Dog gone: Pooch lost, found, lost

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LEWISTON – A lost dog found refuge with Lewiston police this week.

Until the police lost her again.

Suzy, a hyper, 1 -year-old German shepherd-husky mix, was found roaming the Summer Street area Tuesday afternoon. Police held her for several hours, then took her to the Greater Androscoggin Animal Humane Society in Auburn.

At the shelter door, she pulled out of her collar and ran away.

Now the lost dog is, well, lost.

“She was one street away. Now she’s miles away. With no tags,” said Suzy’s owner, Anita Wood.

Wood realized Suzy was missing Tuesday afternoon. She believes the rambunctious dog ducked out a basement door left open during cleaning.

“She’s puppyish. The minute she gets a chance to get out, she does,” Wood said.

Wood didn’t realize Suzy was missing for more than an hour. In the meantime, neighbors noticed a dog running loose.

They called police.

Eventually, a woman living in the area caught the dog and brought her to the police station. Suzy was friendly, had a collar and rabies tag, seemed cared for but apparently lost. Officers held her in a pen and waited for an owner to call.

No one did.

Instead, Wood was searching the neighborhood. Suzy had gotten out before, and Wood thought the dog had wandered over to the local daycare center – her favorite visiting spot – or was taken in by another local family. She decided to wait until morning to call the police.

When no owner called by midnight, a police officer loaded Suzy into the back of his car and brought her to the shelter in Auburn.

She was eager to go along, police said, until she got to the shelter door and heard other dogs barking inside.

Spooked, Suzy tried to get away, police said. The officer picked her up, but Suzy squirmed so frantically that the officer put her back down. He held on to her collar, she pulled back and it slipped off.

When the officer tried to catch her, she ran away.

“The dog thought it was a game,” said police spokesman Michael McGonagle.

The officer stayed for 45 minutes, but couldn’t catch her.

Wood found out about it when she called the police the next day.

She said she understands that accidents happen, though she wonders why officers didn’t call the veterinarian listed on Suzy’s rabies tag. When Suzy had run off before, that’s how other people had tracked down her family, Wood said.

But McGonagle said the officer didn’t realize the number of the tag was a phone number. The 10 digits looked like a registration number, he said. And the first three weren’t 207, Maine’s area code.

Suzy’s vet is out-of-state.

Both Wood and police say they’re worried about Suzy, who disappeared around the Hotel Road shelter, near a highway. Woods also fears that someone might mistake the mostly-black dog for a coyote and shoot her when she approaches.

But Wood and the police hold out hope that Suzy has safely found her way to someone’s home.

“I’d like to think she’s on a beautiful farm having bacon and eggs,” Wood said.

For more information or to report Suzy’s whereabouts, call (978) 317-7976.

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