EAST AURORA, N.Y. (WIVB)– An East Aurora dog had a big homecoming on Monday, four months after he ran away. His family said they wouldn’t have found him if it wasn’t for the outpouring of support from the community.
“This whole ride has been such a roller coaster,” said Susan Coulter, the dog’s owner. “You have your hopes up, then you get discouraged but you never lose hope.”
The Coulter’s adopted four year old Murray in June, he was a rescue dog. He had a routine of going for a walk with one of Susan Coulter’s sons every evening. One night, Murray got confused and instead tried to follow Coulter’s son on his run.
He went right through the invisible fence surrounding their property.
“When he went through the fence, he panicked and just ran,” said Coulter.
The family drove after Murray and called East Aurora Police. An officer started following the dog, trying to track him down.
“He was calling into dispatch saying he’s at the traffic circle, we’re like ‘Oh my gosh’ and we headed there,” said Coulter. “[Then] he’s at Mill Road, which is where he ran, it’s a couple miles away.”
Murray is a border collie mix and he’s a fast runner so the family didn’t catch him. They started handing out flyers that night.
Susan’s daughter, Marlee Coulter, also created a Facebook page called “Bring Murray Home” that attracted nearly 700 fans. Possible sightings started pouring in as the family continued its search.
“You get your hopes up someone sees him,” said Susan Coulter. “We hadn’t seen him at all.”
The trail eventually went cold.
“There were a lot of people asking for updates more often and it was heartbreaking to say there haven’t been any new sightings in six weeks, eight weeks, just nothing,” said Marlee Coulter.
The family sent out more than 800 flyers and posted lawn signs. Finally, on Jan. 25, a local photographer spotted Murray while she was bird watching near Tifft Nature Preserve. Michelle Walters had seen Murray’s picture and knew it was him when she saw him nearly 20 miles from his home.
“This past week was just morning and night setting up food stations with hot chicken, pizza, whatever we thought would attract him,” said Susan Coulter.
They were successful and brought Murray home for good on February 1.
“We were just thrilled, it was great,” said Susan Coulter. “We’re just so happy.”
Now Murray is enjoying family time.
“It was like he was gone yesterday not four months ago,” said Susan Coulter. “He just immediately knew us, the house, the other dogs.”
Coulter said Murray won’t be taking another long trip. He has a GPS collar on and they have plans to add a fence in addition to the invisible fence.