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Reprinted from "The Sunday Enterprise" (Brockton, Massachusetts), December 3, 2000:
 

Dog gone? Found via Internet

A Brockton Web site posting helps a Milton family recover its dog after two weeks apart.

By Jocelyn Meek
ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER

     All seemed hopeless for the Goyette family of Milton: their family pet, Casey, a 2½-year-old English springer spaniel had been missing for almost two weeks.
     Newspaper ads and "Lost Dog" posters tacked up around town yielded nothing. Ten-year-old Brendan, who slept each night with Casey draped across the foot of his bed, couldn't get any rest.
     The Goyettes and Brockton's animal control officers were able to bring Casey home via the Internet.
     "It was the first time we've used" the Internet to reunite a lost animal and its owners, Animal Control Officer Paul Tighe said.
     Every night, Casey would accompany her owner, Bob Goyette, to the Milton cemetery for a run. Goyette often let go of Casey's leash so she could romp while he ran laps, his wife, Betsy said. But on Nov. 18, Casey didn't meet up with her owner at the end of his run.
     "He did a lap and all of a sudden she was gone. It was 7:30 p.m. and it was dark. So we went all over the cemetery on and off all night long, and she wasn't coming," Betsy Goyette said. "It was awful."
     For days the Goyettes searched, called neighbors, posted signs and advertisements. They called dog pounds in Boston, Braintree, Randolph and surrounding communities. Brendan and his 9-year-old sister, Tori, worried.
     "They were more concerned because they didn't know what had happened to (the dog). They thought she might be hurt," Goyette said of her kids. "We really had given up, we thought she wasn't coming back. There's a problem with coyotes in the town, too."
     On Wednesday, Bob Goyette got an e-mail from a stranger, suggesting he try looking for Casey at The Internet Lost and Found, www.lostandfound.com.
     A few clicks away, Bob Goyette found a description of a young female Springer Spaniel fitting Casey's description - white with liver colored spots.
     The dog had been found in Brockton and was being held at the Animal Control Shelter on Court Street.

     On Thursday, Betsy Goyette drove to the shelter, armed with a picture of the family pet and licenses to prove the dog belonged to her.
     "I couldn't believe it was her," Goyette said. "She got so excited, she peed all over the floor, and they didn't even mind."
     Goyette said she is grateful to the officers for taking such good care of her dog, and for making the extra effort to see she found her way home.
     "Usually they charge you for keeping (dogs), but they were like, 'Merry Christmas,' " Goyette said. "I can't thank them enough."
     Animal Control Officer Bill Bates said Casey was found wandering on Pontiac Road Nov. 20. She was still wearing the blue collar and leash.
     Bates said its unlikely the dog wandered from Milton to Brockton, but that someone probably took her from the cemetery.
     "We don't know if somebody found it, brought it home and it got loose or if it was stolen," Bates said. "It's a nice dog. That's why it was kind of difficult, we were wondering why nobody had come to claim it."
     Bates and his colleagues pick up a lot of strays, and the animals that are clearly pets usually are claimed quickly. So when nobody came forward for Casey, Officer Kimberly Janes decided to post her as a found animal on the Internet.
     "It just happened that (Goyette) showed up," Bates said.
     It was a good thing that Goyette came when she did. Thursday was the 11th day Casey spent in the shelter, the very day she was available for adoption. And there was a Brockton woman who expressed interest in adopting Casey, Bates said.
     The reuinion "was unreal," Tighe said. "The dog had been here 10 days; it could've been adopted or uethanized. It was beautiful dog."
     Armed with proof of ownership, and a clear indication from Casey that this was her owner, Goyette packed the dog into her car and headed home. On the way, she called her children's school and a secretary informed them that their pet had returned.
     Goyette said she and Casey drove to the school to pick up the kids. "They came running up to the car, they were so happy," Goyette said.
     Bates and Tighe say they were glad Casey's story had a happy ending, and they've had Janes teach them how to post "found" notices on the Internet.
     "It was a great day," Bates said. "Now that that worked out, we'll keep doing it."
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