Continued from, “The inevitable adoption“…
I left that day feeling that Mack had struck it rich and was right where he belonged. I called Steve and Linda when I got home and sent them the photos I had taken. They asked me how I felt Mack was adjusting. I told them I thought he was right at home. They agreed.
Mack made himself at home with the Patterson family. Jamie kept the rescue updated with Mack’s progress. He was fitting right in. Everyone was happy.
Shortly after Mack’s adoption the Patterson family had to move. Mack moved too. Jamie refused to move to a place that wouldn’t allow Mack and ended up renting a home 30 miles from town, the kids’ school, and her work, just to accommodate him. He was after all, part of the family, and where the family went, Mack would go too. Jamie kept the rescue up to date with her new address, pics and progress reports on Mack the whole time.
The family lived in the country for a few months but eventually returned to Perryville where the Patterson’s bought a home. Mack was active with the family, taking day trips, playing with the children, and running and jogging with Jamie each day.
Jamie continued to keep the rescue updated.
Mack had gotten loose once after his adoption, while still living in town. Jamie had notified the rescue immediately but by the time they arrived, Mack had already been caught and was safe at home.
After the move to the country, Mack getting loose hadn’t been a problem. He was accustomed to following the kids right out the door for play time, and in the rural setting, Mack going too far away was never an issue; he always stayed right with the kids.
Once living back in town, Mack had a little adjusting to do. Inside city limits, he wasn’t allowed to roam freely and breaking him from following the kids out the door unleashed was a trial. Jamie installed baby gates throughout the house to detour Mack from the door. Leashes and harnesses were kept by the door. An electric-underground fence was installed around the parameter of the yard. Jamie thought all precautions she could take had been covered.
Mack persisted. Jamie was ticketed for Mack “running at large” on Dec. 3. He’d gotten loose and just as Jamie was able to catch him animal control pulled on to the scene and wrote the ticket.
On Dec. 18, 2016, Mack found another escape route, and took it when he chewed through his leash during an evening walk. Mack took off for a long run through the neighborhood. This time as the family searched, Mack was nowhere to be found.
Jamie did not contact the rescue immediately. Her first reaction was to go on the hunt for Mack. Jamie, along with family and friends, hunted for hours. Jamie went online later that evening and began posting about Mack being missing.
Around Dec. 20, Linda Svehla, co-founder of the rescue, saw one of Jamie’s social media posts about Mack and contacted her. Once Linda verified Mack was missing she and Steve immediately began to post about Mack on Rough Road Rescue’s Facebook page.
I did not see the posts about Mack on the rescue’s Facebook page until late Dec. 22. By then the Svehla’s were making posts indicating Mack had been found and then not found. Jamie was commenting on those posts that Mack was still missing. It was all very confusing.
So I contacted Jamie as soon as I saw it all. She verified Mack was indeed missing. She gave me the information and I made her a poster to put out, looking for Mack and offering a $100.00 reward for his return.
I spoke to Linda Briefly that night. The next day I called the rescue.
What’s up with the posts on Facebook? The first one stated Mack was missing and the next post said Mack had been found. Then there was a newer post that said Mack was still missing. The dog’s owner says he’s still missing in the comments.
Followers of the page were commenting and just as confused as I was.
Steve explained. He said Linda posted originally with a missing announcement on Mack. But now he felt Jamie was lying, that she really had Mack stashed in her house, and was hiding him from the rescue. I asked him why she would do that and he said that he didn’t know but he thought that was what was going on. He said that someone had told him they had seen Mack playing in the yard with the kids during the time he was supposed to be missing. He said he’d then made a post that Jack was still missing and tried to explain what was going on but he just hadn’t done a good job at making his point.
Jamie was understandably upset by some of the comments that Steve had made about the issue over the previous couple of days.
I assured him that I had just spoken with Jamie and Mack was indeed missing. He thought about it, we talked some more, and he then instructed me to up the reward to $200.00 , which I did. I sent a copy of the poster to Jamie and posted it on the rescue’s Facebook page as well.
By that afternoon, Steve was already on the defensive about why Mack was still missing and posting about it on Facebook. He’d been spending a considerable amount of time looking for Mack, and he himself was worried when there was no sign of Mack anywhere.
Jamie put up posters all over Perryville and surrounding communities. She posted Mack’s Missing flyer all over social media. She walked and drove up and down the streets all hours of the day and night looking for Mack as did several family member’s and friends.
Mack had just vanished.
Steve had gotten a tip that animal control had picked Mack up and both he and Jamie began to look into the possibility. It was discovered that animal control had indeed picked Mack up, not long after he had run off, and he’d escaped from the animal control officer as well. Mack was still out there, but where?
In all the back and forth, Steve contacted me and had me change the reward poster for Mack again. This time he wanted the reward to be $500.00 and he wanted Rough Road Rescue’s name on the poster and the phone number as well. He stated the the rescue would pay the additional $400.00 on top of Jamie’s original reward. He just wanted to sweeten the pot and give anyone who might have Mack more incentive to turn him in.
I remade the poster and posted it on every Facebook page that would allow it. It was shared hundreds of times on social media by individuals and pages alike.
And it worked.
4:22 p.m. Christmas Night, Linda Svehla posts as Rough Road Rescue, on the Semo Lost Pet’s page, that Mack had been found.
She does not say Mack is home, just that he’s been found. And she doesn’t make the comment until more than 15 hours after he had been retrieved by the rescue.
On the rescue’s own Facebook page, posts and comments have been deleted by this time, and part of the paper trail is forever gone.
And Mack was/is not home.
Additional information will be posted in the coming days. Please check the bottom of the post “In search of Mack” for new additions to Mack’s story and continuing timeline.
If you have information on Mack’s whereabouts, please contact the Patterson family at (573) 513-1901. You may also contact Perry County Sheriff’s Department at (573) 547-4576. Any information can remain anonymous.