Local doctor Virginia Hobday has doubled a reward for her lost dog to $2,000 in a last-ditch effort to locate her pet, which has been missing for more than six weeks.
The doubled reward is the latest in the tenacious efforts by Dr. Hobday to find 14-year-old Zanda.
She has widely distributed posters of the missing dog, taken out ads in the newspaper, made an appeal on Radio Cayman, hired a person for three weeks to look for the dog, gone up in a helicopter to try to locate the pet and contacted the agencies in Cayman that deal with lost animals – all to no avail.
Zanda was last seen on 26 September on Crewe Road in George Town, near Every Bloomin’ Thing.
Dr. Hobday said she believes the dog was frightened by thunder and ran off from the family’s yard. “She’s very deaf, but she didn’t like thunder at all and she probably got spooked and wandered off,” she said.
The dog was sighted a day later by a neighbour, but there has been no definite sightings of Zanda since.
The animal is arthritic, Dr. Hobday said, so it was unlikely she could have wandered far or made her way into heavy undergrowth off the road.
Now, she hopes that by raising the reward from the original sum of $1,000 to $2,000, interest in locating the dog may increase, although she admitted that hope was waning that Zanda was still alive.
“If she’s out in the bush, I don’t think she’ll have survived. It’s been nearly two months,” she said.
However, because she and friends and neighbours have carried out extensive searches of the area where the dog was last seen, she said it was odd that, if the dog were dead, that its body had not been found. She has checked with the Department of Agriculture, which is often alerted about stray dogs, and with the Department of Environmental Health, which deals with collecting and disposing of the bodies of dead animals, but those enquiries have turned up nothing.
“We’ve had several calls and we chased them all up, but unfortunately none of them were the dog,” she said. Many of the calls were about a dog spotted around Bobby Thompson Way, but that dog, which looks a lot like Zanda, turned out to belong to someone else.
Dr. Hobday adopted Zanda, who was a rescue dog, when she was a puppy. “We’re very attached to her,” she said.
The doctor said while it’s known that some old dogs go off on their own to die, she does not think this is what happened with Zanda as the pet was eating well and had been playing in the sea and swimming the day before she disappeared. “She wasn’t acting like a dog about to die,” she said.
Zanda was wearing a collar with her name and the family’s telephone number embroidered on it.
“Hopefully, someone will have found her. Perhaps someone has her and has not seen the notices,” Dr. Hobday said.
Anyone who sees the dog should call 525-3689.