There’s a dog running loose in the city’s Deer Park area – and there’s a possibility the German shepherd has been on the run for a year.
The animal is described as medium or large, black in colour with tan spots and long hair, Sgt. Duane Thomas with Alberta Animal Services said Wednesday.
There were reports of another missing dog in the Riverside Meadows area around December of last year – also a German shepherd that looks like the Deer Park area dog.
“There’s some information out there that maybe, possibly, it’s a dog that’s been roaming loose for about a year now, but we can’t verify that until we apprehend the animal,” he said.
The only way to find out would be to capture the dog and identify it, he explained.
The animal service agency tried to catch the Riverside Meadows area dog last December and January, but it failed.
“The dog just wouldn’t come anywhere near the trap, wouldn’t come to the food. Then the dog disappeared. We hadn’t been getting reports of him, and we never did get any reports of the dog … so we weren’t sure what happened exactly with the animal,” Thomas said.
About two or three months ago, the agency got involved in the Deer Park area sighting once they were made aware.
But the stray has been on the streets longer than two or three months. K9 Recovery Services owner Darlene Burt is also helping to catch the Deer Park area stray. Burt first heard about the missing dog in June on social media.
“Many people reached out to K9 Recovery Services, based on my experience and my knowledge, asking for my help and involvement,” said Burt.
Thomas is urging Red Deer residents to not feed the stray. That way, it will be easier to capture the animal.
“Biggest issue we’re running into is the dog is very skittish and won’t come to anybody or near anybody. The only opportunity for us to apprehend it is through the use of a cage or a trap and bait him to get him to come in. The only way it’s going to go into one of these cages is if he or she is absolutely hungry.
“If he or she is getting free food, he is not going to go anywhere near the trap, so it makes it impossible for us to catch him,” he explained.
The animal service agency has received reports of the dog barking at night in the Deer Park area, but there’s been no reports of aggression.
Thomas said the agency gets “zero reports” of the dog running around during the day, which could mean the dog has a den somewhere.
He said the dog could survive the winter, much like coyotes do, but eventually, enduring cold weather wears on animals. It’s also important to catch the German shepherd to curb the noise complaints in the neighbourhood.
Those with information can contact Alberta Animal Services at 403-347-2388.