Mission accomplished: stray dog in Deer Park finally brought in

By Josh Hall and Sheldon Spackman
February 11, 2019 - 3:09pm

A dog on the run for more than a year in Red Deer’s Deer Park neighbourhood has finally been nabbed.

‘Mission’ – a German Shepherd – was lured and secured Saturday night by Darlene Burt with Calgary-based K9 Recovery Services.

Burt spent about eight months tracking Mission around the neighbourhood, all the while dealing with residents who would continue to put out food making it near-impossible to coarse the dog to come in.

It's believed Mission is the same dog that went missing in the area on Dec. 10, 2017. He is now situated at Heaven Can Wait Animal Rescue near High River.

“Darlene was relentless in her efforts to try and get this guy safe with this frigid weather we've been having,” says Kim Hessel with Heaven Can Wait. “It’s been a really collaborative effort on behalf of the residents of Deer Park, as well as law enforcement and Darlene.”

Hessel says the ultimate rescue mission culminated with Darlene rigging a fishing line to the gate of a cooperative resident’s backyard. When Mission went in, the line pulled the gate shut.

“Mission did not react poorly. This is not an aggressive dog by nature, though he is an anxious dog,” she notes.

“We're going to get him into a vet here, give him a few days in this wholly different environment than what he's been used to for the past year, then we'll probably have our trainer come out and help us, then start talking about adoption.”

Hessel says if there are any lessons that can be taken away from the situation, it’s to do all we can to keep our furry companions safe.

“With any animal, make sure there’s identification on them so when he or she is recovered, we can reach out to an owner," Hessel adds.

Mission, she notes, does not have a microchip or tattoo, but he is healthy.

“Every rescue is different; sometimes it’s because of the dog, or it’s environmental factors, where the dog is, or how compliant people are in the area to help. This dog was being perceived as a nuisance by some even though he hadn’t done anything wrong,” Hessel says.

“This has got to be a relief for people in the neighbourhood, whether they were irritated or felt empathy for the dog.”

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