Dog on the Lam

For 72 hours in September, East Falls held our collective breath as a frantic border collie mix flirted with peril our streets.

A pet owner’s nightmare: your new rescue dog (of barely an hour!) wriggles past you and escapes into the world. He doesn’t know you yet to come to you, he has no idea where he is. It’s 10 PM on a Sunday night. What do you do?

If you’re in East Falls, you reach out to your neighbors like Cindy Holub did. In heart-warming social media threads, Fallsers rallied to share sightings, organize search parties, and brainstorm strategies for catching the Holub’s frightened border collie mix named Maddie.

Surveillance camera footage (via Brian Kistler)

Over the course of several days, Maddie demonstrated an almost supernatural ability to evade capture “I had her in my side yard and… she jumped into the compost bin then stretched four-plus feet and climbed over the fence…” a Christina Kistler wrote on Nextdoor. ACCT and PAWS were notified then finally the Big Guns: Team Louie Animal Rescue.

Team Louie advised everyone to stop trying to catch her, which was only adding to her panic. They came out with two dog-sized traps (dog crates with spring-loaded doors on one end) and within six hours, Maddie was secured. “She’s home!” Cindy Holub wrote on Facebook on September 12th, “Thank you so much to Team Louie! We could never have done it without you!! And thank you to everyone who shared this post.”

Cindy also gave a shout out to neighbors Brian and Christina Kistler, who went above and beyond in their efforts and support. Big dog-lovers themselves, the Kistlers were instrumental in keeping track of Maddie as she ran between the 3200 blocks of W. Penn and Midvale, and around McMichael Park.

“We’re glad to help, and glad to have her back home,” Brian told us, “Lesson learned: we should’ve realized we needed a trap early on and contacted Team Louie – they were great. Even gave us the liquid smoke to lure them in.”

Brian added, “They are the heroes of this rescue.”

“Team Louie are the very best!” Cindy agreed, “Both the immediate online help and the volunteer who came out with traps.” For now, the family and Maddie are taking it easy. “She’s a sweetie and a great addition to our family, ” Cindy wrote recently on Nextdoor, “Thanks again to everyone who helped get her home safely.”

Welcome back, Maddie and a big East Falls thank you to Team Louie Rescue, a team organized to help bring Louie the Laborador home in 2014 that’s now working to serve pets in need around Philadelphia. As a volunteer operation, Team Louie greatly appreciates donations to help bring pets home! Please consider making a purchase on their Amazon Wish List.

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