Community Rescue Effort Brings Stray Dog in from the Cold

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, a 6-month-long effort to rescue a stray dog named Isa finally succeeded in bringing her in from the cold.

Isa first came to Massachusetts through the Save a Sato program, which transports homeless dogs from Puerto Rico for adoption in other regions of the U.S.  She accidentaly escaped from her owner in June near Breakheart Reservations and was subsequently spotted wandering in Saugus, Stoneham, and Wakefield.

The ARL’s Center for Animal Protection first received a call about Isa during the summer from Granite State Dog Recovery (GDSR), an all-volunteer group dedicated to reuniting lost dogs with their owners in New Hampshire.  GDSR works in partnership with other animal welfare organizations and local authorities in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and calls on the ARL for help with challenging rescues like Isa’s.

And Isa was most definitely a challenge!  

Isa captured at last

A dedicated community effort persevered for 6 months until Isa was finally brought in from the cold just before Thanksgiving.

The very frightened and confused dog would instantly run in the opposite direction when approached by people.  Until she narrowed the territory she covered as she wandered through the woods, setting up a humane trap proved next to impossible.

When she did finally begin to stay within one area, Isa wouldn’t go near the conventional humane box trap often used to capture an animal for relocation or medical treatment.  The ARL brought in a more advanced drop net trap, but then poor Isa ran into the side of a passing car.

She was almost knocked out, but managed to escape back into the woods before rescuers could get to the accident scene.

“In order to capture a dog like Isa, you need to establish a routine feeding station before setting up humane traps, especially the drop net,” explains Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection.  “When Isa got hit by a car, the whole feeding station process had to start all over again.”

Lucky for Isa, her rescuers were not about to give up on her.  The ARL’s Rescue Services Team and GSDR volunteers persevered and at last their patience paid off— Isa wandered into the humane drop net trap.

True to form, she tried her best to escape, but ARL rescue technician Mark Vogel, reacted quickly.

“I ran around to head off Isa, who almost made her way out of the netting. I was able to get the net and a sliplead over her. I got a restraint pole on her and it was over,” smiles Vogel, “Isa, who had been out since June, had finally been caught.”

She immediately went to a local veterinarian who remove 80 ticks and gave her a warm medicated bath.  We’re very happy to report that Isa is enjoying her fair share of Thanksgiving leftovers this weekend, along with the warmth and love of nearby human companions in a foster home.

Thank you to everyone who was part of such an amazingly dedicated community effort to rescue Isa!