A stray dog that lived in the Eastern Washington town of Deer Park for 4 years was caught yesterday.
Molly is a lab mix whose family left her behind when they moved away from Deer Park. She was caught by animal control in 2013, but after a few months she escaped from her foster family.
Shelters and rescues, as well as dozens volunteers, tried to capture Molly but because she didn’t trust humans (and who could blame her) no one could get close enough to capture her. She also expertly avoided humane traps that people put out.
She probably stayed in Deer Park because she lived there before being abandoned by her family and many locals put out food for her to help her survive. In fact, so many people were feeding her she began to gain weight, and as time passed, the need to capture her became more imperative because at some point someone put a choke collar on her, so people were concerned that if she continued to gain weight the collar would strangle her.
As time passed, most people had given up on capturing Molly. Others were convinced she was better off living outside despite the freezing temperatures, searing heat, and loneliness she had to endure.
Fortunately, a group of dedicated dog lovers who continued to feed her regularly while trying to gain her trust. Their work paid off yesterday.
Here’s the announcement posted on the PAK Dog Training Facebook page:
“Monique and Brittney learned about Molly – The Deer Park Graveyard dog while assisting in the capture of Loki the missing boxer.
Monique reached out to the Mollys Recovery Team on facebook to get the story. Over the last several months, Monique has been visiting Molly, including bringing her healthy food, supplements and just plain attention. Monique was working on getting Molly used to her.
Finally after months of interactions with Molly, Monique finally had a reliable team in place because she had grown concerned about her more pronounced limping. We had decided that we would try and save Molly on Sunday.
With two of the team on the ground and two in cars, Andy followed Molly out of the cemetery and down the road. Brittney took over on the road following with the vehicle close behind.
Molly cut between two houses and Brittney followed her. Monique in the vehicle followed the road around the corner. Molly stood in the intersection, faced Monique and her vehicle and laid down and surrendered as they approached her.
She layed still as we placed a slip lead on her, checked her collar, did a quick look over of her. She was very scared but accepting of our touch.
We let her lay there to try and relax but as she has not been touched by human hands for multiple years it was quite a shock to her.
Brittney and Monique were not sure of her health, her mobility, or if she was injured anywhere, so they carefully picked her up and placed her in a kennel in the car.
After she was in the car, she sat up and was alert. As of right now, her collar has been removed, she is relaxing in a calm, safe and warm environment.
We are working on her veterinary care and will keep everyone updated as we get more information.
Brittney Katterfeld and Monique are both Certified Master K9 Trainers and have agreed to work on her
rehabilitation, diet and exercise program. To give everyone hope…Molly allowed Monique to give her a kiss on her head!
We are so thankful for everyone’s concern and we will always keep you guys updated on her progress.”
Molly’s biggest challenge now is learning to trust humans again. She’ll do that at PAK9 Dog Training in Spokane. You can follow her progress on their Facebook page or the Molly’s Recovery Team Deer Park, WA Facebook page.
Molly will need vet care, both physically and mentally, and intense rehabilitation with a trainer skilled in dogs with her needs in order to trust humans again, so a fundraiser has been set up to help offset some of the costs of her rehabilitation and training.
If you’d like to make a contribution please go to the Help Molly Heal fundraising page.
Thank you to everyone who never gave up on Molly, especially Brittney Katterfeld and Monique Helms Smith. I don’t use this word often but you are true heroes.