Archived Story

Elusive dog rescued after stand-off

Published 12:00pm Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A street-wise dog who had eluded capture by kind strangers since spring was rescued at about midnight Friday after a five-hour stand-off.

The dog is alive and healthy at the Otter Tail County Humane Society, according to director Carol Schaaf.

“After her capture, I told her she’d have a blanket on a heated floor,” Schaaf said. “She’s not aggressive and likes other dogs, but what a time we had trying to get her.”

Melody and Tracy Gentle, two of many people who put out food and water for the skittish canine, spent five hours trying to catch the dog after she ran into an enclosed area.

The couple had gone out for supper and were going to rent a movie but decided first to feed the dog — a black and white female described as a border collie or spaniel.

After she ate, the dog was intently watching something, Melody said, and eventually chased either a rabbit or a cat into a fenced area.

After closing the gate, the couple called Schaaf.

Always prepared with a package of wieners in the freezer — dogs really like hot dogs, she said — she thawed them, added some tranquilizers and headed to where the dog was cornered.

“(Melody and Tracy) tried to get close enough to catch the dog, but it ran and ran and ran,” Schaaf said. “They have more patience than anyone with that dog.”

Perhaps because the dog was so scared, the tranquilizers didn’t appear to work, Tracy said.

“I think they took longer to work,” he said. “I don’t know these things, I’m not a vet, but fear may have played a role,” he said about the apparent failure of the pills to work.

At 12:15 p.m., Melody was finally able to get close enough to get her hand on the dog’s choke chain.

“I was very gentle; (the dog) was very scared and timid,” she said. “I put her head on a blanket and just held her to try and calm her.”

Tracy eventually lifted her into a pet taxi for the ride to the Humane Society.

“She didn’t try to get away,” he said. “She was never threatening; she wasn’t viscous or anything; she didn’t growl. She was just a very cautious dog.”

She had a good night’s sleep, Schaaf said, adding she is real shy, sitting in the back of the kennel with her head down.

“She’ll come around, it’s just going to take a while,” Schaaf said.

When ready, the dog will be adopted out to a good home, she said.

The Gentles are considering whether they want to give the dog a home, Melody said. Whatever they decide, they are thankful the dog won’t have to spend the winter on the run, but are insistent they are not heroes.

“We just did what we thought was right. It was the humane thing to do,” she said.

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