The hound who escaped in March has shown herself to be very resourceful in staying out of the elaborate traps.
For the past four months Abby has been on the run. Palm Coast resident Jim Stinchcomb has spent most weekends trying to help his family recapture the runaway hound.
Abby and Cooper were adopted from Flagler Humane Society in December 2016. Humane Society Director Amy Carotenuto said they came from an extremely abusive situation and were “skittish” when they found running together on U.S. 1.
“It was difficult to find homes for them because they would huddle together in the back of their kennel,” Carotenuto said.
But in December Palm Coast resident Jim Stinchcomb adopted Cooper. Shortly after, a family adopted Abby, and the dogs were settled into their new homes, occasionally getting to visit one another.
Stinchcomb has always been involved in animal welfare, having served on the board of directors of Flagler and Halifax humane societies, and adopting his pets from the shelters.
Stinchcomb said Abby took a little longer to adapt to her new home, which is not in Volusia or Flagler counties.
“Cooper had Max, our other dog, which I think helped,” Stinchcomb said. “Abby seemed to be acclimating to her new home when she found a way out.”
The family has requested that Abby’s location not be revealed so she won’t feel the need to flee the area, and so the few neighbors by the wooded area who have gone above and beyond to help them, are not disturbed.
One neighbor saw the “lost dog” sign and called to say he had seen the dog in the woods behind his house. That neighbor has allowed the family into his home to view the woods and watch Abby on infra-red cameras that have been set up.
Another helper is a retiree who helps people find lost dogs, has designed a room-size cage in the woods with a remote-control door. Stinchcomb has spent time inside the cage with Cooper in attempts to entice Abby in, and most recently Cooper, inside a second crate, has waited for his sister.
Abby is coming closer and is always excited to see her brother, but she hasn’t ventured in far enough for those watching to engage the remote door.
“We really need her in there about eight feet before we close the door,” Stinchcomb said. “We don’t want the door coming down on her.”
The family has consulted with veterinarians and trappers about the possible use of sedatives in the food but the medicine could take up to 20 minutes to take effect, in which time she could wander further into the woods.
Four months after she took off, the family continues their vigils, filling her dish near the cage with pulled pork, without the sauce, from Sonny’s, and watching as every night she gets a little closer.
When she is finally captured, and the family is determined that she will be, they have promised to provide a photo of the happy reunion. Stay tuned…..