We adopted Buster on September 7th, 2105. He had been rescued from a hoarder and not been able to receive the normal socialization a dog would have by his age (he's about 4 years old, though he has a few premature grey hairs in his face, likely from stress). In the month that we had him, we watched him improve immensely. When we brought him home, he was either hiding under the sofa or our bedroom chair, only eating under the sofa, and was too scared to relieve himself when we were on walks. Over time, he bonded strongly to his canine sister, Maeby. He became comfortable eating in the same room as us and soon, eating out of a bowl next to Maeby's. He began to love going for walks and even for short morning runs. He went from tolerating us touching him to running to us for pets and affection. He began playing with Maeby and not just when she would initiate it- he would try to get her to play! He recently began jumping on the bed on his own, cuddling with us for a bit, and just a few days ago, he let me rub his belly for the first time. It took a month, but it was so worth it. When we would come home from work, he'd come out of hiding and run to us excitedly, jumping up and down and giving us kisses. He made so much progress.
On October 8th, a month and 1 day from when we brought Buster home, he got spooked as we arrived home from our evening walk. He jerked and slipped out of his collar and took off running. We (along with a group of volunteers) searched for him for almost three hours that night with no luck. I took the next day off work to put up flyers on neon boards, start a facebook page for him, and begin organizing his search. I spent the weekend continuing to search, hanging more posters, visiting the animal shelters in our area, and handing out flyers at local businesses and the farmer's market. Several volunteers in our area have been doing the same.
Our biggest challenge is that Buster is such a shy and easily scared little guy. Since his MO at home has always been to hide, our feeling is that he's hiding nearby in the vast bushes, landscaping, and rocks that make up the Venice canals, Ballona Lagoon, or the wetlands. He may have also just ran farther than any of us could have expected since he is so fast. Because of this fact and because we have not had any confirmed sightings since the night he disappeared, many people have suggested and we've decided to hire a pet investigator with search dogs to track his scent and find out which way he may have gone. This will help us know where to focus our search and what steps to take next.
Also, because I need to go back to work (I truly cannot take another day off work), I've decided to hire a professional pet searching company to help with the search. While I work, they'll be canvassing, posting more posters and flyers, monitoring social media, investigating sightings, etc. I trust this company and they've been advising me and answering questions ever since we fell into this confusing world of missing pets.
The cost for the search dogs (http://www.petsearchandrescue.com/
will be $1400. The cost for the professional pet search company (http://www.ninjadogconcepts.com/
) is $35 per hour, coming to roughly $300-$500 per day. Both will likely be starting on Monday, October 11th, 2015. In addition to all of the costs we've incurred to send out roboalerts and buy poster supplies, we're estimating that this search could cost as much as $6000 over the next couple of weeks. It's obviously a huge cost, but it will be so worth it to us to help get Buster back safe and sound. We're worried constantly because we know how scared he is and we're also going through the worst heat wave of the year, and we're hoping he's staying cool and getting enough water. We hate to ask for help, but at this point, we desperately want to bring Buster home. After our last dog, Samantha, passed away just over a couple months ago, it's breaking our hearts that we may be losing another dog so soon.
If you could help out, even just a little bit, it would mean sooooooo much to Chris and I. Should we find him sooner than two weeks, any unused funds will be donated to LA Animal Rescue (http://www.laanimalrescue.org/
, a wonderful local pet rescue and adoption non-profit that we love (it's where we adopted Maeby!) and who has been very helpful in spreading the word about Buster. If the search goes longer than two weeks, we will edit the goal amount if necessary. If you can't help monetarily, please share the posts found at https://www.facebook.com/helpfindbusterbrown,
tagging people you may know in Southern California. If you're on instagram, you can also share the posts found at https://instagram.com/keepinitkind/
Thank you for taking the time to stop by, help us out, and share it with your friends. Chris and I greatly appreciate it.