CENTRAL TEXAS (KXAN) — For eight months, a loose dog traveled upwards of 60 miles throughout Central Texas, spotted as far north as Georgetown and as south as central Austin. Now, an Austin-area family is leading efforts to reunite him with his owner.
Sasha Aghili is the founder of Jack Jack’s Pack Street Dog Rescue, a Central Texas-based nonprofit that helps rescue and either reunite or rehome missing animals with their families.
Aghili, along with Tonya and Frank Arceneaux of Lost Paws Missing Dog Rescue, helped secure the 100-pound furry friend in late February. It came after months of spottings along Interstate 35 and MoPac Expressway.
Since rescuing him, Aghili has dubbed him “Myles,” in recognition of his extensive travels.
“He’s only 18 months, and so he was a baby during this whole time, a very young dog,” she said. “We got him cleaned up and now I’m just — I want to see if he has an owner before I even think about placing him for adoption.”
Myles is a Leonberger, a rarer and more expensive German breed. Because of the cost and demand for this breed, Aghili told KXAN she thinks it’s unlikely he was dumped or intentionally set loose.
Aghili has made calls to area veterinarian offices and scoured social media posts online but hasn’t been able to trace Myles to a missing dog case. Still, Aghili is holding out hope that Myles’ family is just around the corner and waiting for a reunion.
If not, she said she will begin the process of finding him a forever home. Myles would ideally live in a house with other dogs and cats, and does extremely well with children, Aghili said.
“He spent so much time alone that I don’t want that for him anymore,” she said. “He loves being around people.”
Since rescuing him a little more than a month ago, Aghili said she’s seen him blossom and show his affection to other family members and critters.
“When I first brought this dog in, I saw a scared, growly dog who was vocal and kind of hiding in a corner. But then within a few hours of love, I started seeing him open up more and more,” she said.
For pet owners, Aghili said it’s critical they immediately go outside and start searching for their pet the second they notice they’re missing. She recommended staying within a one-to-two-mile radius of their home and circling over and over to try and spot their pet.
Once spotted, she said to be careful about calling out to them or sudden movements, as that could trigger their flight mode. Instead, she said to linger nearby and let them come to you.
“Posting [online] is important, but it needs to be done very carefully because a lot of times what happens is other people want to help and they’ll end up chasing the dog out of the area,” she said. “Remain hopeful because most of the time, you will get your dog back. But get your boots on the ground and go look for your baby and just stay persistent, and it’ll happen.”
The Austin Animal Center recommends those who find lost pets take the following steps:
- Text “foundatx” to 844-764-2125 for guidance on the family-finding process
- Scan for a microchip at local vet clinics, 24-hour emergency pet hospitals for free
- File a “Found Report” with AAC
- View pets who’ve already been reported missing online
- Post on the following social media pages:
- Austin Lost and Found Pets
- Local neighborhood Facebook, Nextdoor groups
- Craigslist under both “Pets” and “Lost and Found”
More information on Jack Jack’s Pack Street Dog Rescue is available online.