The Things We Do for Love: "We Stopped at Nothing to Find Our Stolen Dog"

Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.

Credit: Sara Lustusky and Adam Penn
Magoo and his best buddy, Fennec, relax at home.

Adam Penn of Ellicott City, Md. and his girlfriend, Sara Lustusky, were devastated when their dog, Magoo, a 13-year-old rescued Papillon, ran off one day during a visit to a local state park. Frantic, Penn and Lustusky searched the area, posting flyers and visiting shelters, hoping someone had seen Magoo, but nobody had. And that was just the beginning of their efforts. Penn and Lustusky were willing to do whatever it took to bring Magoo home safely.

Bring in the Pet Detectives

A neighbor told Penn about Dogs Finding Dogs, an area service that uses trained tracking dogs to find lost pets. Penn immediately hired the firm. Anne and Heidi, the human-dog detective team, began their search in the park where Magoo disappeared. “Once Heidi the dog started tracking Magoo, she kept returning to the same place,” Penn says. “That’s how we figured out that someone must have picked up Magoo and taken him.” 

For the next 10 weeks, Penn and Lustusky spent nearly all of their free time searching for Magoo. “We were stressed out, crazy and exhausted,” Penn recalls. “But we were determined to find him.”

With help from Dogs Finding Dogs, the couple continued to put up fliers, mount large posters at busy intersections and make daily visits to area shelters.

They also engaged, an organization that, for a fee, makes thousands of phone calls to households in an area where a pet is lost.

The couple posted pleas on Facebook and Craigslist and even offered a $1,000 reward for tips leading to Magoo’s return.

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