Pets Lost and Found in Sandy's Wake


Pets Lost and Others Found in Sandy's Havoc

The morning after the storm, they were in their backyard cleaning up some tree limbs and pieces of fences. They decided to go for a walk, but discovered something was wrong shortly after they returned -- Sophie was gone.

Diedrich believes the "nervous" dog may have slipped out of the yard through a broken portion of the fence and tearfully described how the indoor dog does not even have a collar.

"We've barely noticed the fact that we don't have power because we've spent since Tuesday looking for her," Diedrich said. "I can't do anything else but look for her."

For some, using social media to search for lost pets is already working.

Two basset hounds, Mango and Finn, escaped from their Ridgewood, N.J., backyard after owner Jeanne Johnson had let them out for a little bit when the worst of the storm was over. In the dark, Johnson had not realized that the storm had wiped out the yard's fence.

"I panicked because the wind had picked up," she said. "I went out in my bare feet and was screaming at the top of my lungs...My kids were hysterical and I was trying to keep it together."

"I could hear them barking," Johnson recalled emotionally. "I could hear my dogs, but I couldn't get across the street. There were downed power lines and I was scared."

Her home lost power but at a friend's recommendation, she was able to use her phone send her story to a hyperlocal news blog with a photo of her dogs. Soon after, she realized her phone battery was faltering, but wanted to make sure she kept the phone alive in case anyone called with news of the dogs.

Johnson was in her car, which was swaying from the forceful winds, charging her phone when she saw a small light in the dark.

"Some random man that I've never met in my life was standing there soaking wet with shorts on yelling, 'I'm not going to leave until I find [the dogs],'" Johnson recalled, still in disbelief. The dogs were eventually found, amidst tears and hugs.

The good samaritan, named Dave, had heard the sound of dogs wailing from his house. He thought it was coyotes, but shortly after got on Facebook and saw the post about the dogs. He jumped out of bed and went to search.

"What do you do to repay a man like that?" Johnson said. "Half of me was thinking he was crazy, the other half was thinking, what a hero. What a brave man."

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