Layla, a 30-pound black lab-hound mix, ran off on Jan. 19 from her home in Durham. Photo courtesy of Sierra Kenkel.

Layla – the missing 4-month-old puppy that ran off from her Durham home on Jan. 19 – was recovered and reunited with her owners on Tuesday.

The puppy was retrieved using a dog bed, game cameras and a Havahart trap, according to Layla’s owner Sierra Kenkel. The pup was met with “tears of joy,” Kenkel said, and was found in the woods about a mile from where she first ran off after being spooked by a passing garbage truck last week.

Over the six days the black lab-hound mix was missing, members of the Durham community rallied in support of the search efforts. Neighbors lent cameras, traps, drones, searched through the woods and drove around town to find the dog.

Mavrick John MacEachern and Sierra Kenkel of Durham pose for a photo with their puppy, Layla.

“Our community never gave up,” said Kenkel. “People have been out early, late, they took days off work. I mean, it’s just incredible.”

Over 500 flyers were distributed by community members, Kenkel estimated, and a poster of Layla online by Maine Lost Dog Recovery had received over 1,400 shares as of Tuesday.

Maine Lost Dog Recovery is a nonprofit that uses social media and other educational tools to help reunite owners with missing dogs.


Hundreds more followed along with the search efforts through a Durham Facebook page, and community members reacted with excitement to Layla’s recovery on Tuesday.

“I’m ecstatic, I’m so relieved to hear that it was a happy ending,” said Durham resident Chelsey Chambers on Tuesday. “It just makes me so happy to be a part of Durham.”

On Friday, Chambers was among those helping in the search efforts, flying her drone above town to look for Layla from above.

An image of Layla in a Havahart trap taken through a game camera on Tuesday. Courtesy of Sierra Kenkel

“I understand the feeling of losing a dog, they’re just like family to me and, you know, community is important. I was born and raised here, I spent all my time here, I haven’t left in the last 27 years, so the people here are really important to me,” said Chambers.

Layla was brought to the local veterinarian after being picked up, and Kenkel said all early indications show that she is in good health.

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