Pittsford, N.Y. --- A social media campaign to find a six year-old Sheltie named “Meggie” came to a happy end Friday morning. The dog went missing on July 1st after running away from a dog-sitter while her owners were out of the country on vacation.
Months of tracking and Meggie across towns on the east side of Rochester culminated in her capture around 3:30 a.m. at a home in Penfield Gardens according to Meggie’s owners.
13WHAM News was provided video of her capture on the porch of that home. The homeowners, who wish to remain anonymous, spent weeks working with Meggie’s owners to lure her into the trap. Motion-activated cameras revealed Meggie was in the area since mid-February. A feeding station in the backyard eventually lured her to the trap.
"They covered the side porch with chicken wire and devised a gate that would drop down very fast," said Meggie’s owner Jenny Lloyd. "The homeowner had to press the button because he was looking at the screen."
"She went on the porch and he was watching with the camera," added Connie Gates, Meggie’s other owner. "Everything went as it was supposed to."
A Facebook Page called “Meggie – Lost Dog – Rochester, NY Area” was used to track and detail the exhaustive search for her. The page generated more than a thousand followers and each day Meggie’s owners heard from people wishing them the best and vowing to keep their eyes peeled for Meggie.
"We had people who would call and say I'm on the road for my job and if there's anything I can do to help you, I'm watching for her all the time," said Connie Gates. The couple also notified area school bus drivers, letter carriers, and sanitation workers. Some of them even called in tips.
A local animal control officer who also works with the New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council volunteered many hours in this search. She knew from the start that capturing Meggie would not be easy.
"They (Sheltie’s) are bred to be herding dogs they come out of the shoot smart as smart as smart IQs so I wasn't surprised by any of that stuff that she was doing,” Barbara Acomb-Hollands said. “They're also an extremely difficult breed to box trap because they don't like to go into small, ‘tunnel-ley’ areas.”
Within an hour of her capture Meggie was with her owners and on her way home. She appeared to recognize the garage, home, and backyard. She quickly re-introduced herself to Jessie, a ten year-old Sheltie who often acts as the attention-grabbing “big sister” to Meggie.
"She's been sticking to me like glue since she got home," Connie Gates said. "She's tired, she is tired I see that."
Considering all she’s been through, Meggie is in good health but did spend Friday afternoon with her veterinarian.
"It is truly amazing how good people have been and how many people have been willing to help,” said Jenny Lloyd. "Oh it's wonderful it's just amazing, I still can't hardly believe it.”