Sampson, a nine year old Golden Retriever, came into rescue on April 21st from a situation where he had been living outside for all of his life. Our transporters relayed him from northern Arizona to Paradise Valley to one of our very best and experienced foster homes.
Sampson was very timid and fearful, but was starting to become more comfortable in his new home. On Tuesday, April 23rd, a service person at the home inadvertently left one of the gates open. While his foster mom was out with him, she could not make it to close the gate before Sampson took off up the hill behind her property. His foster mom followed him, but he was able to elude her. Sampson was spotted later that evening by one of the neighbors and, again, on Friday, by some of our volunteers. Since then, despite concentrated efforts involving night vision equipment and dedicated, thoughtful searching, Sampson has continued to remain on the loose.
We have had dogs go missing in the past and most of the time, we do manage to find them. Unfortunately, Sampson is not your typical Golden and is afraid of most people, especially men. Trapping him is probably our best option (We were able to safely trap Russell last year).
Sampson, however, has proven to be elusive. For a while he was travelling in the same area, but now seems to be moving about in wider circles. Because of this, we have expanded our search area. With funds donated specifically to be used to help recover Sampson, we have purchased cameras and have set them up in areas where Sampson has been sighted. We have twice hired a tracker and her dogs to determine where Sampson has been. This is exactly how we learned that his travel area has broadened. Our volunteers and the tracker work for hours with dogs out in the heat trying to determine his location.
“Sampson’s Angels”, volunteers that have moved heaven and earth to try to recover him are still out in force---placing signs; speaking with area residents, police and service people; working with the tracker when necessary; baiting the areas near the cameras; checking the camera memory cards for sightings. We follow up on every lead. In the process, we have managed to help return other lost Golden Retrievers to their homes, but have not found Sampson. Sampson is VERY fearful and if located, he should not be approached as he may well move farther out of his comfort zone.
If we determine that he is staying in one particular area and feeding in that location, we can try again with a trap. In the meantime, we continue to post updates on our Facebook page and our volunteers do what they can to try to bring our lost boy back home.