The tale of a white and brown dog dumped on Gold Ray Road Thursday by a truck that then sped off, leaving the dog to chase it for a quarter-mile, has pulled the heartstrings of neighbors and hundreds of social media followers who learned of the canine on Facebook.
The dog is still roaming at large, despite the efforts of a half dozen community members and neighbors who have put out food and water and attempted to catch it and bring it to safety.
Neighbors say the road is a frequent dump site for unwanted cats and dogs. According to social media reports, the small-to-medium mixed breed dumped Thursday is the third in the past week alone.
Volunteers posted updates through Friday on the Jackson County Scanner Group page. The initial post said a white pickup, with a camper on back, tossed the dog onto the roadside and drove away. The dog chased the vehicle for a quarter-mile before giving up, one poster said.
Neighbors in the area caught grainy surveillance footage of the dog being abandoned but a license plate number is difficult to decipher.
Jackson County Animal Control officer Mike Slusarczyk said the number of concerned community members sharing the story of the dog, described as possibly a terrier, heeler and pit bull mix, was heartwarming.
Slusarczyk was on scene early Friday to try and catch the dog. At least a half dozen others stopped to help. Food and water bowls were left at strategic locations.
Slusarczyk said toward midday, a potential owner showed up and said her angry boyfriend dumped her dog out of spite, but Slusarczyk had been unable to confirm the story or determine if the dog was, in fact, the same missing dog.
“It’s obviously all speculative. Rumor has it that maybe a lady who might own the dog got into an argument with her boyfriend and he dumped the dog for retaliation,” Slusarczyk said.
“I went out this morning to try and locate the dog and there were some passersby who saw the post on Facebook and were assisting. The dog, at this point, is pretty scared, but some people are still trying to make contact and get it back to safety.”
Slusarczyk said dumping unwanted dogs and cats in rural areas is common.
“There are various areas in Rogue River, Wimer, Gold Ray Road, rural areas of Eagle Point — honestly, rural spots pretty much all over Jackson County — where this happens. I wouldn’t say it happens all the time, but it happens more than most people realize.”
Jacksonville resident Katie Hood spent three hours on Friday trying to find the dog. A regular animal rescue volunteer, Hood said the story of the unwanted dog broke her heart.
“I went out around maybe 7 a.m. and was there until just before 10 a.m. We saw him a few times and he was very skittish. With him looking like he’s got some pit bull, and with all the dog fighting rings that have been popping up, it makes me really worried about whether he comes from an abusive situation,” Hood said.
“He wanted nothing to do with any people. He would poke his head out when there was a car and he went running after a white truck a lot like the one that dumped him. It was so sad. He was barking and racing after the truck but, after the truck was gone, he took off again. I think what’s even more heartbreaking about this is it isn’t a rare thing for people to do this.”
Medford resident Michael Moore spent some time before and after work on Friday trying to help catch the dog.
“I saw the dog three or four different times. He peeked his head up and looked me right in the eye but darted off every time. He was looking pretty scared so I’m hoping the owner rumors pan out. Social media definitely helped get the word out,” Moore said.
“It was nice that so many people showed up, who had no idea who the dog was or who I even was, and we were all working together to try to help him.”
From an animal services standpoint, Slusarczyk said his focus was to ensure the dog’s safety amid hot temperatures and fireworks festivities that are just days away.
From the animal control aspect of his job, Slusarczyk said he’d like to find out who dumped the dog.
“Animal abandonment is a crime, so we always urge anybody seeing suspicious activity like this, of people dumping dogs, to get an adequate description of the vehicle and license plate number. It’s something we really like to try and get on top of,” he said.
“We’re hoping to see if somebody can get this dog picked up, whether it’s the owner or a good Samaritan. We need to get him out of this situation. Thankfully the river is right there, so he’s got access to water.”
Slusarczyk applauded social media efforts to help the pooch.
“Facebook can be a blessing and a curse. A lot of times you get misinformation and people want to share information before they verify where it came from. But a case like this, people saw something and wanted to help let everyone know,” he said.
“I’m only one of two animal control officers in all of Jackson County, so to have all these people step up to help has definitely been much appreciated.”
As of late Friday, the dog had not been caught, but updates and photos of the truck that allegedly dumped the dog were being posted online on the Jackson County Scanner Group page.
Reach freelance writer Buffy Pollock at firstname.lastname@example.org.