Posted by Nicole Asher on

Max, a recently adopted rescue, escaped on October 30th when a front door at a family members home was left open. I was contacted and began working very closely over the phone with Leanne, Camille and Linda, as I lived almost two hours away. Linda and Camille worked around the clock gathering sightings and generating public awareness. Sightings came in and I walked them through the set up of feeding stations and traps in multiple locations where he was being repeatedly sighted. Max was showing up at the feeding stations very spoardically with no routine making it very difficult and frustrating. Max was simply not food motivated for a dog that had been out for such a long period of time, leading me to believe that he had another food source else where. I kept saying "find the other food source and we will be able to trap Max."
Fast forward to the morning of Monday, December 7th, a sighting came in from a woman named Agnes, she saw what she thought was Max running in the distance in the farm fields of The Rutgers Experimental Agricultural Center. While on the phone with Linda she went over and looked through binoculars confirming this was infact Max. She saw a man riding in a golf cart headed in the direction towards Max, who was still cautious and keeping his distance but he was not bolting away. I said "get over there and talk to the man in the golf cart, I think we just found Max's other food source!!!" While still on with Linda, she navigated her way to the Agricultural Center and handed the phone over to a man named George, the head of the center. I explained the situation and he told me that Max has been hanging out in their fields for the past ten days and they had started feeding him last Thursday (the last day he showed up at our feeding stations). I immediately threw one of my traps in the car and made the two hour trek to Freehold, NJ. I had just finished setting up one of my traps when Max came running around the corner and quickly retreated back into the tall grasses in the middle of the fields. Hunters were in the woods directly to the side of where he was hanging and gun shots were a constant concern. All day long I watched from a distance as Max would run from field to field disappearing and reappearing. I slept in my car overnight having to monitor traps and scare away multiple inquisitive fox who had dens very close by. The first night Max found my trap but did not go in, he showed very briefly and then would disappear into the darkness, I was concerned. The second day, they were harvesting the field and we were worried that the work going on may cause him to leave that area, however he simply moved across the farm and hung out in another distant field. I set up a second trap where he was hanging...unshowered, exhausted and covered in ticks, I prepared myself for a second night in my car monitoring the traps, it had to be tonight. As soon as it started getting dark, Max showed at the trap at 5:30, and again at 10:30, each time going in a little further but not all the way in and then poof he was gone again. Although frustrated this was huge progress and I knew I just had to be patient as his capture was imminent. 12:34 he showed at the second trap and then by 12:38 my other camera at the first trap started going off, Max went in to the trap with no hesitation and was finally captured. I immediately contacted Camille and Linda who were waiting all night long to hear "GOT HIM!" Camille drove over and we got him in my car and transported him immediately to Linda's house where Max's rescue would meet us.
A huge thank you to Mike, George and Jimmy at the Rutgers Agricultural Center for allowing me to trap on the property. It was no mistake that Max found his way there and felt comfortable and safe. Without their kindness Max might still be out there on the run. This was a group effort by total strangers who banded together for the greater good of a little lost soul, in the midst of the chaos we became friends and I'm so grateful to have met each and everyone along the way. Welcome back Max, you are loved!!!


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