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April 3, 2013

Honey’s Home: Dog back with owner after it ‘disappeared’ from police officer

NEW CASTLE — New Castle police are investigating how a lost dog named Honey got out of an officer’s custody.

The Morkie — a sandy-colored Yorkshire terrier and Maltese mix — “disappeared” after an officer picked her up from people who had found her Sunday night.

Tuesday afternoon, New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem said the dog had been found a second time and he delivered her safely to her owner.

Facebook is a big reason the dog and her owner are now reunited.

Stephanie Russo of Lattavo Drive said her stepdaughters, ages 22 and 8, had found Honey wandering along Sumner Avenue around 10 p.m. Sunday while visiting their grandmother.

“They said it was hanging around awhile,” Russo said, so they took the dog home to her house in Neshannock Township.

“They were trying to find out who the owner was,” Russo said. Because she already has a large dog, she did not want to keep Honey.

The family took the dog to a friend’s house on the North Hill and called the police, Russo said, adding a city officer picked her up and told them he was taking her to the humane society.

Meanwhile, Russo decided to post a picture of the dog on Facebook. The dog’s owner saw the animal’s picture on Facebook and contacted Russo, who told her a policeman had taken it to the animal shelter.

However, the animal shelter had no record of Honey being taken there and there is no evidence of it on the shelter’s surveillance camera, according to Russo, so the dog’s whereabouts was unknown.

Kyria Brothers, whose mother owns the dog, said the 3-month-old pup had gone missing Sunday night. When she found out from her mother Monday, she immediately posted the dog’s picture on Facebook on Instagram. She said within five minutes there was a response and she connected with Russo.

Brothers’ mother lives on Albert Street near Sumner Avenue where the dog had been found, in the vicinity of George Washington school.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Salem said two girls in the area of Flaherty Field came upon Honey roaming around there.

“Their father called and got hold of me, and I got it and took it to the owner’s house,” Salem said. “They were very happy. It was a good feeling to give them the dog back.”

Salem said he was relieved after the dog was found Tuesday afternoon. He had lost his own dogs — two English mastiffs — a year ago, and they were found because of communications on Facebook.

An attempt to reach the dog’s owner was unsuccessful Tuesday.

Salem said he has initiated an internal investigation to determine when the officer picked up the dog and how it got loose again. The investigation will involve questioning the officer about where he took the dog, he said.

“We’re looking into what happened,” he said. He would not comment further until the investigation is completed.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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