A 25 lbs black dog named Isa, originally a stray from Puerto Rico, had her life changed when she was rescued by the “Save a Sato” program and brought to the United States to start her new life. Unfortunately, on June 1, 2013 she escaped from her foster home in Stoneham/Wakefield, MA, and was on the run for more than five months. After various attempts and more than one organization working together, the evasive Sato dog was safely recovered on Nov. 21, 2013.
When Isa ran away from her foster home she was spotted by residents constantly. Locas saw her under a car near Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Stoneham, or walking down streets in Saugus. However, no matter how hard animal lovers tried to lure her into safety, Isa always ran away.
A search team was organized and cameras, humane traps, and food stations were used long the dog’s sightings, but for months the Islander dog evaded capture.
In September, Isa was struck by a car and search volunteers thought that was the end for the run-away dog. Luckily the dog was unharmed from the accident, but her close encounter with death made her even more skittish.
The Sato dog went into hiding and it wasn’t until a month later when a resident spotted her in Wakefield near the Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School.
A trap and rescue plan was set in motion, and once again the dog proved difficult to catch. This time Granite State Dog Recovery called for reinforcements and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) stepped in to help.
The ARL set up a drop-net trap in a yard and for days they used enticing foods to lure Isa into the yard.
“The neighbors were amazing,” said Travaglini. “After several failed attempts and technical problems, the ARL rescued her on Nov. 21 by dropping the net on her. It was an incredible collaboration.”
Once Isa was safely captured she was transported to Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn and was thoroughly checked. Despite fending for herself for so long, she was ok.
Her road to recovery started immediately and her foster family has since worked hard with her to help her trust humans.
“Isa needs a long time, work and patience to help overcome her nervousness and fear of noises and people,” said Travaglini. “She is very sweet and has a long way to go.”