A rescue dog that ran off after getting a fright was found three days later, having wandered almost 10km away from her home.
Millie, adopted from the Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG), was found and rescued next to the N2 highway by a kind-hearted member of the public and taken to an animal shelter.
Millie, who belongs to Lisa Buschek and Rob Neuhold from Observatory in Cape Town, ran off on November 16.
They were on holiday in Mozambique when Millie went missing and are set to return on Sunday.
“I can’t believe I have to do this but the sun has gone down in Cape Town, we’re so far away, in Mozambique, and completely powerless.
“Our baby girl, Millie, went missing today in Observatory/Mowbray. She was hit by a car which seems to have startled her, more than injured her, and she took off. She’s skittish and probably won’t let anyone come near her,” Buschek wrote on Facebook on November 16.
Lola Dollimore of dog-walking agency Mary Puppins was walking Millie when she ran off.
She told News24 she was tasked with walking Millie every second day.
“Because she is a rescue dog, she has a skittish and unpredictable nature,” Dollimore said.
At the end of the walk at the Two Rivers Urban Park in Observatory, a car turned into the car park adjacent to it and Dollimore reached for Millie’s collar to attach her leash.
Got scared and bolted
“She then became scared of me – because of her nature – and jumped into the road. The car slowed down but knocked her slightly. Millie then bolted out of the park.”
According to Dollimore, the park leads on to the N2.
“I ran after her but she was nowhere to be seen.”
A fervent search for Millie was launched.
In Mozambique, a distraught Buschek took to social media in an effort to help find Millie, posting pictures and following up on possible sightings.
Back in Observatory, Dollimore put up posters that night, saying she was “stressed out and worried”.
After putting up the posters and posting on various Facebook groups, Dollimore started receiving calls from people who had sighted Millie along the N2.
The next day, the search continued at various vets and SPCAs. DARG, which had originally rescued Millie, as well as friends and family members of Millie’s owners joined the search.
Searched far and wide
Posters were put up as far as Somerset West and Stellenbosch after people claimed to have seen a dog matching Millie’s description in those areas.
On Sunday evening, Dollimore received a call from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in Athlone. A dog matching Millie’s description had been brought in.
The next morning, the PDSA sent a picture of the dog to Dollimore.
“It was Millie!
“I was just so relieved because I was responsible for her…”
A man known only as Mr L.M. Fourie was driving along the N2 near the airport, saw Millie by the side of the highway, stopped his car and managed to get her inside before driving her to the PDSA.
“We are very grateful. The PDSA didn’t even charge a release fee and the man who brought her in (Fourie) turned down the R5 000 reward money. That money will be donated to DARG and the PDSA for the amazing work they do,” Dollimore said.
Millie’s owners were ecstatic.
“Millie has been found! Through the efforts of so many amazing people; friends, family and strangers. We will send some detailed Thank Yous later which are sincerely due but for now we just want to update everyone. Thank You does not even begin to say how unbelievably touched and grateful we are to have our baby girl back,” Buschek wrote on her Facebook page.