VANCOUVER – After hundreds of sightings and reports from Burnaby to Port Coquitlam, Lucy the elusive border collie cross, has been caught.
She has been “on the lam” for 299 days, after escaping in August 2013, just one week after arriving at her foster home.
She was rescued from a hoarding situation by Last Chance Animal Rescue but managed to slip her leash and run away from her foster family. Petsearchers Canada started the long search looking for her and documented her journey on their website.
It was no easy task finding and capturing her.
Lucy is so fast, smart and alert that no one has been able to get near her, nor cajole her close enough to get caught. As we’ve worked on getting her safe over the last months, we have come to understand the severity of her distrust for humans. Not only did she come from a hoarding situation, where she was fending for herself amongst 150+ dogs, being fed every few days and only able to get food if she was fast enough to get there first; since escaping, Lucy has had to deal with people chasing her, throwing things at her and letting their large more powerful dogs off leash to chase her. It was heartbreaking to see, as she was so distrustful of humans that even the huge number of kind, gentle people who wanted to help her couldn’t convince her that she could be safe in the care of a kind human.
Lucy was sighted in Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Burnaby and in late February Coquitlam Animal Control told Petsearchers they had received multiple sightings of her in the same area of Coquitlam. Al MacLellan from Petsearchers spent weeks tailing Lucy and worked to acclimate her to a trap near feeding stations set up for her.
However, Lucy would not enter a secure area and would check carefully before entering any fenced area to ensure there was a way out.
They first tried to capture her in March, and even though they were successful in blocking her in to the fenced area, she became so frantic she managed to break through and disappeared.
She would return to the same area but would never put her head inside the doorway to get the food waiting for her.
Then, towards the end of April, a couple named Peter and Hoshiko called Petsearchers and offered their help to capture Lucy.
For the last four weeks they have manned a feeding station and monitored Lucy’s movement, even getting out of bed at all hours of the night to catch a glimpse of her and know she was safe.
After three weeks, Lucy was comfortable enough to enter the yard and eat some food.
Lucy was finally caught May 28 and although she put up quite a fight the team managed to get her home.
When we got home, we were amazed – can you believe that this is the same dog that just spent 10 months on the run, and has only known 6 days of human companionship in her whole life? Other than the short time with her foster last August, Lucy hasn’t ever known kindness, love or gentleness from humans, but look at how she allows Al to put a leash on her and carry her in the house just moments after arriving at our house.
Petsearchers Canada posted this video of Lucy just hours after her capture:
Lucy will be staying with the team at Petsearchers Canada for a few days to get settled in and then they will be working with Last Chance Rescue to ensure she is placed with a suitable foster home in the future.
Lucy’s got a long road ahead of her, but we know she is able to be rehabilitated based on her current behaviour.
They have estimated that the cost of getting Lucy home safely was about $4,000. If you would like to contribute to Petsearchers Canada’s search fund, you can do so here.