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When you lose a pet there is no pet lost and found that you can go to. Or is there?! Dun dun dun!!!

Read on for how I tracked down a dog 300 miles from home. The dog was 300 miles from home. I was at home. Just to be clear.

Nextdoor

I’m a big fan of the Nextdoor app. It’s the best way for me to spy on my neighbors. I go to great lengths not to talk to them in person. Every block party we have takes place at the end of my driveway. I alway wave and promise to be right out. Then I pull my car in the garage and stay inside until I know the party is over.

I go down to my mailbox and grab the mail after dark so I don’t have to talk to anyone.

I walk around my yard with headphones on plugged into nothing just so my neighbors won’t try to talk to me.

The Nextdoor app allows me to keep tabs on them without actually interacting with them. Yeah you’re going to get some random posts. Like the lady who is asking the neighbors to turn on their outdoor house lights because it’s too dark for her when she walks her dog at night.

One of the best uses of Nextdoor is when a pet is lost or found. Dixie has escaped our backyard twice in the few shorts months we’ve had her. I always look to see what others are doing to keep their pet safe.

Poppy’s Story

Here’s the gist of our week. Carter gets assigned a case that relates to this stolen puppy, among other things.

Who steals a puppy?! (I think I’m supposed to say allegedly here. Just add the word allegedly every three or four words to cover my butt.) Not to mention that this man is dealing with a brain tumor. No one needs to be dealing with this crap let alone when they have a tumor. So sad.

Ok, so back to Poppy the puppy. This dog was stolen in South Dakota. But the suspects tie back to Minnesota, specifically Carter’s police department. Which is why he was assigned the case.

Everyone in the police department wants to find this puppy. Because one, it’s a puppy. And two the blue family (law enforcement) looks out for one another.

They were chasing down leads all week. On Saturday on our way to the dog park Carter gets a call from an officer that connects to his case. So we swing by the scene. Of course Caesar and Dixie go bonkers because they know we’re going to the dog park and now all of a sudden we’re sitting in the car not going to the dog park.

After a while we decide to take Carter home to get his squad car and I continue to the park with the dogs. Because their heads would explode if I didn’t get them to the park.

Caesar and Dixie played so hard. They chased this six months old puppy around as well as some other dogs. They were zonked out by 7 pm.

Here’s Dixie snoring. I actually had to check for Caesar’s breathing because he hadn’t moved in hours.

When Carter gets home I want to know all the details of finding Poppy. Because when I left him it looked like he’d be getting the dog back. But since then he’s gone to a concert and now it’s close to midnight. Surely they’ve had some resolution in this case since I last saw him.

No dice. The last suspect he talked to said the dog may have been let loose on the streets of Minneapolis. WTF?! Who does that to a 14 week old puppy? First you stole it, then you brought it 300 miles doing who knows what to it before leaving it in the alley. Horrible people.

I immediately check out Lost Dogs Minnesota on Facebook. The only reason I know of this group is because of the Nextdoor app. See you didn’t think I was going anywhere with the Nextdoor thing then boom! I hit you with it. They also have a website. Any time there is a lost pet in the Nextdoor app people always say to contact lost pet organizations like Lost Dogs MN.

I scroll through the pics and find a German Shepherd puppy that was found in Minneapolis on Wednesday. It’s a girl and it kind of looks like Poppy. The pic was taken at a weird angle so it’s hard to positively ID her.

poppy lost dogs mn

Poppy’s photo, taken from the Lost Dogs MN Facebook page

I show Carter and he feels like it could be the one. He emails the contact person. Who happens to be running for city council.

I know nothing about this guy. I don’t live in his city. But his slogan should be:  Terry White Loves Puppies or Terry White Rescues Stray Dogs. I’d vote for him just based on the fact that he took in a lost puppy. Seriously he needs to put pics of him and Poppy on his campaign sign.

It’s already midnight so there is little chance we’ll hear back from him. But still I wanted to stay up and wait. I was so excited that this dog could be Poppy.

Sunday morning Carter hears from Terry who doesn’t have the dog but a friend of his does. So Terry contacts his friend Diane, who has had five German Shepherds herself. She currently has a 12 year old and a 3 year old. She volunteers for a German Shepherd rescue. I can’t think of a better person to care for this puppy while she’s so far away from home.

Diane texts some pics of Poppy to Carter who in turn sends it to Chris, a detective from the Aberdeen police department who is working the case. Chris sends it to the owner who is confirms that the dog is Poppy.

Carter and Diane plan to meet so he can get Poppy from her. Of course I want to be there because it’s a puppy and who doesn’t want to be around puppies.

Diane had already told Carter that Poppy was the sweetest dog. She wasn’t wrong. Everyone that got to meet her would have taken her home in a heartbeat.

Diane and Poppy

Diane and Poppy

Oh by the way, on Friday Carter and I got our dogs some toys. I insisted on getting toys for Poppy too. I was so determined that this dog was going to be found. If one of my dogs went missing I’d hope that people would be looking for them. And maybe bring them toys.

poppy and moose

You can just kind of see one of the toys we got her, a stuffed moose. We also got her a stuffed rabbit. Both are big faves of my dogs.

 

So many people were looking for Poppy. Not only was Carter’s department involved whole heartedly but the Aberdeen police department as well as a friend of ours at the Minneapolis PD who Carter reached out to for a contact at the dog pound. Everyone wanted to see her reunited with her family.

This family is already dealing with the father/husband having a brain tumor. Now they’re faced with their dog not only stolen but taken nearly 300 miles away. Oh and then dumped on the streets and left to fend for herself. So sad.

I am so happy that so many people were on the look out for this dog. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions as Carter would get a lead, relay it to Chris then have the lead fall through. So when we thought we’d found Poppy on Facebook I was cautiously optimistic.

sweet poppy

Look at that face! And those ears!

 

Chris and his wife were on a road trip so they came through Minnesota to pick the dog up. I was a little sad because when I saw the Lost Dogs Minnesota post I had it in my mind that Carter and I would load up Caesar, Dixie, and Poppy and head to Aberdeen ourselves. We love road trips. And what could be better than a road trip to reunite Poppy with her family.

Hart to Hart

Carter and I worked this case like Jonathan and Jennifer Hart. Cuz when they met it was murder. Please tell me you’ve seen Hart to Hart?! It was my fave show growing up. I wanted to be Jennifer Hart/Stefanie Powers. I even sent them a letter and got an autographed postcard from them.

Hart to Hart, Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers

Hart to Hart, Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers

 

I am so happy that Poppy was returned to her family. I wouldn’t have known about the Lost Dogs MN page if I hadn’t heard about it on Nextdoor.

This story has me thinking a lot about how to protect my dogs.

Tips

While there is no dog lost and found there are things you can do to help ensure your dog makes it back to you.

Get your dog chipped or tattooed. I’ve always thought microchipping was cruel. It seems horrible that a dog is implanted with a chip. Or maybe it seems too sci fi for me. In any case, the alternative is much scarier. Namely, not being reunited with your dog. All of our dogs have been microchipped.

I don’t know much about dog tattooes. My brother’s dog has one because she’s a show dog and I guess they are fancy/edgy like that. But I can’t speak to whether it hurts a dog or not. Same with the chip. I just know that they are ways to ensure that if your dog is found it gets returned to you.

Take lots of pics. I take pictures of my dogs all day long. It’s ridiculous how many I take. But can you really have to many pics of your pet?! Having pictures ready in case your dog is lost is important. The last thing you want to have to do is look for a good picture of your dog to post on Facebook groups and flyers.

Familiarize yourself with local groups that help find dogs. Knowing who to contact if your dog goes missing can save time. Time that could better be spent looking for your dog. Nextdoor, while not specifically for lost and found pets, is a great place to start. All of my neighbors try to help each other when a pet goes missing.

Know where your dog would be taken if it was picked up by police or animal control. Not all cities have impounds. Our city will only hold a dog for four hours before they bring it to a neighboring city’s impound facility. If you live in MN, here is a list of impounds.  And here are more tips

For as long as I live I’ll probably never forget the time I helped reunite a dog that was 300 miles away from home.

If you’d like to donate or read more about Officer Bruce’s story, here’s the Go Fund Me page.

 

 

 

 

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