Rescue Groups Search: Lost Dog Found

At 9 o’clock on a January night, a dog bolted upon arrival at a foster home of a well-known Twin Cities rescue organization. Though he was initially lost in a residential subdivision, his leash trail in the snow immediately led northwest toward frozen wetlands and nearby rural areas. Several volunteers followed his tracks until 2 a.m., when we determined that searching in daylight would be more effective. 

In the morning, one of our volunteers contacted Ilga. While I was still tracking him through the wetlands, I spoke with Ilga, who told us to go further in the same direction. We did, and we found more leash trails.

Unfortunately, unseasonably warm weather melted the snow that day and the next, and we lost concrete evidence of where he had gone. By then, dozens of people were involved in the search, including a cadre of volunteers distributing flyers. Ilga told us he’d now gone south, so we concentrated our search several hundred yards south of where we found the leash trails.

 A couple of days later, I chanced upon his leash trail TWO MILES south of where we’d lost it. He did indeed go south, but much further than we had realized. Ilga gave me a specific square-mile of land to search in, and we scoured it hoping to find more evidence in the scant snow that remained. She also said that he had stopped moving, that he might be stuck or in distress. And she relayed that though she wasn’t prepared to say that he had passed, this was a possibility.

Flyering and FindToto phone calls were starting to result in sightings. But each time searchers left Ilga’s recommended area to follow up a sighting, it turned out to be a false lead, and we were drawn right back to the area she’d indicated.

Sadly, our week-long search ended when we found the dog’s body. He had been hit by a car, just a few yards north and east of the perimeter she had given us.

Ilga has a gift, and we are so grateful that she offered it to our group in our time of need. Though not the outcome any of us had hoped for, finding the dog’s body provided closure and averted that awful condition of having to call off the search, unsure if we did enough, and never knowing what became of him.

Thank you, Ilga. If you check in again with this boy, please tell him how hard we tried.

DevonThomas Treadwell

Rescue Volunteer