We were contacted on Tuesday 10th January to help a stray dog in Walmersley, Bury BL9, who had been seen in the area the day before. The night before somebody put a post up on Facebook with the dogs exact location and quite a few people sadly headed there to try to catch her. A man chased her from her area and she crossed Walmersley road to the other side at rush hour when it was very busy with traffic. She made it across safely thankfully.
By the time we got involved she had left her safe space and we did not know where she was. Luckily we got a call saying she had been seen on Tuesday on a certain street. We asked the owners of a house if we could put a live camera and food in her garden to which they agreed to immediately. The following morning, Wednesday at 8.39 am she appeared on our camera eating the food. It was only a matter now of placing the trap.
She came back again to feed but after that we had many calls saying she was seen crossing across the main road back to the other side. Then again more calls saying she had crossed again! Some people had chased her and she just couldn’t settle. This is exactly why we always say not to approach a lost dog. Many people by then were aware of her and thankfully some left her alone and called us.
We went to set the humane trap and as we were setting it we had another call that she was back to the original side of the road. At this point we were so emotionally exhausted especially as she kept crossing the main road. We decided to leave the trap and cameras set up where they were in case she crossed again. She had fed twice at the trap so it was likely she would try to come back there.
We lost count of the phone calls that night. She was erratic with her movements and was being seen in many different places in the area on the original side of the road. All we could do at that point was wait to see if she came to the trap. (We did have live cameras and feed stations on the original side so hoped she would show herself on one of them.) Sadly she didn’t and there were no more sightings of her until the following day on Thursday.
She was still on her original side of the road and after looking for a suitable area for another humane trap to go down, with the permission of the home owner, we set the other trap that night.
At 9.02pm the cameras activated and she was at the trap. After circling it for a minute or so her hunger got the better of her and she walked straight into the trap and she was finally safe!
We scanned her for a microchip but she is not chipped. Because of what she’s been through and having to go through the stress of being groomed today, we will contact the dog warden soon and do a 28 day retainer to save her from having to go to kennels.
We suspect that she is an ex back yard breeding dog surplus to requirements and she has been dumped. Her teats are still slightly swollen but there is no milk. (The area has since been checked just in case she had pups out there.) It looks like it hasn’t been that long since her pups were weaned. Her coat was in an absolute dreadful mess and the mats were pulling her skin red raw. She had bald patches on her where it has torn out. That coat has not been touched in years. Her nails are still long after all the running about she has done so we suspect they must have been very overgrown. She was very scared last night so we got her settled and gave her the space she needed to calm down. Today she has had her coat completely clipped back. It had to come off in one piece on her back and tail. She is much better and happier already.
We have decided to name her ‘Tara’ and she now has a happy and safe life ahead of her ❤️.
We would like to thank all those who shared her posts, who phoned in with the sightings and did as we asked by leaving her alone and not approaching her, to Debi Fellone for the posters (which we never got to put up) and to the home owners for allowing us to use their gardens. We would also like to thank the dog groomer who groomed her for free and gave her a lovely warm fleece coat to wear ❤️. And we want to say a massive thank you to Danielle Saltmarsh Scott who has been simply amazing! From contacting us for help, assisting with the feed stations and traps, taking many many phone calls and speaking to people to stop her being approached and chased, coming out at all hours and like us, putting her life on hold, she has not stopped. We haven’t stopped and we never do until the dog is safe but we have chosen to do what we do, but Danielle, who has never done this before, upon first seeing her, made sure she got help and saw it through to the end. It is dreadfully hard work getting dogs safe out there. The weather has been torrential and we have been drenched and freezing but we are at least used to it. Danielle was thrown in at the deep end and because she saw her a few times, and even sat down on the ground while she approached Danielle for food (she just wasn’t confident enough to get near enough to get hold of) and ate some, she was and is very emotionally attached to her, as we are which is the norm for us when working with a lost dog, but Danielle got quite close to her physically and heard her whimpering with the conflict she would have felt wanting help but being too frightened to allow someone to help her. Danielle has done everything right to ensure she got safe and has thought of nothing but doing exactly that. Well done Danielle ❤️.
Tara is thankfully safe, and no longer wet, cold and hungry. But now she needs lots of time and patience to start to enjoy life where she will be well loved and cared for.