Martensville was the setting to its very own miracle recently. Some may have heard of Bruce the dog, but for those that haven’t, the story starts out in a heartbreaking way. Bruce was adopted by his new family, who absolutely adored their newest addition. On May 10th, two weeks after being adopted, Bruce got out of the yard while being pet-sitted in Martensville. The devastated family searched desperately for Bruce and shared numerous pictures of him throughout social media, looking for anyone who may have seen the precious boy. Despite reported sightings, and moments of hope as black dogs were reported found, none of them were Bruce. From May to October, Bruce’s owner was heartbroken, wondering what had happened to him.
It was months later that something incredible happened; actually it was five months to the day. On October 10th, a Martensville man was walking his dog in the industrial area of the City when his dog went running up to something black. Thinking it was a garbage bag, it was a shock to see it was in fact a black dog that was quickly making friends with his dog. Unable to grab the dog while walking, the man phoned his wife who came and picked them up. The found dog was alarmed at first, but allowed the couple to get him into the vehicle and bring him to Paws Republic Boarding, Training & Grooming Centre in Martensville.
Becky Preiner was working at Paws Republic that night, and was actually running behind and had not gotten around to locking the door yet, which was obviously meant to be. The found black dog was brought in, and upon protocol, the fi rst step is to begin attempting to identify the animal. Preiner scanned the dog with the chip scanner and had quite the shock when the numbers matched those of Bruce. “I was surprised it was the same dog because it had been so long and there had been no sightings since June. He looked really good. His coat was healthy, he wasn’t skin and bones. He was well fed and still super people friendly,” Preiner said. The next step was to call and inform the owner, who was understandably quite emotional upon receiving the call. Within 20 minutes, Bruce was reunited with his owner. “It was pretty exciting and emotional. He was pretty stressed out the whole time, and had his tail tucked away, but when he saw his owner, his tail was immediately wagging,” added Preiner. This incredibly happy story goes to show the importance of ensuring that if your pet gets loose, people will be able to identify them and return them to you.
If a pet does get loose, one of the first things to do is to contact Paws Republic, which is the temporary holding facility for stray and lost and found pets within Martensville. Animals found within City limits can be taken to Paws Republic, who will then take steps to attempt to locate the owners as quickly as possible. “The issue comes in when there is no identifying marker. If there’s no lost report, no tags, no microchip, no way for us to identify the animal, we have to report that a stray has been found and we will hold the animal in quarantine for up to three days,” added O’Brien. More often than not, they are able to find the owners, and after paying a fee to cover the cost of resources, the owner and pet are reunited. If they are unable to find the owner, the animal will be taken to the SPCA. “It is illegal to have an animal at large in Martensville, and it can be dangerous for the pet to be roaming free. At least this way, they are safe, warm and fed,” said O’Brien. All lost reports are kept on file until an animal is found, and missing pets, or found pets are posted online, as well as through various missing pets Facebook pages. If an animal is found after hours, you can email Paws Republic at firstname.lastname@example.org and they can make arrangements to meet you at the facility. “They are people’s family members, so we want to do our best to reunite them. We have found that the community of Martensville really rallies around missing and found pets. Very rarely do we have an animal for very long. Thank you to everyone for supporting the idea and we really want to encourage people ensuring their pets have identifying markers,” O’Brien added.
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Bruce the dog returned home after being found 5 months from the day he went missing. (Submitted)