Fall 2004 Newsletter

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Angler spots lost dog

Owners reunite with pet missing since Aug. 25

By PETER KENDRON . Press Enterprise Writer

LIGHTSTREET - Sep 7, 2004

A dog lost for 12 days after an interstate crash was found early Monday morning by a fisherman who initially thought the rust-colored Hungarian pointer was a fox.

By Monday evening, Beka, dehydrated and "skinny as a rail," was resting at home with his family in Pipersville, south of Allentown, said owner Tibor Horvath. Horvath's voice at times cracked as he talked about finding
his dog.

"It was like losing a family member," he said.

Beka had run away from Horvath's Chevrolet Tahoe after it crashed on Interstate 80 between the Lime Ridge and Lightstreet exits on Aug. 25. Searches in a rented plane and helicopter shortly after the crash turned up no traces of the pet.

Horvath and his 24-year-old son, Justin, had come to the area Saturday looking for Beka. They concentrated their search on Sawmill Road, but hadn't seen anything.

After an article about the lost dog was printed in the paper Sunday, Horvath said he received a number of tips about where the pet might have been. He went to Berwick following one lead Sunday. On Monday morning, he had taken a trip to Orangeville on another. But neither panned out.

Angler found dog

Then Floyd Savage, 78, of West Fourth Street, Bloomsburg, decided to go fishing Monday morning at his usual fishing hole, Dillon's Pond. The pond is located off Sawmill Road opposite the PPL offices, right next to Interstate 80. The site is about seven-tenths of a mile from the Lightstreet exit.

As Savage was fixing his hook on his line around 7:30 a.m., he said he saw a rustling in the field of 6-foot-high goldenrod on the other side of the deer fence that separates the pond from I-80. Then he saw something red. "I thought it was a fox or maybe a deer," Savage said. So he went fishing for a while, catching three bass and two blue gill and throwing them back.

When he was done, he came back up to his car and saw the animal again, Savage said. As he got closer, he saw it was a dog. He went over to the fence to see if he could let it underneath, but Savage said it started growling at him. So he left it alone and went home.

When Savage was telling his daughter, Beverly Hunsinger, about the animal, she said she thought right away about the article she had read in the paper on Sunday. "I told him, `I bet it was that dog,"' she said. So she called an Animal Resource Center volunteer she knew, and also state dog warden Jim Dent.

'I found him!'

A volunteer from the animal center then contacted Horvath, who hurried down to the pond. When they arrived around 10:30 a.m., Horvath said his son, Justin, went about 50 yards east from where Savage had seen the dog and started calling Beka's name. Within four minutes, he lifted the fence and yelled, "l found him!", Hunsinger said.

Horvath had trouble talking about the moment he found the dog when reached later in the day. "I get all choked up." The dog was less than a mile and a half from where his Tahoe had spun out, Horvath said.

Beka had beaten down path: in the tall weeds and "made himself a nest," Horvath said. It appeared he had been able to get a little water from puddle, said the pet's owner. The weeds were so tall, there was no way the dog could have been seen from the air, Savage said.

Horvath said he's been giving the dog a lot of water to get him rehydrated. He gave the dog a can of food right after he was found, and was slowly feeding him bland food like turkey and rice.

Rewards planned

Beka was a strong, healthy dog before the accident, Horvath said. It may take a while to get the dog back in shape, he said. In the meantime, Horvath said he wanted to thank Columbia County for the support it gave to his family. By Sunday afternoon in Berwick, people were already saying to him, "Oh, you're that family that lost the dog," Horvath said. "Everyone was so helpful."

Horvath said he planned to give out two $500 rewards, one to Savage and one to Gina Geiser of Berwick, who called Monday morning to say she thought she had seen the dog near the Lightstreet exit Sunday around noon.

He also wanted to thank the Animal Resource Center for putting together a search party for Beka. He said he was also going to send the planned no-kill animal shelter a donation.

Peter Kendron covers the Town of Bloomsburg and Bloomsburg University. Call him at 387-1234, ext. 1312, or e- mail him at kendron@pressenterprise.net.

Special to Press Enterprise/Justin Horvath

TIBOR HORVATH, kneeling at left, holds Beka, his Hungarian pointer, after the dog was found Monday. Around him are volunteers with the Animal Resource Center who helped in the search.

This photo was taken with a cellular telephone.

Family stymied in hunt for dog

Lost since crash, pet sought by air and ground

By CHRIS KREPICH Press Enterprise Writer

SOUTH CENTRE TWP. - August 25, 2004

A helicopter, airplane and search party have all been used to look for a dog that ran off after a crash on Interstate 80 here last month. The rust-colored vizsla, or Hungarian pointer, got loose from its Allentown-area family Aug. 25 when their Chevrolet Tahoe was totaled between the Lime Ridge and Lightstreet exits.

The cruise control on the vehicle stuck about 5:10 p.m. . Hitting the brakes caused it to spin and hit a ditch and embankment, said driver Tibor Horvath, 53, of Pipersville, about 15 miles south of Allentown.

The two dogs inside were probably thrown from the vehicle; he said. Horvath, his wife, Lora, and a family friend were not hurt in the crash. They managed to recover one dog. But Beka, pronounced Bakeah, took off west down the median, Horvath said. It had a Penn State collar with a leash attached. Horvath said they chased the dog, and a state trooper drove him around to look for it. It was all to no avail.

Allentown-area owner to visit for one last search attempt

The next day, Horvath rented a plane at the Danville airport to look for Beka. But the plane traveled too fast to see much. So Horvath hired a crop-dusting helicopter to search the area, but again could not spot the family pet, he said. Both pilots charged Horvath for only the fuel, he said.

The Animal Resource Center then got word about the missing dog and sent out a search party. About nine people scoured the area last Saturday, but they could not find Beka. Other members searched back roads on their own throughout the week, but there's been no sign of the dog, said Jo Wright, a volunteer for the planned nokill shelter.

Horvath said he plans to visit the area again this weekend for one last attempt at locating his beloved pet.

'I just hope he shows up'

Horvath believes someone may have picked up the dog. Traffic on I-80 was stopped several times that day for Vice President Dick Cheney's visit to Bloomsburg, so someone could have easily let the dog into a vehicle, he said. College students were also returning to Bloomsburg University, so it's possible Beka became a house mascot, he said.

"I just hope he shows up," Horvath said. "If not, I hope he's with a good family."

Horvath also placed newspaper ads offering a $500 reward. He figures he's spent $600 to $700 searching for Beka. He knows the dog could be dead, but no body has been found. "I don't want to think about that," he said.
If you see the dog, you can call Horvath at (215) 327-8743.

Dog has chip and tattoo

The collar Beka was wearing did not have identifying tags. But the dog does have an embedded microchip with all the pertinent information, and a license number tattooed on the inside of a rear leg, he said. Some veterinary offices and SPCA shelters can scan the chip or look up the license number to find the owners, he said. But many people may not realize that, said volunteer Wright.

'Everyone has done so much'

Horvath praised local folks for being so helpful and taking the time to look for the 3-year-old dog he's raised since birth. "The community has just been wonderful," he said. "Everyone has done so much. We've been beside ourselves with the positive reaction we've had." Horvath said they were on their way to Michigan to visit his daughter when the crash occurred.

Wright said the Horvaths were obviously devastated by their missing pet and members just wanted to help. While searching for Beka, shelter volunteers learned of another stray dog in the area. They planned to look for it this weekend.

Most rescued pets adopted

Washingtonville-area owners admitted animal cruelty,
face $500 fines, according to officials

By LAURI SHEIBLEY Press Enterprise Writer
DANVILLE - About 32 of 38 animals have been adopted after being rescued from a trailer near Washingtonville, and their four owners have pleaded guilty and face $500 fines, officials say. Many of the dogs and cats met their new owners at Adopt-A-Pet days near Bloomsburg on May 29-30. It was just a thrill seeing those dogs going out of there," said volunteer Jo Wright.

32 of 38 animals find homes

The animals were rescued from a trailer at Blue Springs Trailer Court on May 19. Their previous owners - Dottie English, Norman Roberts, Kay Hoyer and Randy Long - were cited for animal cruelty. Each of the four has pleaded guilty and been fined $500, said District Justice Marvin Shrawder.
The rescue was coordinated by the Animal Resource Center of Bloomsburg. Since the rescue, the animals were fed and treated by veterinarians, with bills picked up by the Resource Center.
Wright said all of the dogs gained weight, and one extremely thin dog gained 20 pounds in just a week or two.
Of the 38 dogs and cats rescued from the trailer, 24 found new homes at the Adopt-A-Pet days, and others were adopted in days before the event, Wright said. Only about six animals from the trailer are left in foster homes, she said.
Animals from other rescue organizations were also adopted that weekend. The total number of adoptions for the event was 32.
An anonymous donor offered to pay to spay or neuter all 32 of the animals. Eileen Drummond donated free obedience courses for all the dogs. Sunlight Feed, site of the adoption days, gave free gifts to the lucky dogs and cats.
The event was so successful that the Animal Resource Center plans to hold another one Aug. 14-15.
Lauri Sheibley covers the Danville area for the Press Enterprise. She can be reached at 275-2104 or e-mailed at lauri@pressenterprise.net.

Youth forfeit presents for animal rescuers

Pictured, from left, are Nellie Miller, Animal Resource Center member, with Bertolle in her arms; Brette Reichard; Lucia Cerasoli; and Linda Bird, ARC president.

Reichard and Cerasoli each had a birthday party. Instead of gifts for themselves, they asked everyone to bring food, toys and monetary donations for the ARC.

10 more animals seized; owners charged

Six dogs, two cats, two ducks make 40 rescued pets from Washingtonville-area trailer park

By LAURI SHEIBLEY - Press Enterprise Writer

DERRY TWP. - Ten more pets - six dogs. two cats and two ducks - were taken from a trailer park Friday, and the pets' owners have been charged with neglect and animal cruelty. Those 10 animals have joined 30 others that were rescued last week from a trailer at Blue Springs Trailer Park outside of Washingtonville. Many of the animals were sick, starving, and living in their own feces, said Wayne Risch, humane officer with the Animal Resource Center.

The animals were discovered by sheriffs deputies when officials evicted a family there. Risch has charged four trailer park residents - Dottie English, Norman Roberts, Kay Hoyer and Randy Long - with animal cruelty.

Now the rescued animals are being treated by veterinarians and the search is on to place them in new homes. Cyndi Lindenmuth, adoption coordinator for the Animal Resource Center, said the animals are going to need a lot of special care.

Some of the dogs are not housebroken, she said. And the stomachs of many of the dogs have shrunk after years of malnourishment. So they need to be fed four times a day, to stretch their stomachs back out. Many of the dogs also had whipworms, so they need to take daily medication.

"It's going to take some people who are willing to really give the TLC they need," Lindenmuth said. Although the dogs were neglected, they are all very friendly. "The saddest part is they don't even know they were abused," she said. "That's just so sad. That just breaks my heart."

The dogs are now staying at foster homes, Leighow Veterinary Hospital, Animal Care Center and Bloomsburg Veterinary Hospital.

All 20 rescued cats are staying at the Purrfect Love Haven for Homeless Cats in Nescopeck, Risch said. They've been fed, bathed, treated for fleas and visited by a vet.

Family kept a dog

On May 19, sheriff's deputies evicted a family from trailer No. 45, and the family voluntarily gave up 30 of the animals -12 dogs and 18 cats. At that time, the family was allowed to keep several of the healthier animals, Risch said. But when vets examined the rescued pets, many had hookworm. Risch returned to the family, and told them they'd have to take the remaining animals to the vet too, to get them checked.

The family wasn't able to afford that, so they gave up six more dogs, two cats and two ducks. The ducks were taken to a local pond, Risch said.

Risch said he allowed the family to keep just one dog, who seemed very healthy. The family also kept a turtle.

Lauri Sheibley can be reached at 275-2104 or emai?ed at lauri@pressenterprise.net.