Saturday, 4 August 2012

Theft by Finding

Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you
That is how I know you, go on

Far across the distance
And spaces between us
You have come to show you, go on

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on.

--Will Jennings from "My Heart Will Go On"

 It is hard to imagine that Quigley is living with another family, but it is what I hope has happened to him.  Once in a while, when I can let my mind be free, I allow myself to dream that he is living in the arms of a new mummy and daddy.  In this dream, Quigley is cuddled up to his new mummy's squishy bum atop a soft comfy bed.  He is being fed the steak dinners that I promised God I would give him every night if he returned to me.  He has Greenies at his disposal.  He is being walked daily and well cared for just as he was when he was with us.  I get secretly jealous that he is in someone else's arms and not my own but it would be the best possible outcome for Quigley.  Who knows.

Theft by Finding

When a person picks up a “stray” dog or cat and makes the pet his or her own, this is called theft by finding.  And, I have learned that it is more common than one might think.

Apparently, there is a general perception amongst the public that if a dog is seen on the streets, or in the woods alone, then it is a stray.  And, as a stray, many people would wrongfully assume that the dog and has been mistreated, neglected and turned out by his owners.  Unfortunately, as I know first hand, this is not usually the case.  And, although I hate to admit it, I thought along those same lines before I lost Quigley.

This perception is a big part of the problem when a dog is found and taken in.  Morally, many people feel as though they are doing the right thing by taking the dog and keeping him.  They feel as thought they are giving him a better life.

 Also, according to Colin Butcher, our Pet Detective, bonding between the stray dog and his family will occur almost immediately.  So after a day or two parents of children will be a lot less likely to have motivation to find the dog's owner because they won't want to disappoint their children.

Check out The Pet Detectives website for more information on theft by finding and other missing dog cases.

Contact Rescue Centers and Dog Wardens

 When you discover your dog has gone missing, I urge you to get a photo and description to every rescue center in a 30 mile radius of where your dog was lost, immediately.  A dog can be rehomed or euthanised after seven days.

Also, get that same info to the dog warden.  A person may take a dog in and report it to the dog warden.  But that person might let the warden know that he is interested in keeping the dog if nobody comes forward.  So, he may foster the dog in his home and after 30 days he would be allowed to keep the dog. 

Useful tips from the UK government about strays:
Advice regarding strays from UK government

Never stop looking and getting the word out there 

You never know what could have happened.  Just recently a lovely woman named Dorri Olds approached me regarding Quigley and this blog.  I was so grateful that my cousin told her about Quigley's story and that she took it to heart.  She writes for a website called Petside .  Check it out.  It is a prestigious, highly trafficked website containing very useful information for anything pet related.  She wrote an article which included information about Quigley and tips from this very blog.  Hopefully it helps keep his profile high.  I appreciate and welcome this sort of help via internet and online presence. 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Missing Poster

You'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart
- Phil Collins

The Importance of the Missing Poster

We found the poster to be one of the most effective tools in communicating Quigley's loss on a local level.  If I had to gauge calls that we received about sightings I would say about half were due to placement of "missing posters" and the other half due to newspaper adverts.


We went through many incarnations of and variations on the missing poster.  The above photo is the one that I have settled on as being the most effective for Quigley's situation.

It sounds ridiculous but there are so many points to consider when creating the poster.  And various sources list varying viewpoints on which information to include on the poster, such as reward size.  Listed below are the points that I took to heart.

The Weatherproof Poster

When we first started posting, we would print out A4 size posters and purchase plastic protector pockets at our local office supply store.  We would stick the posters in, upside down, and either tack or tape to poles as appropriate.  This was easy to do because we could grab a handful of each and make them up as we went along.  After a while, we noticed that these posters seemed to weather fairly quickly.

I then purchased a laminating machine.  This became an expensive and time consuming process.  I would laminate posters at the rate of 20 per night.  We needed a lot because we had a huge team of helpers posting in a vast rural area.  However, after time, these began to weather as well.

As our search progressed we had a helper, who happened to own a printing company, make an amazing suggestion.  He recommended printing the posters on a 220 micron white PVC.  It is waterproof.  This was amazing.  The substance is thin like paper and the posters look spectacular, still.  It is probably more expensive to print them this way initially.  But, the time, cost and trees saved in printing over and over again to replace weathered posters is probably worth it.

Information on the Poster

We received the best response from the most straightforward posters with the least amount of clutter.  Since many people photograph the poster and store it in their phones, I made sure the contact number and photos were as clear as possible. 

Photos - I found that including a close-up of Quigley's face and another photo which showed his shape and his body structure with markings really helped people when they called in sightings.

Specifics - Age, neutered or entire, colour, weight, breed and name were all very important for me.

Controversial items -
Reward - some people say to include the amount and other say to just put "large reward".  I've found people to be split on this matter.  On one hand naming a substantial reward can motivate non-animal lovers to be on the lookout as well but it can also create an abundance of "bounty hunters" which can scare the dog out of the area or lead to false sightings.

Date - Including the date lost can keep the posters feeling current.  But, if the dog continues to be missing for a stretch of time then you must constantly replace the posters with newly dated ones.  Otherwise, the date can then make the poster seem old.  It is sort of a catch 22 situation, I think.

Following Rules - In the UK, there are various rules pertaining to fly posting.  It is a good idea to check with local councils and other authorities to find out the rules.  If you poster in private areas or if you put tacks in trees as opposed to using tape, the posters might get taken down and bother the citizens.  It is also a nice idea to promise to remove posters once the dog is safely home.

Hold some information back
It could be helpful to hold back one defining characteristic about your dog so that if a sighting is called in you can use this piece of information to determine whether or not it is genuine.


Monday, 2 July 2012

Tracking a Lost Dog with Maps

Guest Blog written by:

Ruth Firth
Muttz Dog Boarding (Bledlow Ridge and surrounding areas)

I first heard that Quigley was missing via the Doglost website.  His story immediately struck a chord with me when I read that he was lost while being cared for by a home dog boarder. 

I set up my home boarding business in 2010 and my main priority has always been the safety and welfare of the dogs I care for.  Of course, the dogs that board with me must feel comfortable and enjoy being in my home.  But, because I take safety seriously, I employ the use of stair gates, separation of boarders at night or when alone, and daily walks of boarders on 30 foot long leads.  

Some dog walkers disagree with me for not letting dogs off lead, but for me this works because I can sleep at night knowing that I have done everything in my power to ensure that the dogs go home safe and well at the end of their holiday.

My Experience with Tracking Quigley 

The search for Quigley has been a steep learning curve for me. Never having been in the position of searching for a beloved lost dog, I had no idea what it would entail.  It required me to learn a whole new set of skills.

 In the first couple of weeks, I followed Quigley's search daily.  When it appeared that he was heading in my direction I joined in the search and quickly became a member of the elite "Team Quigley." I started by postering further afield to the areas that I thought he may reach.  When he was sighted locally I walked, postered, followed tracks in the snow and sometimes, along with other members of Team Quigley, just sat on a hillside with a pair of binoculars and watched.

Over the early days and weeks, as Team Quigley established itself,  I quickly became known as the ‘map person’.  There were a few reasons for this.  First, I owned OS maps and large scale footpath maps for the area.  Second, because of my nature to leave no stone unturned, I began to plot absolutely everything on a google map so I could see Quigley's movements and try to establish a pattern. 

Using Maps to Help Track a Lost Dog


When your dog has gone missing it is a priority to get as many posters up as possible which will hopefully lead to calls about sightings.  As sightings come in, I think it is important to appoint a member of your team to log onto google maps and create a sightings map. 

Start by plotting the place where the dog was originally lost.  It is important to discover this place because dogs tend to return to the place they were lost because it might be familiar or have the scent of their owner.  Next, layer the maps with sightings as they are called in.

Label each sighting by date.  If you take meticulous notes on each sighting, it is also very helpful to add, as notes, the time of the sighting or the direction the dog was going in when he was seen. 

As time goes on, and sightings are added to the map, you might see a pattern forming – usually this is a triangular route.  Once you have a pattern, you can draw lines between the points to give a sense of the actual route the dog may be traveling.  I've learned that unlike humans, dogs won’t necessarily stick to roads or public footpaths (make sure that posters are up along the entire route so that everyone is aware). 

You may be surprised by the size of the triangle a dog can make.  You can roughly figure this out by measuring the mileage along each side – as the crow flies is usually much less than you expect it to be on a glance.  If you are getting a good number of sightings you may even be able to see how long the dog is taking to travel this route.  If his triangle is small, he may do each of the sides in a day or two.  If the triangle is large he could take a week to cover one side and therefore he may not return to the same area for another three weeks. 

When you have established your dog’s route, look to see if there are any rivers or railways that the dog would have to cross – bridges or tunnels can be ‘funnel points’ by which the dog might commonly pass.  It is a good idea to mark these on the map as they are great places to set up wildlife cameras so that you can try to get footage of your dog. You may also use the map to look for streams and ponds; obviously a dog running free needs water so they will be drawn to both of these. Dogs may also follow the path of a river or stream so this could be represented in the route as well. 

In google, if you switch to satellite view of the map, you can zoom in and search the area for barns abandoned shacks, etc. where the dog may be bedding down.  You may also look for buildings where he may be getting food (e.g. farms or pubs where he could raid the bins). 

Although Team Quigley laughs about this now, I spent several evenings plotting electricity pylons onto a map.  The idea came to me because during one evening’s search, a helper asked whether or not it was possible that Quigley would follow the pylons.  I decided that it wasn't really a bad idea since he could have been following the humming noise that they make and certainly a few of the sightings were near pylons.  I went home and proceeded to zoom in on the satellite map so that I could actually see the shadows of all the pylons.   I was able to mark the pylons and all the power lines on the map. Ultimately, it proved that Quigley’s route was not related to the power lines but it just shows what can be done if you have set up a map in this fashion.

When the search for Quigley had been going on for a few weeks and the sightings were mounting up on the map, I decided to colour code the sightings by month.  It was only then that we realised that, from one month to the next, ‘Quigley’s area’ had in fact moved a few miles north-east.  I have carried on with that method and it certainly makes the map easier to read.  One can see the most recent sightings quickly, even if they are in the middle of a bunch of older sightings.  Any sightings that were called in, but not confirmed as Quigley, were still added and colour coded on the map.  These sightings do not have a dot on the marker.  There were also several sightings that were called in and on first impression seemed to be in a strange place, but when marked on the map they made perfect sense.

This is the link to Quigley’s sighting map and it includes all the possible sightings that have been called in since he went missing six months ago. 

If you wish, you could do most of this on a large scale paper map but the benefit of using google maps over an ordinary OS map is that you can share it with anyone who is online.  All you need to do is email them the link to the initial map – whenever you update it they will see the updated version.  Also, you can access it on your smart phone or iPad while you are out.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Living Feral

I’m sorry I got lost,
It wasn’t meant to be
I will try and explain
And hope you
Can forgive me.

It was so lovely in the sun.
Running free, chasing leaves
I was having so much fun.

Jumping and climbing
I could have done it all day.
When I stopped and looked around,
I had lost my way.

I want you to know,
It was nothing you have done.
I just got carried away
With playing in the sun.

I'll never stop looking
For a way back home,
And promise you this
No more will I roam.

I still feel your love for me,
Deep within my heart.
You must think that too,
So we are never far apart.

It may be all we have for now
And that’s enough for me.
For when I walk back
through the door
I’ll be wanting my tea.

--posted on Quigley's Doglost page by a dedicated follower

The Possibility of a Dog Living Feral

Unfortunately, we still do not know exactly what happened to Quigley.  We think there is a high possibility that he is or was living feral in the rural area where he was lost.  My Doglost coordinator explained the theory that many dogs, especially ones with hunting instincts, no matter how domesticated, can and will revert back to their natural instincts.  Dogs are survivors.  They will scavenge through rubbish bins, eat feces and kill other animals for food.  They will seek refuge under bushes, abandoned buildings and other types of make-shift shelters.  Most importantly, they will become scared of humans especially if they are xenophobic by nature.  If this is the situation, these feral dogs could begin to live in hiding away from people and therefore evade capture.  

At first, when my Doglost coordinator explained this idea to me, I was incredulous.  How could my little baby dog, my first child, survive in the wild?  This shaking, submissive, pathetic little creature would kill a rabbit or muntjack for food?  NEVER!  But, the truth is - if he was starving he MIGHT!

I also thought it was unlikely that Quigley was living feral because he is so distinctive that he would be seen by walkers, farm workers, etc.  But, the professionals once again explained to me that there are hundreds of foxes in the woods surrounding us when we walk but we never see them.  A lost, xenophobic dog would likely adopt similar behaviour.

The Xenophobic Dog

Quigley is very skittish by nature which made him much more difficult to capture especially in the early days of his disappearance.  We spoke to many individuals that claim to have seen him on the streets but when they tried to approach him, he bolted.  They all gave a similar story.

I know that many people gave a similar story in the first few days of Quigley's disappearance because I keep a spread sheet and contact list of Quigley's sightings in Excel.  It might sound a bit over the top but for me it has been very helpful when trying to remember facts and piece together information.  It has also been helpful in identifying important trends in the investigation.

I found this website, missing pet partnership, and another maddiesfund to be very insightful when describing three major types of dog behaviours or personalities.  It gave me some insight into how Quigley would likely have acted since I would categorize him as xenophobic and therefore highly likely to travel.

Dogs that have Lived Feral

I constantly scour the Doglost reunited pages for stories on dogs that have lived feral and have eventually been captured.  To my surprise, there a quite a few.  I beg you to read Moses's story.  It is an inspiration.  He lived feral for over a year and returned daily to a woman's garden for food.

This is another reason why it is important to raise your dog's profile if he is missing.  A person might wrongly assume that he is feeding a stray when it is in fact your beloved pet that is coming to his garden.

There is also another Quigley who was found holed up under a neighbour's gazebo for almost two weeks.  It is also an inspirational tale.
The OTHER Missing Quigley - he was found!

My vet passed along a link to this website.  It gives some great tips on how to respond to a dog that is living feral:

Lost Dog Search Tips

Questions for People Calling in with Sightings

If posters are hung and newspaper adverts are run then it is very likely that you will get calls from people who think they might have seen your dog.  I have found that most of the calls I received were from individuals with altruistic intentions.  A small percentage of the time we had some pranksters and people who called with bad intentions.

In order to decipher the credibility of the sighters and the sightings, we developed a scale of rating the caller and his information from 1 to 10.  "Team Quigley" then had a point of reference to determine how to handle a sighting.  Depending on how these questions were answered, a rating was given and distributed to the team.

Our Pet Detectives developed a list of questions that I found helpful to ask.  I also think it is helpful to hold back information on one identifying characteristic if possible that you can lead the caller to talk about.  Then it is easier to determine if that person actually saw your dog.

You may desire to meet the person in the exact spot where he thinks he saw your dog.  In this way, you could set up wildlife cameras and eventually a humane live trap if it is your dog and you want to try to capture him.

Town live in:
Tell me about the sighting:
Date of sighting:
Time of sighting:
What made you think it might be Quigley?
Could you describe him to me?
How did you know Quigley was missing?
Was he wearing a collar? What colour?
Could you tell if he was entire/neutered?
Is this the first time you’ve seen him?
Was anyone else with you when you saw him? Could I have their details?
What direction did he come from?
What direction was he heading in?
What condition was he in?
Can I send you the YouTube footage of him?
Would you be happy to show us exactly where you saw him?

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Microchips and Me

I will shield your heart from the rain
I will let no harm come your way
Oh these arms will be your shelter
No these arms won't let you down,
If there is a mountain to move
I will move that mountain for you
I'm here for you, I'm here forever
I will be your fortress, tall and strong
I'll keep you safe,
I'll stand beside you, right or wrong
-"For You I Will" - Monica


Even before your pet goes missing, I think it is wise to adopt the mantra: UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE with the chip companies.  If you pay for the premium service you can even change your information when you go on holiday and switch it back when you return.

The microchip is not a tracking device.  When read by a scanner a chip number will be detected.  It is then up to the person who scanned to call around to the various chip companies to see if the number is registered.  Then, if the number is registered, the chip company will call the owner and alert him that someone has found the dog.  What a process!

I did not realise this.  I thought my personal information was actually embedded in the chip.  I thought that if my dog was ever scanned, my phone number would pop up.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss but it is certainly not a defense.  In my case it caused me even more grief than I needed.

Quigley's microchip was not registered in the UK.  We also ignorantly assumed that when we moved Quigley from the USA to the UK it would have been taken care of by the professional pet moving service we used since they required us to microchip him.  They didn't give us any other information to follow-up on when we arrived in the UK.  So, no problem, right?  Wrong.  We didn't know to re-register his information with a UK microchip company.  Nor did we think to get a UK microchip in addition to his US one just to be one hundred percent sure the information could be read on all UK microchip readers.  We just didn't know the nuances of how the microchip worked.

The good news, we learnt, is that some of the major companies like Pet Log do keep a record of calls made in relation to microchip numbers that aren't registered with them.  The claim they can cross reference the call history.

One of Quigley's Facebook followers posted this information as a follow-up to this blogpost.  I think it is very good to know:
"It is a good idea to tell your chip company that you want it on your dogs records that they are not to be rehomed without reference to you. Some companies will change chip details, and sign dogs over to rescues if the correct paperwork is submitted. The lass on the phone at Identichip told me that they will do so; they have now endorsed my records to say that must not happen. Petlog will not allow your dog to be re-homed if you have had him flagged up as missing"

The four major companies in the UK, as I understand, are PetlogAnibasePet ProtectPETtrac.  Petlog is the most well-known.  They will refer a caller to the other companies if they don't have the microchip number registered in their system, or at least this is their claim.  To be extra safe, you might want to register with all four companies.  I have done that now.

I think it is wise to consider paying for the premium service with one chip company.  Should your dog go missing, they will send out alerts to vets, rescue centres and wardens within a 30 mile radius of where the dog was last seen.  They will also make you "missing" posters and send them to you next day.  Pet Log also has a new text alert service that I just read about.

The companies will send out alerts once they are notified of your dog's disappearance.  So, get in touch quickly.  Your back office person can make this call for you as long as he knows the specifics about your dog and has your personal information.  This person should identify himself as you, the owner, in order to list the dog as missing/stolen.  A dog can get picked up and passed on fairly quickly.  A dog can legally be re-homed or euthanized after seven days in a rescue centre.

If your dog was stolen in some sort of robbery or you have evidence of theft you should obtain a crime reference number from the local police.  You should give this number to the microchip company and register the dog as stolen.

It is also prudent to have your vet periodically scan your dog to make sure the chip hasn't migrated from the shoulder blade area.  Apparently chip migration is quite common and if the dog isn't scanned thoroughly along the entire body the chip might not be detected.

I came across two websites which will tell you with which company a chip number is registered.  This is a helpful way to check your pet's chip status but it doesn't replace scanning.

Here is a petition that has been started to get vets to scan all newly obtained dogs that are brought into the surgery.  A member of Team Quigley posted it on my Facebook page.  It is so important that vets scan new pets that come into the practice.  In this way, a lost or stolen pet can easily be returned.  My vet said he returned a cat to his owners by scanning.  The cat was missing for two years!  Have a look at the petition and sign it if you believe vets should get scanning:

Vets Get Scanning Petition

Petition to get vets to scan

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Publicity, Publicity, Publicity

"I've been loving you too long to stop now
You are tired and you want to be free
My love is growing stronger, as you become a habit to me
Oh I've been loving you a little too long
I dont wanna stop now, oh
With you my life,
Has been so wonderful
I can't stop now" --Otis Redding

Listen to Otis Redding croon, "I've Been Loving You Too Long".  I won't give up on you, Quigs.  I will love you forever.

My Crazy Story of the Week

Quigley was featured on This Morning, the national morning talk show, last week on ITV!  Can you believe it?  Click on the link below to see it:

Missing Pet Segment featuring Quigley

Out of thousands of beautiful missing pets who were submitted for inclusion in the segment, Quigley was one of a few chosen for the feature.  For this, I am eternally grateful.  This means that millions of people saw Quigley on television and heard his story.  The viewers are keeping their eyes open and they are aware of his disappearance.  They saw a picture of my beautiful boy and they can help us bring him home.

I am fully aware that it was a stroke of amazing luck.  The only control I had over the situation was in presenting Quigley and his story to the producers of the show.

In case you haven't realised yet, I have a difficult time relinquishing control.  Therefore, I did find some satisfaction in writing a press release and submitting well-chosen photos of Quigley.

Initially, I had some reservations about the repercussions national exposure could bring during the search for Quigley.  You know--false sightings, crazy people following, ransom calls.  We've certainly had them all already.  Did I want more?  When I put the fear aside, I realised that national exposure was one of the best things I could have pursued for Quigley.

I was in tears and screaming out of happiness when I watched his picture and story appear on the television screen last week.  I will be forever thankful to the ITV producers for featuring Quigley on their show.  My family will be forever thankful.

I only hope that the publicity brings us some more information.

Publicity is Key

The Press Release

I probably would have placed this posting further down the line in terms of blogposts, but it ties in so well with Quigley's appearance on television.  I was inspired to share my experience with trying to secure publicity for Quigley.

It took me a lot of time to produce the press release and shop it around to news outlets.  I probably stuck my kids in front of the television for way too many hours in the name of raising Quigley's profile.  But, it was something I felt compelled to do.  The time and energy has paid off in gold as I have been able to greatly increase awareness about Quigley's disappearance locally and further afield.  Initially this exposure brought us sightings and many wonderful helpers.  Now, at the very least, it makes me hopeful that I will get him back eventually or get information that we can investigate in relation to his disappearance.

I believe that the press release was one of the most helpful tools that was in my control to create.  It outlined the most important details regarding Quigley's disappearance and important characteristics about Quigley.  It also identified elements that made Quigley's story unique so that the journalists had an angle to work from when reporting.  I attached at least five very high quality photographs in jpeg format for easy use when submitting to news sources.

Unfortunately or fortunately (I'm not sure which) I had many more unique angles to work with than the average missing dog owner.  Here are a few that were highlighted in my various press releases:


1. Our family has young children (3 and 6) who miss him very much and still wonder about him, daily.

2. Quigley was rescued from a shelter in America and brought to the UK with us when we moved here four years ago.  He is an international dog.

3. He went missing while we were on holiday visiting family in America.

4. He went missing in an area with which he was unfamiliar.  Quigley normally lives in London and he went missing in Oxfordshire.  This is important because he had no point of reference to return to once he went missing.

5. We are relocating back to the USA in a few months and Quigley is still missing.

I took to heart one key element which is important when writing a press release: Making it attractive for any journalist to use.  I remembered reading that some smaller new outlets might publish a press release nearly verbatim if it is written well.

I jam packed my press release with facts in hopes that it would be easy to include as a news story.  In this way, I figured, the journalists could pick and choose what that they thought was useful while simultaneously whittling away what they felt wasn't important to the story.

I just tried my hardest to make the press release as easy and adaptable as possible for a newspaper editor or TV producer to want to include a feature about Quigley.  Then, I was able to tweak it to fit parameters for various news outlets and other outreach ventures that I chose to pursue as targets in raising Quigley's profile.  I included the 5 w's and then put my personal take on it.  The final outcome is not professional by any means but it was helpful for me.  See this simple article below about writing a successful press release:

One of Quigley's Articles in Thame Gazette

Quigley's Press Release for ITV This Morning:


We are heart-broken without Quigley.  He moved to the UK from America with us 3.5 years ago.  He was like our first child and we rescued him from a “kill” shelter in Tennessee. 

Quigley went missing from the Watlington Hills in Oxfordshire when we were in New York visiting family on holiday.  He was with a pet sitter in that area which was unfamiliar to him since we normally live in London.
We have been searching for him daily ever since.
Quigley is a nine year old, neutered, male crossbreed.  He is white with black patches and speckles all over.  He looks like a German Short Haired Pointer/Beagle cross.  He can also look like a Catahoula Leopard Dog.  He is medium sized.   His face and paws have tan mixed in. He has three black spots on his posterior.  He was wearing a red collar when he went missing.
On January 3, when we were alerted that Quigley was missing, we returned immediately to the UK to search for him.  It has become a full time job.  I never could have imagined how upsetting this would be for us.  My 3 and 6 year old children have literally been awake nights crying for him.
Perhaps the most difficult part of this situation is that as American Expats, we must move back to the States at the end of July.  How could we possibly do this without our Quigley?  We have no closure.
We are afraid Quigley might have been picked up by a member of the public.  We just need credible information.  We believe that Quigley is out there and if we get the word out to enough vets, rescue centers and members of the public, we will get the information to bring him home.  
You can search Quigley's page on  His id# is 35889.  Or cut and paste this link:  
You can view footage of him on YouTube by putting Quigley Missing Dog in the search bar.
You can like his page of facebook: quigleymissingdog.
You can follow his blog that I’ve created to impart tips from what I have learned during our search at
We are offering a very large reward for Quigley's safe return or for information leading directly to his safe return.  
Thank you for listening.  Please put him on your show and help us to bring Quigley home.  We won’t give up until we are reunited with him.

Holly Rizzuto Palker (owner)
My phone number
My email address


I uploaded footage of Quigley to YouTube.  Not only did this help raise awareness about his disappearance; but it also helped to verify the credibility of sightings when people called.  We would have them view the footage for verification.

Quigley's YouTube Footage


My wonderful Dad was part of "Team Quigley" for two weeks when he flew in from the USA to help us search.  He was hiking in a wooded area one day where Quigley was thought to have been seen living feral.  He was handing out leaflets to alert walkers, bikers and hikers and he met a wonderful woman.  She was inspired by Quigley's story and she helped me to get some press and an interview on the radio.  She also interviewed me for a local Internet TV station with which she is affiliated.  If my Dad wasn't out spreading the word and networking we wouldn't have gotten this help.  I am still grateful to Beverly for her help in raising Quigley's profile in the Buckinghamshire area.  Here is a link to the interview I had with her on Bucks TV:

Bucks TV interview for Quigley

Get the Word Out to Dog Lovers and People Involved with Dogs

With Team Quigley's help, we brainstormed and thought of many innovative ways to get Quigley's information out to Vets, Rescue Centers, Dog Walkers, Groomers, etc.  Below is a photo from our vet initiative.  Team Quigley got it together.  

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Protocol-What to do When He Goes

 – Patrick Overton

My True and Completely Crazy Experience this Week

I was lying on the couch this past weekend nursing a slipped disc when my cell phone rang. 
"Are you the person missing the dog?"
"Quigley?”  My heart leapt a beat.  “Yes."
"Well, I have him.”
My breath quickened.  Could this be true?  “Are you sure?”  
“I'm a hundred percent sure its your dog."
My inner skeptic kicked in.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I generally tend towards pessimism.  “Would you be able to text me a picture."  No answer.  "Please?”
“I can’t.  Don’t have a phone that does that.  If you want your dog back then call me.”  He hung up the phone in my face. 
I lay there paralyzed.
I scrambled to call my husband, our Pet Detective and our search coordinator.  Together, we assessed the situation and after calls back and forth to this man, who claimed to be ‘Tom Collins’ from Oxford, we concluded that he was bluffing.  Let's get him.  We set up a sting operation to try to catch him in the act.
It sounds insane, but I'm not joking. It was "Cloak and Dagger" all the way.  I was a touch excited but I was mostly a nervous wreck communicating back and forth with the alleged Tom Collins. 
In the end, he figured out that we were on to him and didn’t show up to claim the money that he tried to extort from us.  He did, instead, text me about the various ways he planned to torture Quigley because I didn’t give him the money before he produced the dog.  It was to horrible to repeat.  It was too horrible to hear.  I cried.
Although we were sure that he didn’t have Quigley, I nurtured a very small hope in the deep recesses of my mind that he did.  That hope turned into fear after the event.  That fear kept me awake Monday night wondering what could possibly be happening to my poor dog.  Needless to say, my back is still out.
What a creep.

(with edits by Leslie Peel for inclusion in Stockenchurch Dog Rescue adoption packet to promote responsible dog ownership)

The first 48 hours is a golden time to get your dog back.  It is best to make the most of it rather than assume your dog will return on his/her own before getting serious about searching.  Please take ACTION to find him immediately.

Unfortunately for Quigley, we were out of the country the day he went missing.  I can remember the desperation and utter shock that assaulted my body when I received the phone call to alert me of his disappearance.

Quigley went missing the day before I actually received the phone call and this left my family and I feeling helpless and frustrated. Although my husband left immediately on an overnight flight from the States to search for him, time had already passed when he arrived in the English countryside.  And, although searching was already underway, Quigley was unfamiliar with this area.

I do not claim, in any way, to be a professional dog searcher.  I apologise in advance if I sound preachy.  I am giving information that has come from an emotionally charged place and I've grown to feel passionate about it.  I welcome any input or enhancements to the advice I am giving.  I have highlighted in red some points that I plan to elaborate on in future blogposts.  

Before Your Dog Goes

No matter what your relationship with the person who will take care of your dog, whether it is a family member, friend, or professional sitter, you should lay out a protocol that you wish to have followed should your dog go missing.  If this person is a professional, you should ask if they have ever lost a dog.  Ask the person to tell you what he or she would do should the situation arise.  If their protocol varies from your ideas of the perfect reaction, then make your wishes known.

You should make sure that the person minding your dog has all of your contact details in his possession.  He should have an easy, cheap way to reach you especially if you are abroad.  Communicate to that person that the time difference doesn't matter to you.  Keep in mind phone toll charges and how this would be handled.  You should be accessible to that person.  He should understand that you expect to be contacted immediately if your dog goes missing. 

You should be firm that the person keeps your dog on lead at all times especially if the dog is unfamiliar with the area where you have left him.  If the dog is unfamiliar with the area, he will have no point of reference for which to return should he run off.

You should make sure that your dog’s microchip details are registered and up to date.  You should make sure your holiday details are amended with the chip companies (there are 4 in the UK) while you are gone.

Get a poster pre-made.  Save it on your laptop.  I know it sounds crazy but wouldn’t it be great to get one done when you aren’t under the gun?

Once He Goes

If your dog goes missing, I suggest establishing a team of helpers right off the bat.  The way I see it, you are better safe than sorry.  Three people, at minimum, should be a good start. 

The first person should go out and search immediately in concentric circles from the area where the dog went missing.  Once a poster is made, he should plaster it all over his car while he is looking.  He should draw as much attention as possible to the fact that this dog is missing.

Here are links to some websites that I've found helpful which list immediate advice for searching:

The second person should interview neighbors, workers and pedestrians who were in the area at the time of the disappearance.  He should ask specific questions, have photos  and posters displayed of the missing dog with him to show potential witnesses, and know all important details about the dog.  He should take extensive notes making sure to get full names and phone numbers of people who have any information. 

The third person should act as a back office manager alerting the microchip company, vets, rescue centers and dog wardens of the dog’s details and disappearance.  He should contact Highway and Railway Agencies.  He should register the dog on websites that have lost dog databases.  Here are a few:

This person should get posters printed and laminated immediately.  He should also make credit card size ones to hand out to pedestrians to keep in their pockets.  Who cares if you find him the next day and have already placed the advert?  If you can afford to do it, it is a small price to pay.  He should place adverts in local papers and compile a press release should you need to get a story in the paper.  

I personally wouldn’t waste the time having all of your team running frantically through the streets or countryside until all of this other work is done.  Of course you need to search but if the dog was picked up by someone or in a traffic/railway accident, which are apparently both very common, putting these processes into place will be helpful.

Once posters are printed to put up, a few larger sized ones can be made to put on the cars of your team members which should be strategically parked near the area where the dog went missing.  The idea is to draw attention to the dog.  Make him to hot to handle.  Make passersby on the streets realize that the dog they saw rummaging through their bins, running from them, or being taken into a car, isn’t a stray but your much loved pet and that you are looking for him.

If you choose to offer a reward, add that to your poster.  I'll discuss the pros and cons that I've learned regarding the naming of the amount later.

Put adverts in local papers about your missing dog.

Start a Facebook page for people to share and link it to your own.  Advertise the Facebook page in your newspaper adverts to get followers.  Quigley's Facebook page as an example: