A missing dog has finally been found after three women decided to get creative with their search.Zena – a Bosnian rescue dog – escaped through an open door at her foster home, back in April. The news of the lost puppy reached Shelly Spiller, Amanda James and Hazel Richards – the trio behind the Bristol and Somerset Missing Dogs Facebook group.
Following several confirmed sightings of the two-year-old terrier-cross, the women decided to take matters into their own hands.The threesome set up night patrols in Blaise Castle Park, with a supply of meaty treats to tempt the runaway back.
After a month passed without success, the three women decided to launch a GoFundMe page to raise £500 to buy a specialist wildlife camera.
The dedication didn’t stop there. They also chipped in a few hundred pounds of their own money, to put towards some night-vision goggles.
After successfully raising the money, the trio planted treats in the park and installed cameras to see what the pooch was up to.Shelly said: ‘We soon realised she wasn’t a fan of things like fish, tuna, mackerel or anything fishy really.
No night vision goggles needed! Dogs’ eyes contain a special membrane, called the tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see in the dark.
‘So we switched it to meats and fresh wet food. We didn’t buy tinned goods. She was living like a fox so that wouldn’t have been any good.
‘It was quite expensive in the end. We must have spent about £500 which came out of our own pocket. But after we changed the food we had to look at changing the traps.’The first trap they installed was too small for Zena to enter, so they had to make a larger version. After four months on the run, the dog was finally found – being lured into a cage filled with liver and garlic sausage, butcher’s tripe, Swedish meatballs and biscuits.
The adventurous mutt is now staying at an animal rescue centre, where she will remain until she is ready to be fostered again.
Shelly added: ‘I just can’t believe we actually managed to catch her. But we wouldn’t have stopped until we did.
‘Because she is a rescue dog her first instinct was to bolt off. She had only been with her new foster family for two weeks.
‘The key was being as quiet as possible. At the beginning we were out there until 2.30am to 3am in the morning.
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‘But once we got the cameras installed we were able to watch the trap from one of our houses, as we live nearby.
‘Sometimes we would have to do another late night as the WiFi router would run out. We had to keep topping that up every three or four days.’
She added: ‘There are going to be people who will say “why did you spend months searching for her when she had only been with her foster family for two weeks?” but I just think animals shouldn’t be dismissed.’
‘In our eyes every animal deserves to be warm, fed and comfortable.’
The family have had him since he was a puppy and said he would ‘never hurt a fly’ (Picture: Supplied) After being returned from police kennels, his tail was missing and he was missing fur from his legs (Picture: Supplied)Mitch was taken from her brother Pawel, 21, as he was walking him close to where they live in Dagenham.
What an inspiring trio.