Home News Stranded island dog now lost inland after adoption escape; Day 4 of search

Stranded island dog now lost inland after adoption escape; Day 4 of search

Stranded island dog now lost inland after adoption escape; Day 4 of search

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Another search is on for ‘Blaze,’ the German shepherd rescued last month from an uninhabited lagoon island, who ran away hours after his adoption from a shelter where he was treated.

Blaze has been on the loose since late last week after he ‘cleared the fence’ of his new owner’s home and fled into a residential area in west Vero Beach.

After a posted plea for help to find him by the new owner, a social media manhunt kicked up as users posted and plotted sightings of loose dogs fitting Blaze’s profile over the weekend.

The real-time search is being led by the dog’s owner with help from residents, local police, animal control and humane society personnel who set baited traps for him in the sspanme wspany he wspans first cspanught Feb. 28.

As of Monday, Blaze’s new owner, Brittany Norair, 37, of Vero Beach, said she was busy fielding calls and sifting through notifications of sightings.

The new owner of the German shepherd saved from an Indian River Lagoon island in February said she printed hundreds of these flyers with instructions how to help find Blaze after he escaped from a fenced area only hours after his adoption from a shelter on March 16, 2023.

“He’s missing and any efforts to find him should be called in to animal control,” said Norair, in a social media message.  “He is fearful of humans and has a history of running. I’m doing everything in my power to find him. We have set traps. We have made flyers and I’m working with law enforcement and animal control along with the Humane Society to do everything we can to get him back.”

Over the weekend multiple sightings were noted outside city limits in more rural areas, and near canals and subdivisions off 58th Avenue − roughly 1½ miles away from Norair’s residence, where she said he escaped in the 1600 block of 41st Avenue.

Volunteers with drones flew the devices scanning the area for the dog overhead, while Norair reported walking through ditches and backyards of those who let her on their property.

“We’re really working and hoping for a quick turnaround because this adopter is so committed to working with him and, of course, is devastated,” said Kate Meghji, CEO of Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County.

Meghji said she was told Blaze had been adopted after about 2 ½ weeks in the shelter as she was “walking into a board meeting” Thursday afternoon.

A picture of what Vero Beach police said was a German shepherd which has been the subject of a dayslong rescue effort leading to the placement of a trap Monday on an island in the Indian River Lagoon where the dog was believed to be since Feb. 24, 2023.

Then around 6:15 p.m., she said, “I’m driving home after (the) board meeting” and got the call saying Blaze was reported missing.

“This is a fearful dog. He’s not going to approach someone willfully,” Meghji said. “It’s going to run more.”

In a post with how to help, the nonprofit instructed people who see Blaze to call and report sightings, depending on their location, to either Vero Beach Police Department 772-978-4600, if seen within city limits, or Indian River Animal Control at 772-226-3485, if outside city limits.

Meghji also said for those wanting to help, to refrain from leaving food out for the dog.

“We want the dog to be drawn toward the trap,” she said.

A dog described as a German shepherd was caught Tuesday Feb. 28 in a trap left by Vero Beach police following reports of sightings and rescue attempts at the island in the Indian River Lagoon since February 24, 2023.

Norair said she has owned large dogs in the past including, most recently, what she said was a pit-shepherd-boxer mix, and has worked for the humane society for a time.

Meghji said if Blaze is recovered, he might be outfitted with a GPS capable collar, saying he “might be the perfect” candidate for the satellite tracking device.

“You can be extremely cautious and do all the right things and the dog might still get out,” she said. “All we want and all the owner wants is for him to be found safely.”

'Blaze' on March 1, 2023 after being captured by police and animal control officers following nearly five days stranded on an island in the Indian River Lagoon.

The dog sought by police in an ongoing rescue effort is thought to have swam from Veterans Memorial Island Sanctuary on Friday Feb. 24, 2023 to the island in the Indian River Lagoon pictured here on Feb. 27.

Blaze was first cspanptured by cspange trspanp in span police- spannd community-led effort Feb. 28 after he became stranded on a lagoon island where it was believed he swam from Veterans Memorial Island Sanctuary following attempts to catch him Feb. 24.

That episode occurred the same week as the dog’s adoption by its second owner following its initial surrender to the humane society only weeks before, Meghji said.

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