If you ever thought that filling out a lost pet report with a local shelter is the equivalent of submitting a document into a black hole, then hopefully this story will have you reconsider.

“Come back Reeby!”

James Pendergast had just started building a fence in the backyard of his new home when his Tamaskan rescue dog, Reeby, spotted his chance to explore the new neighborhood and escaped. After unsuccessfully finding Reeby on his own, James immediately began notifying as many pet agencies as possible, including putting up over 150 flyers and uploading a picture onto Craigslist’s Lost and Found section, in the hopes someone would notice.

Luckily someone did notice Reeby’s photo…

A few days after Reeby had gone missing, RASKC received a call that was passed over from the 9-1-1 dispatch center. A resident in the Des Moines Marina area had called to report that there was a dog who appeared to be lost and had been following him for quite some time while he was out riding his bike with his dog. RASKC Lead Sergeant Tim Anderson and Officer Allison Wilcox caught up with the cyclist who was a few blocks from State Route 99, “As soon as we drove up, Officer Wilcox looked over and said ‘I recognize that dog’ ” said Sgt. Anderson.

Blog story_map_James Pendergast and Reeby

Reeby left Des Moines Memorial and came across the cyclist near the Marina. RASKC officers were able to corral the dog with the help of good Samaritans near State Route 99. Attribution: Google Map

Just the day before, Officer Wilcox had been corresponding with James regarding his lost pet, providing support and suggestions with regard to other pet agency locations he should be notifying. Officer Wilcox said “Uniting pets with their families is really our number one priority”, adding, “we spend time reading the pet reports, not only on our site but others as well, such as Craigslist. I’ll get calls from people who will say they lost a pet and I constantly run to the back hoping to see if I can find any unique marks that match their description”.

After confirming Reeby matched the lost pet report and the picture submitted by James, the officers immediately contacted the owner.  Aside from a slight limp which was believed to be due to overexertion of the unknown miles he covered during the four days, Reeby was in good form. In the meantime, wanting to ensure that Reeby didn’t run away, the officers along with the cyclist, corralled Reeby into the back of a business parking lot. Employees from Day Wireless assisted the officers by unlocking the chain fence that would help maintain Reeby until his owner arrived.

Officer_Wilcox_Anderson“The success of this story is really due to a great partnership. Reeby was not too far from State Route 99 which could have given this story a different ending, luckily there are good Samaritans out there that took the time to stop and help” said Sgt. Anderson.

Following up…

RASKC followed up with James a few weeks later who confirmed Reeby is doing great and had a doggie playdate set up with the cyclist the following weekend. When asked if he had any comments, he added, “I was absolutely crushed when Reeby left. The steps of reaching out and notifying agencies ultimately enabled your staff to contact me. I know that animal control officers often get a bad rep, [but] from the moment I reached out to RASKC my overall interaction was positive with the officers. They were caring, compassionate and professional.”

For helpful information, including submitting a lost pet report, visit our RASKC page.

Officer Allison Wilcox (left) and Lead Sergeant Tim Anderson (right)