On January 11th I was contacted about a dog named “Fluffy” that pulled out of her collar at a rest stop on the NY State Thruway, two weeks prior on December 27th.
This dog along with her sister were purchased from a backyard breeder, whose well known for selling unsocialized, feral Anatolian Shepherds. This breeder had been shut in the past and the conditions in which these dogs were living was horrific. The new owners purchased the two sisters to guard their property and protect their sheep as livestock guardians.
After briefly messaging with the new owner, I was informed that they felt any further efforts to find “Fluffy” would be a waste of time and they were giving up.
I contacted the owners back and told them that I would work the case on my own and I would find her. The sister who they still had was terrified and shut down, she was outside chained up and trying desperately to escape. I knew that I now had to help BOTH dogs. They agreed to surrender both the sisters to me.
I immediately began working on finding “Fluffy”, but two weeks had already past and she could be anywhere by now. Where the rest stop backed up to the power lines. I knew that she would hop on them and most likely make her way to Seven Lakes Rd and come out on the other side of the thruway. That was her safe passage to go back and forth. I set up cameras and feeding stations in the woods behind the rest stop and in the woods off Waldron Terrace along the Ramapo River, where I believed she would make her way to.
I reached out to a local volunteer, Laurie Di Mario who was my poster angel. I gave her a list of streets that needed poster coverage and she got to work. Within hours of the posters going up, past sightings started coming in. Just as I had thought, she had made her way to other side of the thruway and was running the woods along the Ramapo River off Waldron Terrace and Seven Lakes Rd. I was two steps behind her.
Yesterday, I was in the process of driving two hours away to go pick up her sister when a call came in from Dave Nelson, she was resting in tree line by his cows, but ran off when she knew she had been spotted.
She had travelled 12 miles in less than twenty four hours and sixteen miles from the point of escape. She made her way up the mountain to Nelsons expansive farm property with cows, pigs and chickens. She was in her element and I was hopeful that she may stick around. The Nelson family were so gracious and welcoming to let me do whatever was needed.
Once I arrived, I drove further up the mountain and saw her from a distance up top, she glanced over at me and I ignored her so that she wouldn’t feel threatened. I got the enclosure set for capture and drove down the mountain and waited. When darkness fell and all was quiet, my cameras began going off…she found the enclosure and went right in.
While I was working hard to find her, I was also working on a safe haven for both her and her sister to go once she was found. They were now in my care and I would never let them be failed again by another human.
I contacted EARS Sanctuary in Minnesota and Kris got back to me right away. They specialize in feral livestock guardian breeds and do phenomenal work. Trust does not come easy for this breed and they need to be in the proper hands in order to have a chance at a good life.
These sisters who I have now named Thelma and Louise will be headed to Minnesota. I am looking into transport but have a feeling that I will be making the journey with them to ensure their safety.
Pets Alive in Middletown, NY has been kind enough to shelter the sisters while I make travel arrangements. Thelma and Louise are being reunited this morning and today begins their new life. I wanted to share their whole story and although their past was horrible I want to focus on their future, so let’s keep comments positive and I will keep everyone updated on their progress.
Thank you to everyone who shared her post, Laurie for hanging posters, the Nelson family who made the call that led to her capture and to my amazing partner Dan who is always there whenever needed and in this case dropped everything to drive hundreds of miles to get my enclosure to me so we could bring her to safety.
Thelma and Louise your journey has just begun!!