January 8

Lost dog recovered in North Anson survives cold weather, broken leg

Dempsey, a boxer who survived the cold and being hit by a car, will be reunited with his Maryland family on Friday.

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

NORTH ANSON — When Christine Pierce heard about a family from Maryland who lost their dog while visiting relatives over the holidays, she piled her children and younger brother into her Jeep and went to look for it.

click image to enlarge

COMFORT AND CARE: Christine Pierce and her brother Roy pet Dempsey, a year-old boxer that survived nine days outdoors and being hit by a car before Pierce found him in North Anson. The dog is being treated at the Madison Animal Hospital and will be reunited with its owner, Jamie Cyrway and her three children of Maryland.

Staff photo by David Leaming

click image to enlarge

RESCUED: Christine Pierce of North Anson posed with year-old boxer Dempsey, who is now recovering at the Madison Animal Hospital. Dempsey is being treated for a broken leg and other problems after surviving being hit by a car and living outdoors for nine days in frigid temperatures.

Staff photo by David Leaming

Tips on finding a lost dog

Granite State Dog Recovery is a volunteer group in New Hampshire that helps people find lost pets. Its website offers a quick action plan for finding a lost dog, including:

• Don’t wait for the dog to come home, search immediately.

• Don’t call or chase your dog, because that will prolong the search. Instead, sit or lay down and gently toss out treats to lure the dog in.

• While searching, have a leash and treats handy.

• Check any den-like areas on your own property, because 15 percent of dogs remain home.

• Have neighbors check their yards, under porches, garages and elsewhere.

• Post fliers in your neighborhood and surrounding ones with a current, clear picture of your dog, because most dogs are recovered within two miles of their homes.

• Place smelly or human food as well as some of your clothing near a blanket or crate near where the dog was last seen.

• Give copies of your flier to people who walk their dogs in the area. They’re more likely to spot animals.

• Call animal control officers, police departments, veterinarians and animal shelters within 20 miles with current information about your dog.

• Provide local police with fliers and your contact information so you can be reached if the dog is spotted or police are contacted about you looking in area yards.

• Provide fliers to local veterinarians, police stations, shelters, animal hospitals, kennels, groomers, even pet stores, where people sometimes take found pets.

• Place an ad in the local paper right away and check the classified ads for found dogs.

More information is available at www.granitestatedogrecovery.com or 1-855-639-LOST.

“I have a dog myself and I just know I would be devastated if anything happened to him,” she said. “I felt like I needed to go look, even if it was just for 10 minutes.”

The dog, a one-year-old boxer named Dempsey, disappeared during a trip to visit family in North Anson with his owner Jamie Cyrway and her three children, who live in Severn, Md., but were visiting Cyrway’s mother, Janet Boothby, for Christmas.

Boothby, a teacher at Carrabec High School, said Dempsey jumped over a backyard fence and ran away on Dec. 28, when Cyrway and her children left her home for a Christmas celebration with other relatives.

She said as the family left for the party, “They went out the door and took Christmas presents and their winter clothing so they could sled. I think he thought they were leaving,” said Boothby. She said she drove around the neighborhood for two hours looking for Dempsey before calling her daughter to say he was missing.

The Boothbys live on Madison Street, about two blocks from the post office in an area with other homes but not a lot of traffic.

They spent the rest of the night walking and driving around with no luck while Dempsey eluded neighbors who were out looking for him.

The next door neighbor said he saw him on the corner, but by the time Boothby got there, he was gone.

He was seen the next day in a garage on Union Street, but when the owner of that home tried to call him, he ran out to the main road then into the woods.

After nine days of temperatures below freezing, and often dropping to single digits and below zero, snow and freezing rain, Pierce found Dempsey on Monday morning in an abandoned warehouse in North Anson, his leg broken. He is being cared for at the Madison Animal Hospital and his owners plan to visit him on Friday.

Like Depmsey, according to a 2012 study by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 93 percent of dogs and 74 percent of cats that are lost are recovered.

Pierce, 30, an animal lover who also has a boxer, said she saw posts about the missing dog on Facebook and heard about multiple sightings in the area. She’d been a student of Boothby’s but didn’t know Cyrway.

“She’s the biggest animal lover I know and she just kept telling me, ‘Mom, I know that dog is around here,’” said her mother, Maddy Pierce, Madison’s deputy town clerk.

On Friday, after a light snow had fallen, Pierce’s husband, Dan Parent, borrowed a pair of snowshoes and went to look for Dempsey in the hopes he would find fresh paw prints.

Boothby said her family also spent days driving around looking for tracks and set up scent stations, where they put food and clothing that smelled like Cyrway and her children.

They never lost hope that they would find the dog, who was a Christmas present for Vivian, 2, Jayden, 8, and Tyrr, 12, in 2012.

“Until we had proof he couldn’t or didn’t make it, we were going to believe he would be found,” said Boothby, 57.

On New Year’s Day, Jamie and the children had to return to Maryland, a departure they’d pushed back a day. Before they left, they spent the morning looking for the dog.

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