MEXICO — In July 2015, a purebred black Lab named Kaine and a mixed-breed dog named Baby were taken from outside their home on Hemingway Street in Rumford.

Owner Daniel Hurtt said that a few days later, he received a phone call from the Waterville Humane Society saying Baby had been found in Oakland.

When he asked whether anyone had found Kaine, the caller said no.

For six months, Hurtt, with the assistance of the Maine Lost Dog Recovery volunteer group, circulated missing dog fliers via Facebook and other social media websites.

Hurtt said that the fliers, which featured a description of the 2-year-old dog and Hurtt’s contact information, were shared hundreds of times over the six months, but as time went on, he began questioning whether he would see Kaine again.

“I got him when he was six weeks old, so I had him for two years before he was taken from my house,” Hurtt said. 

His family bought him another dog to soften the blow of losing Kaine, though the hope of finding his black Lab never fully faded.

Six months later, on Jan. 24, the wait was officially over: Kaine had been found.

Hurtt said his girlfriend was scrolling through the Maine Lost Dog Recovery Facebook page when she saw a dog that looked “a lot like Kaine.”

“She contacted the Bangor Humane Society after seeing the picture, spoke with them for a little bit, and they were able to confirm that he was Kaine,” Hurtt said.

According to the Bangor Police Department’s Facebook page, on Jan. 19, six months after Kaine went missing, Bangor Animal Control Officer Trisha Bruen found a black Lab running around the area of the Bangor City Forest.

Bruen said the Parks and Recreation Department told her about the stray dog, adding that when she found him, he had “ice and snow frozen to its underside,” and was skittish.

“I knew from the fliers that the Maine Lost Dog Recovery group put out that the dog wasn’t supposed to be chased, and sure enough, he was pretty scared when I walked toward him,” Bruen said. “It took a long time to get him in.”

She said it was the dog’s hunger that allowed her to catch him.

“I sat in my car for a half hour, throwing dog treats out the window until he got close enough,” Bruen said. “He definitely liked that,” she added, laughing.

Bruen said the Bangor Police Department took the dog to the Bangor Humane Society.

“We posted about the dog on our Facebook page, something that we always try to do when we find a stray or a missing dog,” Bruen said.

Kristin Harmon, an employee with the Bangor Humane Society, said Kaine was a “sweet dog” and “seemed healthy” when he was brought in.

“I’m not a vet by any means, but he seemed to be doing OK,” Harmon said.

She said the first thing the Bangor Humane Society does when it receives a stray dog is to scan them to see if they have a microchip.

“Microchipping is becoming more and more popular, and is helping us reunite more animals with their owners,” Harmon said.

The Bangor Humane Society also connects with the Maine Lost Dog Recovery volunteer group whenever it receives a stray animal.

“They have been really great about staying on top of things 24/7,” Harmon said. “They’ve helped a lot of families reconnect with their pets. When we get stray dogs, we’ll sometimes cross-reference with them and see if there is any information. We tag each other in our posts to get the word out there. Normally, our most shared and liked photos are of pets looking for owners, or pets who were reunited with owners.”

Hurtt said it was “remarkable” that he was able to reconnect with Kaine after six months.

“If it wasn’t for the Maine Lost Dog Recovery group, and all of the social media posts, I’m not sure I would’ve seen Kaine again,” he said.

When Kaine returned home, Hurtt said he remembered everyone in the family but was a “little desensitized to his name.”

“We called him ‘Kaine’ and he didn’t respond right away,” Hurt said. “Also, the person who took the dog had him neutered, which I was a little frustrated about. He was a purebred Lab, and I didn’t want him neutered, but I’m just glad that he’s OK and that we got him back.”

While the reason that Kaine and Baby were taken from their home remains a mystery, Hurtt said he has a theory about why he was able to reconnect with Baby so soon after she was taken.

“Right before she and Kaine were taken, Baby had a bladder infection,” Hurtt said. “I’m guessing that whoever took them didn’t realize at the time that she had a bladder infection, and when they realized that she had problems, they got rid of her.”

As for Kaine, Hurtt said he had no idea how he found his way to a Bangor forest 113 miles away.

“I’m just glad that I have him back,” Hurtt said. “That’s all that matters. I have my dogs back.”

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