Posted by Nicole Asher on

Sophie is a puppy mill survivor. While the housekeepers were at her new home of only two weeks, the front door was slightly opened, she saw the opportunity and bolted out the door. New adoptions and fosters are all high flight risks.
Everyone jumped in to action to help not knowing that search parties and calling out to her only frightened her more. Lost dog recovery is so counter intuitive to everything you think is the right thing to do.
When I began working with the family a few days later, I explained the importance of not pursuing her in anyway. More posters were hung, feeding stations were set and we got her coming back to the property for a couple nights. She got spooked by a neighbor getting out of his vehicle down the street. The slightest thing sent her running and she didn't come back for over 48 hours.
We tracked her travel pattern, she was doing a continuous three mile loop every day. We kept a dedicated feeding station going with the hopes that she would return. Thankfully she had gotten food at our feeding station and instinctually made her way back, even after having travelled so far out.
Due to her background history of being a puppy mill survivor and most likely kept in cages or kennels, I knew her capture would be a challenge. A trap, two enclosures and a whole lot of conditioning and battling feral cats... Sophie was finally captured.
If we can learn anything from lost dogs, it's patience. When working on a capture people need to understand it's all on the dogs time. We put so many human emotions to their behavior, thinking they will never survive out there on their own, however, when a dog is in survival mode, they are essentially wild animals, they will do what they need to do to survive. They are intelligent beings. Lost dogs are survivors, don't ever underestimate them!!
I can't thank everyone in Pleasantville and Chappaqua enough for listening and just calling in the sightings and not chasing or pursuing her after knowing that we were working hard on her capture. The support of The community was vital and provided the family great comfort!
Welcome home Sophie, you are the sweetest, most gentle soul and I will forever hold you deeply in my heart and I hope your new big brother, Riley learns to share his toys with you lol. The deep connection she has developed with her family in such a short time was beautiful to see and I am certain she will continue to blossom and thrive. Thank you Linda and Steve for never giving up on your girl.


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