Search-and-rescue roles reverse for Pulaski County Humane Society
Most folks these days understand well the vital role dogs serve in search and rescue efforts, especially since the 9/11 attacks, hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Winter Storm Nemo, and other disasters. But in Pulaski County the past two weeks, the search and rescue roles of humans and canines have reversed. Throw a little social media into the mix, and miracles do happen.
The first case in point: It was the Friday evening before Super Bowl Sunday. A couple traveling from New York to Knoxville, Tenn., had a car accident on Interstate 81 near the Dublin exit. Even though the car rolled twice, the couple was fine. But tiny Schnitzel, their beloved Pomeranian mix, fled from the car.
The couple was devastated. They contacted their daughter in France who posted the missing dog on a Facebook page called Lost & Found Dogs—VA. Momentum gathered. In addition to the sheriff’s department and animal control officers, several citizens arrived on the scene to help find Schnitzel.
Two of those citizens were volunteers of the Pulaski County Humane Society, Missy Viars of Dublin and Chrissy Twardowski of Parrott. The search continued until after 10 p.m. Saturday. Finally, on Sunday about noon, Viars, Twardowski and company found Schnitzel on Evergreen Road near Claytor Lake. Needless to say, the couple was ecstatic to be reunited with their precious pet. So much so, they recently made a generous donation to the organization.
Last Saturday, another couple visited the Pulaski County Animal Shelter to report their dog missing. This Giles County couple had been in an accident on U.S. 11, near Cumulus Radio. Fortunately for them, Twardouski just happened to be working that day. She called Viars, and the Humane Society’s Search and Rescue team set out once again.
Finding this dog, a Yorkie-Poo named Bella, was much easier. The team contacted the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office to find out where Bella had last been sighted and went there.
“We were getting ready to knock on the bottom level door of Cumulus Media when I turned around and spotted the dog,” said Viars. Fortunately, Bella was submissive and very willing to let Twardowski pick her up.
“God was smiling on us that day,” said Viars.
“We’ve never had an official search and rescue team and this one sprung up spontaneously, as the need arose. We are very fortunate to have an army of fantastic volunteers who care so much about both pets and their owners that they are willing to search all night to reunite the two if that’s what it takes,” said local Humane Society Executive Director Candice Simmons. “Our team of two for dog rescues — Missy Viars and Chrissie Twardowski — they are heroes, plain and simple.”
As for Schnitzel and Bella and their families — they are back home doing just fine.
– Submitted by Candice Simmons, Pulaski County Humane Society
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