By Janet McAfee
Please join the effort to find Tucker. A pet lover’s worst nightmare is having your dog go missing in an unfamiliar location. Not knowing your pet’s fate is a heartbreaking experience as you wonder if he is scared, injured or hungry. This 2-year-old, 10 pound male poodle mix named Tucker went missing Friday, April 19, around 7:00 pm in the city of La Quinta, in the cove area on Avenida Ramirez. Tucker may be with a Coachella Valley family who are unaware that his owner is desperately searching for her beloved pet.
Rachel Gigli arrived here from San Diego that weekend to enjoy the music at Coachella Fest. Staying at a friend’s home, she brought along her newly adopted rescue dog, Tucker, as he suffers so badly with separation anxiety. Somehow, Tucker managed to slip out of a secure yard in search for Rachel while she was at the festival. Rachel explains, “He’s a Mexican rescue dog – street savvy and very determined. The separation anxiety he had was so severe I wouldn’t be surprised if it took him three hours to squeeze out to try and come see me.”
Rachel adopted Tucker from a rescue group who saved the dog from the streets of Baja where he was starving, sick and badly matted. Tucker’s background on the streets may give him the ability to survive on his own for some time. Knowing Tucker was finally experiencing a loving home with Rachel in San Diego makes his disappearance even more heart wrenching. Tucker was with Rachel for only four weeks, but this was long enough for them to form a strong, loving bond. Tucker has the grateful, loving heart typical of rescue dogs. Unfortunately, the rescue group did not microchip Tucker, and Rachel had not done it yet.
Tucker’s story was all over the local news media and on Facebook. The public and private shelters have his flyers and are on the lookout. One credible lead reported a dog matching Tucker’s description was picked up in the La Quinta cove by someone driving a light colored older pickup truck. Rachel wants the La Quinta resident who reported the “pick-up truck” lead to please contact her. Someone from out of town may have taken Tucker. It’s also possible Tucker was picked up by a local Spanish-speaking resident who does not follow the English-language media. Rachel said, “I’m sure he’s in a good Samaritan’s home, who just doesn’t realize how distraught and heartbroken I am.”
To prevent your pet from going missing, microchip him and REGISTER the microchip. Tag him with your cell phone number. Take some good photos and keep them with you when you travel. You may save your pet’s life by ensuring he knows the “Come” command if you see him running away.
HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO IF YOUR PET GOES MISSING:
1. Go door to door in the neighborhood where you last saw him.
2. Make flyers with your pet’s picture and contact information. Boilerplates are on www.bestfriends.org and www.petbond.com.
3. Post flyers on community bulletin boards at vet clinics, PetCo, Starbucks, dog parks, telephone poles, etc.
4. Post an ad in the Desert Sun. Email photo, description and location to news@KMIR6.com.
5. Contact radio and TV stations.
6. Post on Facebook and get others to share.
7. Check and recheck the public and private animal shelters.
8. Consult a professional organization such as www.petsearchandrescue.com
There is a $1000 reward for Tucker’s safe return. Rachel Gigli returns to the Coachella Valley every weekend to search for the special dog she loves dearly. Rachel states, “The new friends I’ve met in the Coachella Valley community renew my faith in the goodness in people. I cannot do this on my own living hundreds miles away. Please take Tucker’s photo and story to your circle of contacts. Talk to your relatives, your gardener, your hairdresser, your children’s friends.” Share Tucker’s story from Rachel’s Facebook page. If you think you see Tucker, take his photo.
Do you know anyone who recently acquired a pet that looks like Tucker? By now his close cropped coat may have grown out. If you have information about Tucker, contact Rachel Gigli at (619) 964-0980.
By Janet McAfee