Aspen, it seems, is home.
Jim Mital from Moscow posted on his Facebook page on Sunday morning that Aspen, an American Eskimo who fled in late August and has since escaped capture, has been found and has returned to Mital’s home at the foot of the Moscow mountain.
“My little girl is at home !!!!” Mital posted two pictures of Aspen in a crate on their Facebook page. “Thanks everyone for your help to make it safe return !!! I’ll love it all day !!!!”
Aspen stays on the run
Drama of the disappearance of a dog, continuous observations, follow-up on social networks
On August 28, Jim Mital brought his fourth American Eskimo dog, Aspen, to the Palouse.
Aspen is a rescue dog from a shelter near Chewelah, Wash., And spent the first two years of his life in a puppy mill.
Two days after arriving at Mital’s home at the foot of Moscow Mountain, Aspen rushed through the front door. Mital tried to chase her away when she first escaped, but keeping her in thongs turned out to be too much of a challenge.
Unable to find his dog, Mital did what many lost pet owners might do. He made “missing” posters in vivid shades of yellow and pink, stapling them to utility poles around Moscow. He went door-to-door in downtown Moscow and left the flyers in his neighbors’ mailboxes. Mital said he took his flyers to Viola, thinking Aspen might be heading back up to Chewelah, thinking she might return to the shelter.
Almost four weeks later, Aspen is still at large.
Aspen, however, has been spotted over 160 times.
In addition to flyers, word of mouth and phone calls, Mital relied on a fairly recent tool to find lost animals: social networks.
Humane Society of the Palouse director Sierah Beeler said missing online pet groups like Facebook’s have helped bring many dogs home faster than they could. previously.
Aspen’s disappearance has been a common topic of discussion on the Facebook group Lost and Found Pets of Moscow, Pullman and the surrounding area, which draws attention and provides images and sightings of many lost or stray pets in the area. region. The group has more than 5,000 members. Other groups of animals lost in the region also have thousands of members.
“I think it’s really helped the way we can get animals back to their owners, and in a much shorter time as well,” Beeler said.
Mital is asking anyone who sees Aspen to call them as soon as possible and to be as detailed as possible about their condition. Mital keeps an overlaid Google map with location pins, a new one added whenever there is an Aspen sighting.
After posting about Aspen’s disappearance online, Mital also received help from a lost dog specialist, Babs Fry of San Francisco. Fry gave her the idea to start mapping Aspen sightings to see where she’s been seen the most and what she does after coming into contact with people.
“When people seem to be chasing her, that’s when she runs away,” Mital said. “Babs had described it as” she interprets (people) as a big mammal wanting to eat her. So she runs.
Fry also gave Mital advice on how to catch Aspen. By asking the audience to use calming techniques when approaching Aspen instead of chasing her, Mital hopes he can get close enough to grab her without causing more stress.
“She never really knew the love and kindness that a normal dog would experience in her home, living with a family. So that’s what I wanted to give Aspen – new life, ”Mital said.
Mital said he had received calls where people told him they had changed their route to work to see if they could spot her.
“The response from the community has been overwhelming in the Moscow region of Pullman, Potlatch as well, with people all over that region saying they hope she comes home and offers help,” Mital said.
Nelson is the editor of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. You can reach her with story ideas at [email protected]