Doggone happy ending for lost pup

Submitted Photo Rocko, a 1-year-old pit bull, was located Sunday after jumping out of a semi tractor-trailer last week on Interstate 90. The dog will be reunited with his owner this week.

Last week started as a typical week for Tory Johnson as he made his way cross-country in his tractor trailer from his home in Missouri. However when Wednesday rolled around, the week took an unexpected turn.

Johnson had stopped on Interstate 90 between Dunkirk and Westfield, and in that quick moment, his 1-year-old pit bull, Rocko, jumped from the truck and took off leaving a very upset and scared dog dad behind.

Johnson searched with as much time as he could spare, but with no luck. With a heavy heart he climbed back in the cab of his truck and left his dog behind.

Cue Denise Zentz, animal control officer for the city of Dunkirk, who had received a worried call from Johnson on Wednesday explaining what happened.

“He was so upset and we just wanted to find this dog before coyotes did or he ran back out into the Thruway and was hit,” Zentz told the OBSERVER on Monday.

Submitted Photo Rocko is expected to be reunited with his owner Wednesday or Thursday.

Two days passed and then help came in the form of two Forestville High School students,

“I received a call late Friday evening with a sighting in the wooded area where he ran off from his owner on the I-90,” Zentz said. “Lauryn Pierce and Annie Bruce were riding a four wheeler in a grape vineyard when they saw him lying in a wooded area. They immediately reached out to the Lake Shore Humane Societies shared post and the search began.”

With the help of Mary Beth McElligot and Lisa Fish-Vaccore, of T&M WNY Lost Dog Search Rescue and Trap, the team jumped into action Saturday morning. By Sunday evening, Rocko was trapped safely.

“It’s been a rough five days for Rocko, but he is safe and being well taken care of,” Zentz said.

Rocko is currently being kept at the Lakeshore Humane Society waiting to be reunited with Johnson, who managed to change up his routes and make his way back to Dunkirk around Wednesday or Thursday.

“Thank you to Kim Salerno and the Lake Shore Humane Society for allowing him to stay there until his owner returns from Missouri,” Zentz said. “Thank you to MaryBeth and Lisa for coming right out and getting the trap set up and guiding us in this adventure. Thank you to Lauryn Pierce and Annie Bruce for caring and making that call with your tip, without that Rocko might still be out there. Thank you to my husband Steve, son Zachary and ACO partner Tom Rozumalski for coming out everyday to help set the bait and bring him to safety.”


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