Community Works Together to Reunite Dog and Owner

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Provided by Prince William County

Thanks to the efforts of several people at the Prince William County Animal Shelter, as well as a little bit of serendipity and a granola bar, a dog and his owner were reunited after an event that could have had a very different ending.

Stormy, a long-haired chihuahua, got away from his owner and ran into some nearby woods on a Sunday in April after being attacked by a pit bull in the parking lot of the Prince William County Animal Shelter.

“It was the scariest thing,” Joyce Entremont, Stormy’s owner, said of the attack. “He grabbed Stormy by the neck and just started shaking and shaking him.”

When the owner of the pit bull ran to the scene of the attack and regained control of his dog, the pit bull dropped Stormy, and Stormy ran away after recovering from a brief seizure, Entremont said. “Stormy got up and bolted – 90-miles-an-hour. I never saw him run that fast, and he was gone.”

Immediately after the attack occurred, Douglas Norman, Laurie Thompson, Suzette Kapp and Meagan Chapman, all with the Prince William County Police Department’s Animal Control Bureau, went to work trying to find Stormy. Entremont gave them pictures of Stormy, which they posted on the shelter’s Facebook page along with details of what had happened, and they stayed after work to help search for Stormy, Entremont said.

Chapman and Kapp helped search the forest for hours, along with Entremont and other visitors to the dog park. Entremont said many stayed in the woods until 11 p.m. “We searched and searched and searched and searched.”

Since the searching hadn’t yielded any success, Norman suggested that Entremont bring a few things from home, which he helped place in a humane animal trap in hopes of luring Stormy. The overnight trap ploy was unsuccessful, so on Monday morning; Norman placed a second trap in an area where Facebook posts showed that Stormy had been spotted.

The Facebook pictures and story of Stormy’s disappearance also drew others to search early Monday, Entremont said. “People from Facebook, that I didn’t even know, came out and helped look. People just came out of the woodwork to help.”

At about 11 a.m. Monday, Entremont said Thompson, driving a white, unmarked, pickup truck, pulled up to the site where Entremont and the others were basing their search for Stormy. Entremont said she asked Thompson if she had come to help search for Stormy and got an even better answer. “She said, ‘I’m here to help.’ and then I saw my baby jump into her lap and look out the window at me,” Entremont said.

Stormy and Entremont

Stormy and Entremont

As it happened, Stormy had wandered over to the Prince William County Sign Shop, near the animal shelter. Edmond Crager, the sign shop coordinator, had enticed him inside with a snack. “Ed got a granola bar and was dropping crumbs – like Hansel and Gretel – and they got him in far enough so they could close the bay doors,” Entremont said. “They said within 30 minutes, Stormy came in the office and got up into Ed’s lap. He was probably looking for more granola bar.”

Crager and the others at the sign shop decided to contact the folks at the animal shelter and they returned Stormy to Entremont.

Kapp said it was all in a day’s work. “It was a very emotional situation. The dog was attacked by another dog in the parking lot and it took off and ran. Our first fear was that the dog was going to get injured. We didn’t want somebody to lose their animal.”

“I would say it was a miraculous ending,” Entremont said.

Norman, Thompson, Kapp, Chapman and Crager were recently recognized by the Prince William Board of County supervisors as employees of the month for their part in reuniting Stormy and Entremont.

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