The white, small breed male was missing for eleven days
By Andrew Harris
On August 29th, Poppy disappeared. Owners Robert Amico and Maya Booman-Amico were devastated and needed help. Luckily the Amico’s, and for Poppy, the dog was originally rescued by a very dedicated group based in Chicago Illinois: Havanese Angel League Organization(HALO.) The Amico’s adopted Poppy form this group dedicated to the Havanese breed of dog.
HALO is no-kill shelter dedicated to rescuing Havanses dogs from puppy mills and other cruelty cases. Once they adopt out a dog, HALO is available for assistance, in this case a major effort to find a lost member of the HALO family.
When Poppy disappeared, HALO sent members volunteers from Maine, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Epic Animal Recovery(EAR.) Between HALO and EAR, the search for Poppy was extensive, systematic, and expensive. High tech motion cameras were set up all over the Alfred area, a small army of volunteers hung posters in so many places, it was hard for the public not to know Poppy was lost. EAR brought in search and rescue canines to scour the rural areas that the little dog. Learn more about that group here:
While the K9 tracking dogs didn’t find Poppy, the overall effort and community awareness that the dog was missing worked. As the Alfred State College students were playing on a school athletic field, Poppy ran into the field. Three of the players immediately recognized the dog and knew how hard the owners and volunteers were searching for him. The players closed the gates to the field so the dog couldn’t escape(again,) and contacted the Amico’s with the good news.
We talked to Robert and Maya today while they waited for Poppy to be treated by the staff of Enchanted Mountains Urgent Veterinary Care in Olean NY. The couple was clearly happy, grateful, and relieved that this story has had a happy ending. Robert raved about HALO and their dedication to animals they have rescued and adopted out to loving homes:
“Thank you so much to HALO for the incredible support. There are no limits to the extent they will go rescue one of their dogs. From posting signs, bringing people in to help, and keeping hope alive: We are immensely grateful.”
The Amico’s also hailed the three Alfred State College students has heroes to his family and lost dog.
“The three young men from Alfred State who found Poppy, called me immediately, and then put him into my arms were amazing. Enough can’t be said about them and the presence of mind they exhibited. Those three really deserve a lot of the credit and we thank them again.”
For the folks at HALO, this was a massive effort, costing over ten thousand dollars, and worth every penny. As Poppy’s owner explained, HALO makes a real commitment to every animal lucky enough to be rescued by them. A representative from HALO made this statement about the successful recovery:
“When someone adopts from us we always say “Welcome to the HALO Family”! Don’t ever take those words lightly! We are there for everyone and every precious pup through the good times and the bad times. We are there to love you and prop you up when needed and we are there to celebrate the successes. Today we are celebrating!!!! We celebrate the finding of bringing this baby home and we are celebrating the love that is here within our group. I couldn’t be prouder and humbled by all of you.
Boys from the University(ASC) had seen the many many flyers that had been put up. They saw Poppy on the baseball field and called 911 so the safety officer came. They closed all the gates and chased him for about 30 minutes inside the secured field. They were able to pick him up. NO SHAKING. He was ready to go HOME! Bob and Maya tried 3 emergency vets last night but were unable to get him checked out. They took him home and he will be vetted today.
Today the happy tears flow! . We all love you Poppy and WE NEVER GAVE UP!”
Impressed with HALO? You can make a contribution to the group by visiting their website or this dedicated fundraiser for the Poppy effort. HALO is a 401c3 non-profit so all donations are tax deductible.