In one of the biggest games of chasies Banbridge has known, ‘a wee skinny, dirty and frightened shitzu-type dog’ has finally been caught at Solitude Park, and is now in safe hands.
When Nadine Weir of Paws and People Animal Rescue put out an appeal on social media last Saturday to help find the little dog seen lying in the rain at the side of the Gilford Road, she had no idea of the overwhelming response there would be.
With hundreds of dog-lovers in the area responding, the chase continued over three days with sightings reported in a variety of places from Corbet Lough and the Coach car park, to the Academy and the grounds of a Seapatrick nursing home.
It finally came to an end at Solitude Park when Nadine along with Karen Wallace, a local woman who had seen the post, and her brother and girls Brooke and Holly managed to whisk the little dog to safety.
Nadine said: “After seeing him in the rain on Saturday and then chasing him for miles only to lose him, broke my heart. He was so scared so I had to do something.”
After sharing it on Facebook Nadine said: “Over the next few days we had hundreds of people share his story. People were out trying to catch him along with us, and there were regular sightings of him but he was so frightened he just kept running and seemed so scared of people.
“On the final night there were four cars after him but my mother scared him down a road at Solitude and Karen jumped out of her jeep and threw a blanket on him to catch him.
“We needed to know he was safe - the scared look on his face the first day we saw him would break your heart and the weather was horrible.”
The little dog was still shaking with cold when he arrived back at the Paws and People rescue, so Nadine placed him in a warm bed in front of a heater and he enjoyed two bowls of dog food.
Nadine said: “He is a very sweet dog. He is now being looked after by the amazing dog warden until he can hopefully come back to us to end his story with a new forever home.
“We now know he is not chipped, but he is in good condition. Hopefully we will be getting him back on Monday and we can’t wait.
“It is amazing to see how many people worked together to save this wee man. He is still so shook up but we will keep everyone updated.”
On the night he was rescued, Nadine posted a message on the dog’s behalf: “Hi guys, I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who played chasies with me over the past three days, and looked out for me and my safety. Today it was amazing how many people wanted to help me.”