A dog-sitter whose canine ward disappeared on New Year’s Day was reunited with the pet after a member of the public responded to an missing dog advertisement in the Caymanian Compass.
Trixie was missing for a week before a reader recognized the dog and called Julie Allan, who had been caring for the animal while the pet’s owners were off island.
“Two of my closest friends on the island asked me to watch their two dogs while they went away on a Caribbean cruise this Christmas,” said Ms Allan, a local restaurant manager,
She said the first five days of dog sitting went smoothly, but on the evening of New Year’s Day, the Yorkshire terrier-poodle mix bolted through the front door.
“I immediately ran outside after Trixie. It was around 6 p.m. so there really wasn’t much traffic on Seven Mile, thank goodness,” she said. “I ran for about two miles before checking the neighboring condos, but Trixie was gone. I swear she disappeared into thin air.
“I continued searching around all the bushes and condos for two days. I put up posters all over the island, called the Humane Society and all the vets, as well as my friends and neighbors, everyone basically, but Trixie was nowhere to be found.”
Ms Allan said two local animal rescue groups, PAWS and CARE, assisted in broadcasting information about the missing dog through social media and helped in the physical search.
On the fourth day, Ms Allan met a man who was training a K-9 German Shepherd, and the dog “actually picked up a scent from one of Trixie’s toys and followed the scent straight to the beach. That gave me hope that she stayed on the beach away from the traffic,” said Ms Allan.
After a week of searching, the frustrated dog-sitter decided to put an advertisement in the Caymanian Compass, and on the same day a local business called her with a lead on Trixie’s whereabouts.
“I called the number and spoke to a man who said he had Trixie. I panicked and flew out the house, barely grabbing my keys and drove to the man’s house,” she said. “When I got there and saw Trixie, I was so hysterical, sobbing and crying, I was so relieved.”
Finding a lost pet
Jason Jairam, manager of the Humane Society, said pet owners can get a free “government tag collar” at the Humane Society that can help them locate a pet if it goes astray. “If someone finds your pet, they can call the Department of Agriculture who will be able to pull your details from the database to notify you,” he said.
The Department of Agriculture and veterinary students of St. Matthew’s University also keep an online list of dogs found on island and housed at the Department of Agriculture Animal Rescue Shelter in Lower Valley. Owners of missing pets can check that list on www.smustudents.web.com.
Mr. Jairam also suggests getting a $50 micro-chip for pets at any local veterinarian clinic. “This is great because you will be able to trace the location of your pet in the event they go missing,” he said.
Pet owners can also email a description of their lost animal along with a picture to the Humane Society to aid in their search. “We will post the picture to our Facebook page to alert people in the area,” Mr. Jairam said.
He also suggests calling the Department of Agriculture, as well as other animal rescue organizations, such as CARE and PAWS.
Speaking after her first-hand experience of losing a pet, Ms Allan said it’s important to “keep searching and remember to never give up hope.”
Trixie’s owners returned home from their cruise on Jan. 9, and Ms Allan said it was a “happy ending for everyone.”