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Search Party Volunteers Needed this Sunday for Missing Dog | Community Spirit

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Search Party Volunteers Needed this Sunday for Missing Dog
Search Party Volunteers Needed this Sunday for Missing Dog

In October 2010, life seemed to be turning around for a 90-pound English Mastiff named Olivia.  Rescued by A Forever Home Foundation (AFH), it seemed apparent that she was fought, bred, and abused in her prior home, leaving her terrified of most human interaction.  AFH foster mother Laura Colleton recalls that “her biggest challenge is that…everything in the outside world is new and scary to her. I have never cared for a more needy, vulnerable dog.”

On Monday, November 1st, just a few days after being brought into foster care, Colleton was walking Olivia when her harness detached from her leash.  When Olivia realized she was off-leash, she bolted out of sight, and has been missing ever since.   Although the community has been incredibly supportive and helpful in the search, it’s been nearly two months and Olivia has not yet been recovered. With the help of volunteers, law enforcement, and pet tracking services, there have sightings of Olivia all around the D.C. area.  But with the winter weather descending on the region, AFH is increasingly concerned about the well-being of this scared pup.  AFH is hosting a large-scale search party this Sunday, December 19th, and is looking for volunteers to help assist in the recovery of this sweet girl.

During the few short days that Olivia was in foster care, her trust with her foster mother grew exponentially.  “When she got back up on the bed after eating one morning, I leaned down to kiss her goodnight,” Colleton recalls. “She picked up her head, licked my hand just once, and put her head back down. That's about the most affection that I got out of her, but that she trusted me even a little bit is such an honor!”

Now in the outside world, she’s incredibly adept at dodging people.  For a 90-lb. dog, she's pretty good at making herself invisible. But she is not at all aggressive with humans or other dogs; when approached by a human, she runs or backs away as much as possible, then just hides her face.  When with her foster mother before she disappeared, she became incredibly clingy and tried to hide behind Colleton, she explains “though I wasn't to be trusted too much by Olivia, I was less scary than the rest of the world.”

With Olivia’s fear issues, Colleton and AFH request that any member of the general public who sees a Brindle Mastiff does not approach or chase her. Instead, they request that any sightings are reported to (617) 947-5627 or (240) 723-6893 immediately, with the time and location of where she was spotted.

The search party is scheduled for Sunday, December 19th from 12:00PM until 2:00PM.  Volunteers should meet in the parking lot near Ft. McNair and the Coast Guard station (2nd & V SW). For more information on the search party, please contact Debbie at 703-967-7463. To follow the progress of the search and to see the sightings that have been reported, visit Olivia’s blog at www.findlostmastiffolivia.blogspot.com.

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