Imagine, you’re finally off on vacation with your family, ready to relax and have fun, only to wake up to a text that BOTH your dogs have escaped from the boarding facility you entrusted with their care. This was the beginning of ten day nightmare for Darienne, Biagio and their two beloved dogs Maggie and Lulu.
The family dropped everything and immediately left their vacation and headed to Middletown, NY to The Pet Camp to find their dogs. Instead of care and concern they were met with blame and hostility. Blame, as Chuck, the owner of The Pet Camp said he was not told their dogs were runners and it was their fault. Well, news flash… any dog in a new environment can be a runner and should be treated as such.
The owners were told the facility was secure and the dogs would be safe. On the Camps website it states: “Is Your Property Fenced? Yes, this past spring we fenced in 18 acres around the barns and the racetrack so that the dogs have a huge grassed area to run (see the photos) and a pond in which to swim. We also have a separate corral that is fenced with about a 1,000 foot perimeter so that we can separate out any dogs if necessary. In order to enter the property where we keep the dogs you need to go through our electronically controlled gates. People have asked if the fence is high enough to keep the dogs in. We have not had any dogs climb the fence trying to get out.”
Let me state that the “electronically controlled gates” are held shut only by a bungee cord and there is a large enough space under the gates for a large dog to easily slip under. I began working the case onsite last Saturday and in the course of the week that I was there, I personally witnessed several dogs get out from the fencing, under the gates and also jump over the fencing and run in the road. In fact Maggie entered the camp only to be chased out and get out under the fencing AGAIN a couple days ago!! We were informed by several of the neighbors that many dogs have gotten out of The Pet Camp over the years and just as recently as a couple weeks ago. Some of these dogs we were told were never found and sadly others met a horrible fate.
Capture was hindered numerous times as we were not allowed to set traps in areas that the dog was being sighted, we were told it was “bad for business” and he would call the police on us if we did not remove them. Myself and the family were verbally abused and lied to repeatedly. Last night Biagio caught him as he was going to close one of our traps. He did not work with us, he worked against us every chance he got and told the family “they were killing him”. This was a huge inconvenience for him and he made it known. The owners were both distraught over the loss of their dogs and having to deal with how they were being treated made this nightmare ten times worse.
As most of you know, we safely captured Lulu Monday morning. but Maggie was still on the run. We had Maggie on camera at a feeding station, down by the Wallkill River early Tuesday morning. A trap was set but she never returned. The fog would come in so thick making the visibility impossible to see a thing or properly monitor traps at night. Maggie was only ever sighted in the mornings, so at 4 am each morning I would make the hour and half trek to Middletown to meet Biagio to hike all the way down to the river to rebait and set the traps before the sun came up. We did this for several days but she was a no show.
Yesterday we received a sighting, Maggie was seen running from the railroad tracks across a field to the woods off route 84. Darienne’s mama intuition was in full force, she remembered when she first arrived, seeing a long dirt driveway that led straight back to the woods. Mapping her travel we raced over to the area as it looked as that was where she would pop out. Sure enough when we got there we spotted her trotting off into the woods and then just as quickly as she appeared, she disappeared. A trap was immediately set. A short time later I spotted her again running back up to the railroad tracks.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse with a hurricane and the interference, we now had fighter jets making thunderously loud fly-overs as they were practicing for this weekends NY air show, down the road.
We were determined to remain positive and kept saying today is the day. Well guess what?? Today was the day!! Maggie finally emerged from the woods and found my trap.
I have to say that I don’t wish to post to cause drama but what this family was put through was unconscionable. I post the facts so that hopefully no other family or pet will ever endure what this family endured.
Welcome Home Maggie and Lulu you are loved beyond measure!