Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Dog gone no more

Zelda McClintock brought in the New Year in panic.

JARROD WHITTAKER January 4, 2014 4:08am

Reunited: Zelda McClintock is relieved to have her Maltese-shih tzu, Cindy, back after she escaped from her Shepparton backyard on New Year's Eve.

Social media activity has reunited a north Shepparton owner with her dog after the pet escaped on New Year’s Eve.

Zelda McClintock returned home from a fireworks show at Nathalia about 1.30am on New Year’s Day to discover her Maltese-shih tzu Cindy was not in her backyard.

She believes Cindy may have escaped after being scared by fireworks.

‘‘I didn’t think you’d be able to hear the fireworks from my home,’’ Ms McClintock said.

‘‘But she must have dug her way out of the backyard.

‘‘People think dogs are secure in the backyard, but they’re escape artists.’’

Cindy’s departure had a big impact on the family — especially on Ms McClintock’s daughter, 19.

‘‘My daughter couldn’t sleep because we didn’t know if someone had stolen her or if she snuck out of the yard,’’ Ms McClintock said.

The following day she posted Cindy’s picture on two Shepparton animal welfare Facebook pages.

Page users shared her post 145 times.

That day someone responded to her post to say another Facebook user had posted a picture of a dog matching Cindy’s description on his Facebook page.

‘‘Within 15 minutes I saw his post.’’ she said.

‘‘The man who found my dog had just called the ranger who had just picked her up, she was at the pound.’’

Cindy had been found wandering near Shepparton Golf Club on Rudd Rd.

‘‘The good thing is my dog is microchipped and registered with the council,’’ Ms McClintock said.

‘‘I recommend the dogs should be microchipped and it’s a good idea if they wear their council tags.’’

Cindy was recovered about 4pm on January 1.

She said next year Cindy would be secured inside to prevent a repeat of the ordeal.

A Greater Shepparton City Council spokeswoman said council rangers found one dog before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Another eight dogs were found between 2am and 2.30am New Year’s Day.

‘‘Five of these dogs were currently registered so owners were contacted and came and collected their dogs,’’ she said.

‘‘The other dogs not registered were reunited with their owners after they registered them.’’

A further six people contacted the animal shelter about missing dogs — with three reunited with their owners.

Anyone who has lost a dog or finds a dog missing can phone Greater Shepparton City Council on 58329700 and speak to a ranger.

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