Updated: Apr 6
On the 14th Dec, we received a message from Audrey regarding a stray dog on her property in the Guyhirn area. I gave her a call later that day to get some details and see if Peterborough’s Lost Pets could help identify the dog or possible owner and offer some advice.
Audrey told me that he had appeared in their garden on the 6th November and had been returning almost daily since and recently had not been leaving, but she was unable to get close enough to him to catch him. He seemed quite at home with them though and joined her on her daily walks with her own two dogs, and she had started to feed him to try and gain his trust.
For the next couple of weeks over Christmas, Audrey continued this daily routine of walking with him and feeding and by early January had managed to get him more comfortable with people. During this time the team at Peterborough’s Lost Pets put a post-up with his picture in the hope he would be recognised, several people commented, and two possible matches were suggested. One of these was a dog called Bertie, a Romanian rescue dog that had escaped his rescuers 2 weeks after being brought over from Romania from the Sutton bridge area on the 3rd of November. Could he have made his way over 20 miles in 3 days?? we were unsure at this point as were the people searching for him who had made contact after seeing our post. We kept in contact over the next week or so and passed more photos and descriptions of behaviour and such back and forth and by then we were sure it was Bertie.
We then also made contact with various trapping groups for advice and to find a suitable trap to try and catch him and a plan was put in place, the first of many so it turned out as we hadn't planned for the fact Bertie was an extremely smart dog!
Over two weeks with amazing advice and assistance and traps lent by local rescue and trapping groups we set 3 different traps and tried other avenues to try and catch him, the first few attempts he unfortunately eluded us all.
We luckily had the continued support and hard work from Audrey and her husband Ludovic, who were checking the unset trap conditions daily and putting trails of treats and food out for him to desensitize him to it, while we all tried to come up with the perfect solution and finally set the last trap on the evening of Wednesday 22nd January.
Audrey took him on their normal walk for the evening while the trapping groups set the trap with some rather highly scented sardines... I waited at the end of the road and once the trap was set everyone left him to it and joined me and the anxious wait began, would he finally fall for it and go in the trap?
There had been a camera set up so we could watch what was happening and stood with bated breath whilst he wandered cautiously around the trap, stepping in ... then out... sniffing and looking but not seeming like he was going to be fooled. But then after about ten minutes the scent form the sardines was finally too much for him, he slowly headed into the trap one tentative paw at a time, and once he was far enough back and tucking into his prize, the trap was sprung; He was finally caught!!
We all jumped in our cars and drove back down the road to find him barking in disgust that we had finally outsmarted him. After giving him a little while to calm down he was transferred to a travel cage and a collective sigh of relief and communal congratulations were given.
He was finally safe and now about to begin the next stage of his journey to a specialist rehabber who can work with him to gain his trust and give him the training he will need to live a happy life in a loving home.
A scan of his chip confirmed it was Bertie, he had travelled over 20 miles in 3 days and found himself in a very fortunate place when he decided to settle where he did, thanks to Audrey and her husband, the team at Peterborough’s Lost Pets, dog wardens and rescue/trapping groups from all over the county the near impossible was able to be achieved.
Brainy Bertie the Romanian rescue will now become a loved family pet, a far cry from his formative life x
Thank you to the team that has been looking after him since he was trapped.