A local couple is reaching out to the community for help in the hopes of getting their four-year-old dog, Gus, back home safely.
Gus, a black retriever mix, got out of the fenced-in dog park at Grass Creek Park on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Since then, the couple, Hilary and Danielle Nichols, have been working tirelessly to get Gus home.
There has been a large search effort for Gus by the Nichols, as well as their friends, family, and members of the community, including the staging of a trap near the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum, but all efforts to capture Gus have been unsuccessful at this time.
“Fortunately, he has been spotted in the area multiple times in the ensuing days. However, he is now in what experts have explained as ‘survival mode,’” Hilary said, noting that she is trying to discourage active search parties that might spook Gus.
“He is extremely skittish and has been evading all humans.”
Gus went so far as to jump into the water to evade humans. This type of reaction is precisely what the Nichols are trying to prevent at this time. The couple are asking that members of the public not chase, call for, whistle to, or startle Gus, as this is likely to cause him to run and possibly hide. Additionally, they ask that members of the community not leave food out for Gus as his hunger may be the only way to lure him at this time.
“He has been spotted crossing Highway 2 on numerous occasions and we worry greatly for his safety,” Hilary said.
Members of the community can help in the rescue effort by trying to catch sightings of Gus and report those back to the dog’s owners.The couple ask that all residents in the area will keep an eye on barns, sheds, decks, and any other places Gus may be seeking shelter.
“The community has been incredible. People have dropped everything to help us search day and night, in all weather. We’ve had total strangers lend us equipment, bring us food and coffee, and scour the neighbourhood,” Hilary expressed.
“There are not enough words to express our gratitude. I’m confident we will bring him home. It will be a huge relief to know he is safe, warm, and well-fed again. We miss him desperately!”
Anyone who spots Gus is asked to report the sighting at 613-985-0124. Residents can also follow the public Facebook group ‘Help Get Gus Home’ for updates and further information.