grade: -8 %
Recorded: Mon Mar 29 13:16:34 PDT 2010

"Gus", Rat Terrier, Daly City

This is the first part of the track. The second part did not record for some reason even though it indicated that it was recording which has never happened.

View Gus 1 in a larger map

Total Distance: 4158.26 km (2583.8 mi)
Total Time: 2:37:19
Moving Time: 1:57:32
Average Pace: 0.04 min/km (0.1 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 0.03 min/km (0.0 min/mi)
Min Pace: 4.97 min/km (8.0 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -272 m (-893 ft)
Max Elevation: 133 m (436 ft)
Elevation Gain: 679 m (2228 ft)
Max Grade: 34 %
Min Grade: -77 %
Recorded: Sat Mar 27 09:34:48 PDT 2010

(details of track to follow)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Chopper", Chihuahua, Menlo Park - Found!

 Chopper is a three year old Chihuahua. He is wearing a collar with ID tags and he is microchipped. We had a search scheduled for the following morning. The previous night I had an extensive conversation with Chopper's person to suggest to her to make up a clear flier with his photo and to distribute the flier as quickly and as far in the neighborhood as possible. They live on the edge of a couple of animal control agencies and Stanford University, which has its own police department and a large private gold course. Since we did not know what Chopper's reaction would be to being lost (run long distances or hide some place) we needed to cover both areas and try to cover both up close and distant  areas.

Late at night before the scheduled search I received the following email. 
"Hi Jackie,
I wanted to say that we found Chopper tonight at about 1030 pm.

My neighbor had seen my flier and was talking to her husband as he was
driving home from work on Alpine road  and as she was telling him of
my lost dog, the husband saw him run across the road not far from my

The husband came and knocked on my door which we had left cracked open
in case he made it home on his own, and he told us Chopper was just
around the corner on the road. So we ran out and Chopper was running
along the road, and we yelled at him to stop and he did!

He was wet and thirsty and hungry but totally fine.

I can't thank you enough for your help today. I was a complete mess,
but you were right-it came down to the fact that we had used fliers.

Also, thanks to the fliers, about 20 mins after we found him, I got a
call from another neighbor who's friends boyfriend had seen him and
they posted to the neighborhood email group (which I didn't even know
existed) and they called me too!

So yes, fliers worked!"

"Mini", Chihuahua/Min Pin mix, Stockton - Found!

Mini is a 10 year old Chihuahua/Min Pin mix. She is not wearing a collar and does not have a microchip. She had been missing since 11 AM that morning. 

We had a search scheduled for the next morning, but I got a call she was found late that night within a few blocks of their home after they had put up a large amount of flyers in the area.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Stinky", Male Boston Terrier, Oakland

View Stinky in a larger map

(details of case to follow)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Harley", Red/white Australian Shepherd, Pleasanton

View Harley in a larger map

(details of search to follow)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Crook", Red Dachshund, Vallejo

Search #1

View Crook in a larger map

Total Distance: 9.67 km (6.0 mi)
Total Time: 2:51:57
Moving Time: 1:25:16
Average Pace: 17.61 min/km (28.3 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 8.82 min/km (14.2 min/mi)
Min Pace: 5.56 min/km (8.9 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -37 m (-121 ft)
Max Elevation: 43 m (140 ft)
Elevation Gain: 454 m (1490 ft)
Max Grade: 8 %
Min Grade: -10 %
Recorded: Wed Mar 17 09:46:21 PDT 2010

Search #2
(This person has refused to pay their bill)

View Crook 2 in a larger map

Created by My Tracks on Android.
Total Distance: 19.29 km (12.0 mi)
Total Time: 3:49:57
Moving Time: 2:26:03
Average Pace: 11.92 min/km (19.2 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.57 min/km (12.2 min/mi)
Min Pace: 2.13 min/km (3.4 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -401 m (-1316 ft)
Max Elevation: 66 m (215 ft)
Elevation Gain: 1097 m (3600 ft)
Max Grade: 45 %
Min Grade: -38 %
Recorded: Thu Mar 25 09:15:47 PDT 2010

(details of the search to follow)

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Elwood", DSH, Black, Oakland - Found!

Elwood is a approximate seven year old black DSH. He has no collar or microchip. He was recently given to his current people after living in the same neighborhood for most of his life. Within 24 hours of his new home, he disappeared through an open window and was missing for over two weeks when I was called. There were no sightings of him, and he had not returned to his previous home.

We had not scheduled a search because his person was hoping he would return home soon, but I have her some basic tips on where to look and what to do.

I received a phone call about two weeks later that Elwood had returned to his new home, and did not appear to want to leave this time. Everybody seemed very happy. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Rigley", Calico, DSH, Redwood City/Redwood Shores - Found!

View Rigley in a larger map

Rigley is a seven year old, indoor only, microchipped calico DSH. They had looked all over the house, but could not find Rigley. There is a cat door that leads to the garage, and would spend some time out there, but had never left the house property. I was called in about 48 hours after Rigley went missing. They had been leaving the garage door partially open in case she came back, she could get back inside the house through the cat door.

We found a track leading out and all around the area of the Redwood Shores area, which is a business park combined with houses. The track eventually led back to the general neighborhood, and here Rigley's person called it off because she was having a hard time walking due to recent knee surgery. She said she would continue to look for Rigley in the area.

I got a call about two days later that Rigley was found back inside the house. She appeared thin and cautious, but physically OK.

"Haley", Tan/white, Thailand Mixed Breed, San Bruno - Found

Haley was  three year old Thailand mixed breed dog. She is no microchipped. She was imported from Thailand the day she disappeared. 

Her person was on her way home from picking up Haley from the San Francisco Airport, when they decided to take Haley out of the crate for a stretch and a break. Haley got scared and bolted, slipped out of her collar. They searched in the area and followed her around for several hours, but eventually lost her. The last sighting they had of her is where we started the search.

Both Dot and Dino were saying that Haley had been in the area of the park and freeway overpass area very recently. They were very excited and animated. Within one half hour of starting the search, we found Haley deceased along the highway, near an on ramp. Her body was not stiff and still somewhat warm. She had only been dead for a very short time. 

"Romeo", Maltese, San Jose - Found!

Romeo is a nine year old Maltese. He was staying with some friends while his people were on vacation out of the area. Romeo left through an open gate while a contractor was at the house doing work. The friends said they went to the shelter to look for him, and they said they posted flyers as soon as they noticed him missing. 

His people were not able to return home for several days after his disappearance. I was out of town when I received the call. I said I could do the search in two days when I returned home. On the phone I gave them some suggestions on what to do and where to look. The next day I received a call saying they were not going to do the search, and would look for Romeo on their own. 

I received a call a couple of weeks later saying that they had found Romeo. One of the suggestions I gave to them was to look on Petfinder and contact the rescue groups with his flyer. On one of those attempts, his person found Romeo listed for adoption. He immediately contacted the rescue group and identified Romeo. He was told that the rescue group got Romeo out of the San Jose shelter after his holding period of four days was up and nobody had claimed him. He was stunned. This meant that his friends who said they checked the shelter never did, and the friends later admitted to never checking the shelter. 

To make matters worse, the rescue group wanted $1500 to get Romeo back. They claimed this was the amount of money they put into him with medical bills (including neutering), his adoption from the shelter and what they feel they could have adopted him out for. His person offered them $500. Initially they would not take it, but eventually, after a long conversation to prove they were not horrible people, they let Romeo go for the $500. 

Romeo's person felt like the rescue group was labeling him as irresponsible because Romeo was not neutered, not microchipped, or wearing a collar, and allowed to run loose, according to the rescue group, even though Romeo's person explained it was an accident that Romeo got out, while he was in the care of another person. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Duncan", Labrador, Northport, AL

Here is the link to Duncan's page on Facebook:

Thanks for your help


(This is the follow up with Linda after the conversation with her brother, Duncan's person.


I wanted to summarize what I talked to Jim and his wife, Kathy, about today, and what we went over.

Since I am unfamiliar with the area, and they are received a lot of calls about possible sightings, we started by reviewing the map and the area. They described one strong sighting of Duncan that same afternoon on the road leading away from the barn and up to Martin Spur Road. That one was pretty obviously Duncan, however, they did not hear about it until a couple of days later by a young woman at the barn. 

I also learned that Duncan had on a type of electronic shock collar that was being used because they were having problems with him suddenly taking off and not coming back. However, the range of the device was only 100 feet. Kathy said she attempted to use it once she found out Duncan was missing. 

There was a possible sighting of him in the area that is at the end of road the barn is on and the other surrounding roads (Watermelon Road and Union Chapel). That was by a man on February 15th. He said he saw a male yellow Lab with an orange collar and a black collar in that large area. However, your brother and Kathy talked to a person on another road off of Watermelon with a dog named Roxie, a female, who is also a yellow Lab and wears an orange collar and a black collar. Your brother thought it was Roxie that the man saw, but the man said he saw a male dog. That one is unclear. 

Without the use of a tracking dog, which is the only way to tell 100% which way the dog went, you can start to guess some things with sightings. If the sightings are unclear, than the rest is an educated guess. In my experience, the lack of sightings, even though Jim and Kathy have done such a thorough job of getting the word out, the highest probability is that Duncan is not in the area where the search is being done. That is very common. Dogs can travel very fast and far, especially a large dog like Duncan, and one that has shown a tendency to want to roam. Second, they both said there are no large predators like mountain lions, bobcats or wild boar in the area, though coyotes are known to be frequent. I told Jim that a single coyote could not take down Duncan, but a pack of them could.

Other than that, without large predators in the area, Duncan could walk through the area. My focus was on the remote and wooded area of the Lake to the  upper right of the barn, or for that matter, any remote and wooded area. If Duncan got into those areas, he could travel and remained undetected for a long time. Also, from what I have seen of remote and wooded areas here in Northern California, which I am sure is not the same as remote and wooded in Alabama, which is very famous for remote and wooded areas, people in those areas live there because "they just want to be left alone." If they found a dog loose, they won't take it to the shelter, and they aren't going to be spreading the word around to their neighbors or telling anybody. Heck, some of those people may not talk to another person for days or weeks! These people probably don't have internet or maybe not even telephones.

I said that if somebody does have Duncan and decide to keep him, they could also let him loose someday, and he could also escape. So, maybe two or three months down the road, Duncan gets loose, now he had no collar and is walking down a remote road. I told them to keep up the search for him and to expand further and further out. I also suggested to recontact vets with an "Still Missing" updated flyer, and I also suggested an automated phone alert such as "" or "".

I said to keep looking for him and don't give up. He could appear several weeks or months down the road. Without the microchip, they need to keep up the search at shelters and I also told them about "" which is a website for private rescue groups and shelters. I said that he may end up at one of them and to send them each a flyer. They can do a search on their zip code to get all the groups in their area. 

Because he does not have any ID or a microchip, the average person on the road will see "stray" or abandoned, especially if he is on the road for a long time and starts to look pretty haggard. This person will probably keep him, especially since he is a familiar breed and friendly. They may also attempt to find a rescue group such as one on t he site. 

They need to keep up the Craigslist ads, the flyers, the shelter checks, the automated phone message services, and the vet visits. In my opinion, unless a body is found, a search for a live dog should be the focus.