July 2nd, Lucy was arriving at her new foster home, when fireworks exploded, causing her to pull away and bolt.
Lucy had street cred from her former life in North Carolina as a street dog and knew how to survive on her own. Her dumpster diving skills were par none and she found feral cat feeding stations along the way. She navigated streets, highways and the vast woods and trail systems throughout NJ and NY like it was second nature.
She was moving far and fast, traveling great distances from Paramus, Oradell, Rivervale, Old Tappan, Hillsdale, Township of Washington, Blauvelt, Orangetown, Alpine and Tenafly. Never settling in one place long enough to trap. Sometimes weeks would go by with no sightings, each sighting we would get would be ten miles or more from the last.
I had to figure out her extensive travel pattern and cut her off. Where was she cutting through? Where could she take shelter? All our sightings were so far apart, it was mind boggling. Putting some of the puzzle pieces together, on a hunch, I set up a feeding station on this huge desolate property with abandoned corporate buildings. It had shelter, water and was a potential cut through for her. That hunch paid off, early the next morning at 1am, she found my feeding station and was there for ten minutes…. this was HUGE for her and for us, to work towards bringing her to safety.
Our elation of getting her at the feeding station was quickly dashed, we got another sighting of her, over eight miles away again, now in Tenafly. This was frustrating to say the least, but this was a pattern for her, I was hopeful she’d circle back again.
I found tunnel passages on 9W that would allow her to safely travel under the Palisades Parkway, through the woods and trails along the Hudson River and dump back out to the pipeline path that would circle her back to 9W in Orangetown not far from my feeding station. This was her loop… TWENTY MILE LOOP that she was running every day!!
The remnants of Hurricane Nicole passed through, but we weren’t going to let a little hurricane deter us, nope… trap stayed set and we waited through the rain.
This morning at 5am, my camera went off again and just as I was ready to shoo away another fox, this time it was raccoon and within seconds….Lucy came barreling into frame. “Not today raccoons…that chicken is mine!!!!!” My heart was pounding out of my chest as I watched her circle and finally walk in to safety with the door of the trap slamming shut behind her…ending over four months on the run, 133 days to be exact.
Dawn Berry and Rosa Castillo, I couldn’t have done this without you guys… this was such an extraordinary team effort to bring this girl to safety!!
She is now in the care of BDRR and we will be overseeing her medical care and placement going forward. Right now she is in an amazing foster home and settling right in.
Welcome Home Lucy!!!