An Eastern Cape man’s desperate search for a missing rescue dog is testament to the lengths some people will go to for man’s best friend.
Johann Wilhelm, co-founder of Port Alfred-based animal rescue farm Retreat 2 Eden, has embarked on a journey to find Terry, a little tan terrier mix, who escaped from her travel crate while being transported to her adoptive owners at Greendale Spar in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, in June.
In a bid to find Terry, Wilhelm travelled more than 700km to Howick, armed with Terry’s favourite companion and fellow rescue pup, an Africanis and Jack Russell mix called Trixie.
Terry was rescued by Wilhelm and his wife, Lynne, and lived at Retreat 2 Eden until she was adopted by a family in Dargle, KwaZulu-Natal.
“Terry would have been with us for two years at the end of this month.
“Her exact age is unknown but we think she is about five years old,” Lynne said.
Getting very little to no sleep searching for Terry, Wilhelm said they felt they had no choice but to do everything in their power to find her.
“We rescued her and we took responsibility for her life.
“That responsibility doesn’t end when she is adopted and goes to another home,” said Wilhelm, who established Retreat 2 Eden with Lynne in 2005.
“Terry is a very flighty girl, she panics easily and doesn’t trust strangers.
“That’s why I made the decision to travel to try to find her.
“I’ve brought Trixie, who was rescued with Terry, in the hope that it will increase the chances of Terry recognising us.”
A team of volunteers in Howick, led by Vanessa Viljoen, has been on the look out for the dog over the past two months.
“Whenever someone calls me to say they think they’ve spotted her, I immediately rush to the area, but we need more eyes keeping a look out for Terry.
“I can’t be here [in KwaZulu-Natal] indefinitely and the more people we have looking out for her the sooner we can find her,” said Wilhelm.
He said there had been two positive sightings of Terry, the latest being on September 12.
“We need as many people in the Howick area to keep their eyes open for Terry and just to take 10 minutes to give me a call if they see her,” Wilhelm said.
He said when Terry was found, she would return to live on the farm at Retreat 2 Eden.
“We have over 100 rescues so our attention is divided among all of them.
“We wanted to give Terry a home where she would receive more one-on-one time as she always wanted to be at Lynne’s side,” said Wilhelm.
Retreat 2 Eden is situated on a 43ha farm and functions as a rescue and rehabilitation centre for animals, from dogs to donkeys.
The farm also has a K9 rehabilitation and retirement centre for working dogs.
Wilhelm said they were grateful for all the support they had received from the public, from strangers in Howick who had taken him and Trixie in, to the dedicated volunteers and people who had called him about possible sightings.
Terry has a scar on her left hip and a sore on her right ear that may have healed in the past two months.
Due to the amount of time since she has been lost, she could look a lot thinner than in the photographs, Wilhelm said.
- If anyone spots Terry, please contact Wilhelm at 072-966-7692, Lynne at 072-388-9054 or Viljoen at 060-995-7759. For more details and updates visit the Help Retreat 2 Eden Find Terry Facebook Page.