Volunteers help track down local dog that was on the run during the polar vortex

Published: Feb. 5, 2019 at 5:13 PM EST
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An amazing survival story during the polar vortex last week. A dog escaped from his backyard in Sylvania. He was on the run for more than a week. An army of strangers joined the family on the search and their hours and hours of searching paid off.

This story is a great example of the power of social media. Still Missing Dogs is a volunteer group on Facebook that has helped get hundreds of animals back home. You can now add one more to the list.

Woody is back home thanks to a dedicated group of people who spent days helping track him down. It all started when the Glover family went out of town for a day at the end of January. Laura Glover says a neighbor let Woody outside, and he slipped under the fence, "We were devastated and we felt helpless because we were two and a half hours away at the time."

The family adopted Woody four years ago. "He's a little shy at first, but once he gets to know you he is very friendly. He is great. He is a perfect dog. He'd never gone on the run before, so we were shocked."

The search for him started immediately. There were numerous sightings in Michigan and Ohio. The Glovers got close to him a few times, but he kept taking off, "It deflates you. I thought for sure once he saw us he would come to us, but he was scared and he didn't. It broke our hearts."

What made the situation even harder was the fact that the family had to go out of town in the middle of the search, "We didn't sleep and we didn't eat. We were all worried sick."

The one comfort for the family was knowing there were so many people helping. Volunteers from Still Missing Dogs got right to work, "It blew my mind that so many people came together for the sake of a dog they didn't know to help reunite him with his family. It restores your faith in humanity."

One of the people who helped is Maegan Applegate, "It's a rewarding feeling knowing you can help someone who is missing someone they love."

The search went on for 8 days. Maegan and others went out numerous times, "Woody was smart. He was hiding out in barns and I would follow his tracks for miles. He was bouncing around in a six mile radius. Basically he was just going east and west."

Maegan says at one point, several days went by without a sighting of Woody."It was concerning. We figured since it was so cold he was probably laying low, trying to push through and stay warm."

Finally the call the Glovers had been waiting for came in this past Sunday. A man from Ottawa Lake, Michigan called to say he was able to catch Woody.

Woody lost more than 25 pounds, but the vet says he's in remarkably good shape considering what he went through. As you heard, the Glovers had to leave during the search. That's because their daughter was competing in Florida with the St. Ursula dance team. The team did very well in the competition the same day Woody was found, so there's a lot to celebrate.

Laura says she hopes to help out with future search and rescue missions for other pet owners. Still Missing Dogs needs donations of time, money and supplies.

If you'd like to help or if you need help finding a pet, we've posted a link.