THE WESTERN STAR
COLD BROOK — Volunteers with the Southwest Coast SPCA are calling the finding of Winter, a large white German Shepherd dog that was missing, a Christmas miracle.
Ted White, chair of the group, said there had been several sightings of the dog last Friday morning, a week after it had first been reported missing.
The first was at the bridge in Cold Brook, which she was crossing and heading towards the highway. A lady stopped her car on the bridge, and Winter approached her. She said the dog stayed for a minute, then ran off.
Winter was next seen on the Hansen Highway, where she was reportedly nearly struck by a car, then headed up towards the Hillside Interfaith Cemetery.
Searchers found Winter's tracks on the road to the cemetery. She left the road and appeared to have headed back into Cold Brook.
Soon after this, two volunteers with dogs trained to locate lost animals also volunteered to help, including Garry MacKenzie, a search and rescue volunteer from Corner Brook, and Dave White, a resident of Flat Bay.
Janet Fradsham, a board member from the Southwest Coast SPCA who had been searching for Winter from the moment the dog ran away Dec. 7, was also on hand with several community members from the Cold Brook and Stephenville area.
When the tracks were discovered heading towards Boyd's farm in Cold Brook, volunteers borrowed a large live trap from the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources and set it up next to a residence where Winter's tracks were seen during the week.
With a large bowl of fried bacon and hamburger meat in the trap, volunteers prayed this would be enough to lure Winter.
When the trap was checked at 1:45 a.m. on Saturday, Winter was in it and all the bacon and burger gone. Volunteers brought Winter to the animal pound, where she was fed a healthy meal and provided with water, shelter and heat.
On Sunday, Southwest Coast SPCA volunteers visited Winter, cleaned her up, walked her and spent the rest of the day with her.
Later this week, Winter will be meeting her new owner and going home. hopefully forever this time.
The search is on for Winter, a large white German Shepherd that went missing from the Cold Brook area in the early hours of Dec. 7.
Ted White, chair of the Southwest Coast SPCA, said in a prepared release that after being transported from her former owner's home in St. John's to Cold Brook, she escaped from the car she was transported in.
She left the yard of a property in Cold Brook and ran into the forest.
Volunteers have been searching for her since she went missing, with tracks seen along a ridge behind Cold Brook for the first two days. She was spotted behind a home in Cold Brook on Dec. 8. Later that same day, the dog was reportedly seen near the road leading to the Town of Stephenville's water reservoir tanks across from the Ned's Pond entrance on the Hansen Highway.
Her former owner traveled across the island Tuesday evening, along with his other dog, Ziva. Both dogs were close and, whenever Winter escaped in St John's, Ziva was always able to track her down.
The former owner found nothing the first day of his search, which started 7 a.m Wednesday morning.
Winter was originally rescued back in 2016 by Town of Stephenville Animal Control. Prior to her rescue, she wandered the Cape St George area, feeding on trash or whatever people threw to her.
She came into the care of the Southwest Coast SPCA, where she was adopted to the person who is now part of the search. Winter is a nervous dog but White said is a friendly one once she gets used to someone
White said the Southwest Coast SPCA is asking people to be on the lookout for the dog and to alert the group if she is spotted.
They are asking cabin owners, hunters, or hikers in the area to keep their eye out for this dog. She may be returning to familiar territory, which may be the Port au Port Peninsula/Cape St George area.
If you see Winter, call (709) 214-1750 immediately. She will respond to a female voice better than a male voice, noted White.