It’s been a rocky road for Felix, but he is a survivor with a battalion of supporters who finally has found his way to safety and love and a long happy life. The beagle german shepherd mix had escaped euthanasia, heart worm, and a highway collision that left him lost in Virginia amid freezing temperatures. If anyone deserves a break, it’s Felix.
It all began when he was plucked from death row at the Nash County Animal Shelter. A group called Promoting Animal Welfare saved Felix by finding a rescue group in Vermont to take him, but first he had to be neutered, vaccinated, and restored to good health. His foster mom, Amy Woodworth said “He had heartworms, so I had to keep him for a month so he could have his heartworm treatment before going to Vermont.”
Woodworth considered adopting him herself but already had a dog and thought it might be too much to take on. So, when Felix was ready to travel he and a canine companion were loaded up for the trip to Vermont. That is when disaster struck. The vehicle he was traveling in was involved in a collision on I-95 and the dogs were thrown from their crates. Felix ran off in fear, while sadly, the other dog was struck by a car.
For 24 days people searched relentlessly for Felix as temperatures dipped below freezing several times. Operation Find Felix had a Facebook page and many supporters who reported sightings that were followed up by volunteers.
“It was an adventure, for sure,” said Carol Greier, a friend of Woodworth. Because she lived in Roanoke Rapids, she was asked to look into calls when someone thought they spotted Felix in Virginia. “One Saturday night I went to Jarratt, Va.,” she said. “It is farther down from Emporia. Someone called and said they thought they saw him. I thought I’d check out the tip. Of course, it was not him.” On one occasion they even got a police escort to look for Felix in a dangerous part of town.
Finally Pat Holland saw a poster of Felix at a local Burger King. She knew immediately that it was the same dog she had tried to pet earlier that day and she rushed home to find Felix sitting on her neighbours porch. “(Felix) came up to my door. He looked like he was hungry, so I put some food out there for him to eat and put some water out there,” Newkirk said. “The next thing I know he was laying down at my door,” said Marty Newkirk.
Holland and Newkirk contacted authorities who came to get Felix, along with rescue volunteers who were overjoyed to find him alive. “They started crying because they were happy to see the dog, Newkirk said. “I started crying because they were taking him.” Felix is now going to live with Woodworth and her boyfriend where he will have the love and attention he so richly deserves.