WNY rescue dog makes 70 mile journey to find his home

Western New York

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB)– A rescue dog from Texas found his forever home in Western New York.

But it wasn’t before he escaped his harness and took a 70 mile trek across our area.

Tonight, Tucker is resting comfortably in his West Seneca home.

He’s snuggled up on the couch, enjoying the warmth.

You’ll think to yourself, “rightfully so,” after you see where his journey took him.

Laura Haggerty and her family decided to foster Tucker through the Erie County SPCA, after their family dog passed away in October.

Tucker is a feist mix from Texas.

“He came home, he didn’t know how to do stairs, he was terrified of doorways. He just was scared of life,” said Laura.

It took Tucker a few days to warm up to the family.

“He started playing a little bit and wanting to be around the children,” explained Laura.

The Haggerty family fostered Tucker for nearly 5 weeks until he was adopted by a woman in Wheatfield.

Laura brought Tucker to his new home on Friday, December 11th.

But by Sunday, things had gone horribly wrong.

“We get a text from his mom that he had slipped his harness. I guess on Saturday he started not really wanting to come into the house, kind of funny with the doors again and on Sunday as she’s walking into the house he backs up and gets right out of his harness,” said Laura.

Laura’s heart dropped when she read that text.

Her worst fear was that if Tucker ever got loose, he wouldn’t come home.

She felt a strong responsibility to find him, even though he was no longer hers… so she enlisted the help of “Sherlock Bones,” a volunteer trapping group based in Western New York.

“Most people see a dog and they want to catch it so they would chase him and he would just run just all over Western New York. He was from Wheatfield to Sanborn to Cambria… out to Niagara falls, he was all over the place,” said Nicole Raymond, a volunteer with Sherlock Bones Lost ‘N Hound Dog Recovery.

Sherlock Bones shared this map of all the places where Tucker was spotted:

His journey lasted 24 days and spanned 70 miles.

On January 6th, Laura received a call from one of the volunteers with Sherlock Bones.

“Just my worst fear, he’s hurt, they found him on the side of the road, what happened? And she just said ‘we got him and I just couldn’t believe it. Every night I would put my sound all the way up, usually my phone is on silent, thinking it would be about 2 o’clock in the morning he would finally get tired but this was in the middle of the afternoon and she just said we got him! So I flew in my car, I’m about 35 minutes away but went as fast as I could and there he was in the backseat of their car,” said Laura.

The first call Laura made was to his adoptive mom, but it was only for her peace of mind.

Tucker wasn’t going back to Wheatfield.

“I had said to my husband if we find him I would like to keep him. But the main hurdle was that he wasn’t our dog. He was officially adopted by someone else. So I think it was that Wednesday or Thursday of that first week that she approached the subject and said you know if we find him would you like to keep him and I said yes, yes please,” said Laura.

The volunteers with Sherlock Bones think that’s where Tucker was trying to go all along… back home with his family, where he truly belongs.

If you would like to enlist the help of Sherlock Bones, you can contact the volunteers on their Facebook page, Sherlock Bones.

Melanie Orlins is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.

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