Local Dog Whisperers Work to Bring Karly Home

 Local Dog Whisperers Work to Bring Karly Home

Thanks to the actions of some local “dog whisperers,” Karly the Bernadoodle is back home safe after a two-day escape.

When Karly’s parents took to social media, asking neighbors to keep a lookout for their newly rescued two-year-old pup from Pennsylvania, Rockaway stepped up. Just after being spayed on Monday, Karly had escaped during her walk on Friday, and so the dog hunt began. Locals immediately started tagging Breezy Point resident Kim Fraser of Sasha’s Mission Animal Rescue in the social media posts, knowing her as the woman for the job when it comes to tracking down lost dogs. Simultaneously, Fraser already had eyes out on her behalf. Officers from the U.S. Park Police contacted Fraser to let her know they spotted a dog running around the Fort Tilden area.

That information tracked, as Karly’s daily walk route is from her home in Rockaway Park to Fort Tilden. “I’ve done a lot of lost and found work with the Park Police and when dogs get lost, they usually gravitate towards brush or water when they wind up in Fort Tilden or Riis, or on the outskirts of those areas. It helps knowing a dog’s route because after that initial chase that spooked her, we knew she would stay in an area that she was most familiar with,” Fraser explained.

With a base location to start from, Fraser teamed up with Broad Channel resident Sloane Quealy-Miner of Zion’s Mission Animal Rescue and the two got to work. “We started searching on Friday and set up a trap on Saturday after Kim had confirmed sightings from people in the Fort Tilden area,” Quealy-Miner said.

“We then found her footprints, confirming where she was coming and going from. When a dog is a new rescue from out of state, when they get lost, they find a space that they’re comfortable with. When I got in touch with her mom, Mary, I asked where she came from. Being from Pennsylvania, I figured a wooded area would be a safe spot for her,” Fraser said. After the trap was set in the suspected location, Fraser and Quealy-Miner sat in the Fort Tilden area for several hours, waiting to trap Karly, and made arrangements for her owners to switch places at some point, so they could search around the outskirts. While there was no sight of Karly, they did receive signs of hope. “They stayed until 6 a.m. on Sunday and when I came to relieve them, the food that was leading up to the trap was gone, so we knew she had been there,” Fraser said.

As Karly’s owners went home, they stayed in touch by phone, and more good news came. “I was on the phone with Mary, and she said there’s a dog on the boardwalk. She got closer and confirmed it was Karly!” Fraser said.

While hiding behind a nearby car, Fraser directed Karly’s owners on how to handle the situation. “Mike approached her, and she wanted to come to him, but she got spooked. I told them the best thing to do was to lay flat on the ground and wait for her to approach him,” Fraser said. Meanwhile, in order to stay quiet, Fraser said she didn’t even breathe during the tense moment. But it was worth it.

Karly took the bait, approaching her owner Mike, as he laid on the ground. “He slowly got up and I was shocked, as she had no collar at that point or anything for him to grab, but she slowly walked off the boardwalk with him and once they got to the ramp, he put his arms around her and held her, so I looped a leash for Mary and told her to slowly slide it over her head, and she was led right home,” Fraser said. That was 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, right around the time Karly is used to being walked from her Rockaway Park home to Fort Tilden. She had just made the walk herself and decided it was time to go home.

Seeing Karly reunite with her owners made the two-and-a-half-day ordeal and lack of sleep worth it. “We cried. I started to breathe again. Another half hour, and I knew the boardwalk was going to be crowded and she would bolt again, and we’d have to start this from scratch, so I was happy to see her and happy for her owners. They were distraught the whole time,” Fraser said.

As for Karly, she was pampered as soon as she got home. A vet tech came to check to make sure she was OK, and although her inflatable collar from the surgery had fallen off at some point during her escape, her stitches were still intact. Karly got a bath, enjoyed some carrot cake and went to sleep, as if nothing had happened.

As for Fraser and Quealy-Miner, yet another successful mission came as a relief. “We do a lot of abuse cases and sad rescues, so when it’s something like this and we can make the owners happy in the end, it’s a breath of fresh air,” Fraser said. “It’s wonderful. It keeps you going,” Quealy-Miner said.

Quealy-Miner says if someone loses a dog, Kim Fraser is the one to call. “Kim is Rockaway’s dog whisperer,” she said. For Fraser, rescuing animals is in her blood. “It’s something I’ve always done. When my sister and I were kids, we would drag every lost animal home and birds with broken wings and my mom would say, OK, we’ll handle it.’ And my dad would find dogs on the way home. It’s just in our blood,” Fraser said.

Fraser has gone as far as helping people in other states find their lost dogs, but if she’s unavailable, there are some tips people can use while trying to locate their lost pet. “Don’t chase. It’s hard because it’s the first thing you want to do, but it can make matters worse,” Fraser said. “If you’re looking for a dog, ask for sightings, but don’t give the locations out to people who are just nosy. Everyone puts locations on social media, and they think they’re helping, but it can make it harder when you have more people around,” Quealy-Miner added. Also, keep the animal’s routine in mind. “Dogs have internal clocks. They get accustomed to getting up for walks at a certain hour and that’s most likely the time you’ll spot a dog along their route,” Fraser said.

In the meantime, you can help Sasha’s Mission and Zion’s Mission continue the great rescue work that they do. They’re currently working to help a mother dog and her puppies and could use some financial help. “All of the donations go toward helping a new family. We’re spaying the mom and getting shots for the puppies and trying to get dad neutered,” Quealy-Miner said. To donate, head to: www.zionsmission.org/makeadonation

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