Hank Saved-- Owners Delighted With Dogs Return

Judy Kramer
Enterprise Staff
Caleb and Savannah Owen from San Antonio, Texas, were visiting relatives for Thanksgiving at Cedar Gate Estates community when Hank, their two-year-old 40 lb micro chipped heeler mix, slipped out of his collar and couldn’t be found.  The couple had to return to jobs in Texas without Hank, but were able to connect with local resident, Janet Perry. Perry has spent her life helping owners find lost dogs and helping dogs that aren’t lost find homes. Perry and many spotters helped in the search for Hank following his travels from Cedar Gate to an area near the Lost Valley Fish Hatchery. He eventually made it to Lincoln where he camped out at the home of Kurt and Jeanene Bagley and their 8-year-old son Reed. 
“The dog (Hank) stayed at our house for two or three weeks,” said Reed on Tuesday. “Then one day a flyer was handed out at school with the dog’s picture and I told my teacher that he was at our house. After that, a lady brought a bag with a bunch of goodies (to eat) for me and a bag of dog treats for my dogs. I am sharing the goodies with my classmates.”
“Through Face Book sites such as Angels For Paws Lost and Found, the many volunteers who joined in the month-long search for Hank, and the Lincoln residents who helped take care of him, this story had a happy ending,” said Perry, Administrator of Angels For Paws Lost and Found.
Many spotters reported sightings of Hank, and Janet Perry and others set traps and tried to find out his routine.  He was first spotted near Lost Valley Fish Hatchery where he avoided capture. He then made his way seven miles from Cedar Gate, on Hwy 65 south of Warsaw to Hwy C, west of Lincoln. Early in December, he apparently met up with a couple of other dogs from the Bagley home in that area and went through the doggie door where the dogs lived, sleeping and eating with them. During the day, he ran free and supplemented his diet with deer carcasses. 
“I began posting signs in the Lincoln area when an older gentleman came up and asked me what I was doing,” said Perry. “I gave him a flyer with the lost dog information, and he called me later, on a Saturday, telling me that Hank was in his yard. We were able to trap the dog in a kennel, but he got out. Then, the Bagley’s and their son, neighbors of the older gentleman, said that the dog had been hanging out at their house and entering through a dog gate. We were finally able to get him in a trap kennel again and contacted the Owens.”
Perry said that she and Jim Chambers, a resident of Cedar Gate Estates who had been helping look for the dog, met the Texas owners in Oklahoma, the half-way point between San Antonio and Warsaw. Perry had driven about a total of 3500 miles during her hours devoted to finding and returning Hank to his home. She was also questioned by a Sheriff’s Deputy when someone saw her searching and putting up flyers, and made a call about a suspicious person lurking about.
“When Hank was first spotted, you could see his ribs,” said Perry. “He had spent about four days getting from Thibault Point on Hwy T to the Lincoln area. Other animals had probably been chasing him and he was scared. I am very thankful for the many volunteers and spotters working to find Hank.”
Angels For Paws Lost and Found is a Facebook page for Benton County and surrounding areas. It tries to bring awareness of missing, stolen and dumped pets in the local area, but people can post from anywhere in Missouri. The site is quoted as saying “We have to be their voice and help them. If you have found or lost a pet, please post and feel free to share the posts to other groups. Please remember to put ON ALL POSTS where the pet is lost/or found.” 
Perry said that if a dog is found and no one claims it right away, then the law requires that the animal be held for seven days before allowing it to be adopted. If the dog turns out to be lost, and the owners are found, they have to reimburse whatever a rescue organization spends on the animal for such things as vaccinations.
Some other sites that cater to lost pets are www.missourilostpets.com, a lost and found data base for lost pets; www.pawboost.com; and www.hsmo.org/adopt/lost-and-found, the Humane Society of Missouri.