Five years is a long time for a dog to be fending for herself; many wind up in shelters or fatal accidents. Yet, one missing dog in Massachusetts was reunited with her owner after five years apart, giving hope to any other pet parent whose pet got lost. The fact that she was found in great shape for a dog feeding on scraps and few handouts from kind strangers shows that there is still a little humanity left in the world. Here’s Bay’s story.
Bay Goes Missing
Renee Perry, who lives in Millbury and is a public school teacher in Framingham, had adopted Bay, a Basenji mix, when she was only a year old. On June 26, 2016, Perry left Bay, then 18-months-old, at her brother’s house in Framingham. Bay, however, could not stay in the house and she escaped leaving Perry and her friends to look for her everywhere. Perry always looked for her missing dog whenever she drove around Framingham, but there was never a sign of her. According to Metrowest Daily News, the pet parent and her friends searched everywhere for Bay the entire summer without any luck. Then again, for a dog that Perry describes as shy and timid, the chances of her hiding away from strangers were high.
Bay had been spotted roaming the streets of Needham, but people mistook her for Cannoli, another dog from Stoughton that had gone missing in 2018. They had discovered her after they kept finding extra poop in their yards. The residents wanted to know whose dog it was, so they set up a hidden camera, and that is when they knew it was Bay. She even was clever enough to maintain a schedule that ensured they would never catch her in the cat. Bay went to the backyard at night between 10 pm and 11 pm or early in the morning between 5 am and 6 pm. Since the dog had a collar, most people thought it was allowed to wander by the owner and were kind enough to feed him.
Capturing Bay and Reuniting Her with Her Owner
The sporadic sightings kept going on for three years, and one resident called Needham Animal Control Officer David Parsons to report that a stray dog was pooping in her yard. Parsons set up traps to capture the dog, but the efforts were futile. Bay escaped an attempt to trap and continued showing up at the resident’s yard, so Parsons maintained contact with the resident. According to the New York Post, in early April 2021, Missing Dogs Massachusetts volunteers set a bowl of food next to a different trap they had made for Bay. This time, their attempt was successful, and they managed to capture the dog.
The identification was easy, thanks to the microchip that led them back to Perry. She still had her collar, but tags had gotten lost in the five years she had been missing. They, therefore, had to cut the collar that had become embedded in the dog’s neck before calling her mother for the happy reunion. Despite being in a bit of rough shape, with ticks all over her body and dirty everywhere, Bay was deemed healthy after the vet’s examination. She had gained 10 pounds since she went missing. Two volunteers from Missing Dogs Massachusetts, Deb Newport and Danielle Matthew suspected that she survived on scraps from the Wellesley recycling and disposal facility.
When the volunteers contacted Perry about the missing dog, they only said they found her, so Perry wondered who it was they had found. To her surprise, it was Bay, her long lost canine, and she was in shock. Perry had never forgotten about Bay; she would think about her once in a while, wondering whatever happened to her beloved pet. Now that the canine is home again with her pet siblings, Bay exhibits moments of joy. Perry allows her to take her time readjusting to life at home after the years on the streets, and the owner disclosed that it seems Bay is yet to come to terms with what happened because sometimes, she sits and stares.
The Dog Bay Was Mistaken For
When Needham residents spotted a dog in their backyard, they thought it was Cannoli, and it is easy to see why they would mistake Bay for the German Shepherd. Both are white and female, but while Bay is a Basenji mix, Cannoli is a German Shepherd. Cannoli, weighing 50-pounds, went missing on December 20, 2018, from Stoughton. Unlike Bay that took a few years for people to start spotting, Cannoli had been seen five times by January 2019. Missing Dogs Massachusetts helped with the search, and one volunteer, Erin Thomas, and another volunteer had set up traps to catch Cannoli near the places she had been spotted. They even went ahead to have surveillance cameras to be sure that, indeed, it was Cannoli. The volunteers teamed up with Joshua Heal, the Police Department’s Animal Control Officer. By January 10, 2019, their best lead was a business park where it was evident something had gone through the trash, and they suspected that it was probably Cannoli looking for food.
Why It is Important to Leave Missing Dogs Alone
While most people are usually willing to help and even approach a dog, Thomas discourages it. She explained to Wicked Local, that if you get close to a missing dog, it will run away and abandon the home area where the search team will have laid out traps for them. As such, the search party is left to start from scratch after making so much progress. Instead, Thomas encourages people to watch the dog’s movements then contact the organization with the information. In the case of Cannoli, it was imperative to advise well-wishers to leave the dog alone. The dog’s human finally said the canine was shy and skittish, so a stranger approaching her would cause her to run off. With so many cases of missing dogs reported, Missing Dogs Massachusetts already has its hands full, and it would be best if residents made the volunteers’ work easier.