Finding Gracie

Leah, Carlyn, and Gracie reunited.

We have the most exciting news!! Gracie is safely back with the rescue!! Dedicated volunteers, lost dog lead Carlyn K., Gracie’s foster Leah W., and Jessica and Mark M. NEVER gave up on a happy homecoming.

Gracie bolted from her dog-walker the afternoon of October 8. Posters went up and were shared across social media. Carmen Brothers and her new dog Magic of Professional Pet Trackers donated their services to help the search team move in the right direction. Despite the initial search efforts, an entire week went by with zero sightings. 

We started to feel a bit hopeless.  But thanks to an ace lost dog lead and a devoted foster, we never gave up. They organized several canvassing events and our awesome volunteers answered the call. Handing out flyers, posting on social media, and getting the word out any way they could. Leah traveled to the area daily to hand out flyers and look for any sign of Gracie. 

Well, it worked!

October 15 the team finally got a break. Two people called with sightings in the vicinity of 110/Mt Vernon Trail. Leah and Carlyn drove over to scout the area and determine the best approach… and maybe even catch a glimpse of Gracie. But in true lost dog fashion, she stayed hidden. A few days went by and again no reported sightings. Carlyn and Leah stuck to the plan, scoping out the area and following up on possible leads at shelters. Still no Gracie. 

Saturday night, October 20, Leah answered a promising call about a sighting in Rosslyn along the Mt Vernon trail. Leah and animal control responded, but it was too dark outside to thoroughly search. The next morning, Leah and Carlyn returned to the spot along the trail, set and baited a trap, and placed a camera (the Kuder Cam) that would alert Carlyn whenever there was activity. As Carlyn said, “Kind of a shot in the dark as far as location goes but it’s worth a try.”

​First there was a squirrel. Then a fox who very much enjoyed the daily feeding. And… lots of nail-biting and lost sleep. 

Midnight Monday, two weeks later, we got our big break. Gracie made an appearance on the Kuder Cam! We were elated! Carlyn and Leah returned each night to stake out the area and keep the trap baited. All they could do at this point was wait until Gracie captured herself. Any other move would most likely scare her. Gracie was lost between two major thruways (I-66 and the GW Pkwy) and they couldn’t risk her running away and into danger. 

Wednesday afternoon Mark visited the area to hand out more flyers. There’s construction in the area and he wanted to take advantage of their proximity to where she was last spotted. Then Mark saw her, but all he could do was note her location, update the crew, and wait.

​Wednesday night Carlyn and Leah parked in their usual spot waiting for Gracie to return to the feeding station. Around 11:00 PM she actually passed in front of their car. TWICE. But they both knew they had to stay put and wait. Stillness was of utmost importance. At 12:25 AM Gracie–finally hungry enough and with no more food along the perimeter–entered the trap. And with a click of the plate and a rattle of the gate, Gracie was finally secured and safe! 

Gracie. Finally safe and secure.

Big thanks to the many volunteers and the public who handed out flyers, got the word out on social media, and reported sightings. Thanks to your efforts we were able to narrow down her location. 

And a BIG round of applause for Carlyn, Leah, Jessica, and Mark for their unwavering faith and dedication to bringing Gracie home. We’re lucky to know you!

5:00 AM Thursday, Oct 25. Gracie, Carlyn, and Leah at VCA SouthPaws ER making sure she unscathed from her adventure.