Thanks to the power of putting good tips for lost pets in action along with a microchip, a cat from St. Helena Island, South Carolina is back home after he went missing for five months in Savannah, Georgia. It helps when an animal rescue shows up who insists they were “sent by God to help find Bear.”
Teege Durham-Culp and her husband Bob adopted Bear shortly after the death of their beloved 18-and-a-half-year-old cat. Bear had only been with the family for three months when he went missing in early June when the family was camping with friends at Skidaway Island State Park.
Bear escaped, as many cats do, by slipping out the door. He went missing only two days before their trip was over and despite being called for two days he didn’t return. Since all of the campsites were reserves, the couple had to leave after two nights of searching. The following weekend they returned and spent more unsuccessful, sleepless nights searching for their kitty.
Now for an amazing twist of fate. Donna Grady of One Love Animal Rescue met with Teege and Bob and announced they had been “sent by God to help find Bear. Donna loaned a humane trap to the family but all they caught was a very angry raccoon. They went home saddened and covered in chiggers.
Donna continued to work on finding Bear for the heartbroken family. Below are some of the things she tried which may be of help to others with a lost cat.
- call animal control daily (in Bear’s case Chatham County Animal Services)
- put up cameras and set traps
- use a recording of the owner’s voice (Teege recorded a message for Bear)
- send flyers to local veterinarians (30 vets were contacted in the area)
Last Sunday night Teege got a text and an email where she learned Bear had been found. Park volunteers Leland Hiatt and Bambi Vaugh-Harbin were at the park for an event and approached Patty Davis with One Love to ask for help with a cat they were feeding on park property.
Patty told the volunteers she would scan the cat as soon as possible. When she did it was a match with Teege, whose phone number showed up as the contact for the stray cat. Patty contacted Teege and put her in touch with Bambi.
Bear had been showing up to eat for more than two weeks. In an interview with SavannahNow, Bambi stated “She just knew he belonged to someone because he was so sweet and domesticated.”
Teege made plans to be at the park when Bear showed up for breakfast. She found her cat already fed and sound asleep inside Bambi’s camper. Donna played the audio of Teege’s voice
The two made plans to meet the following morning after Bear showed up for breakfast. When Teege arrived, Bear was asleep inside Bambi’s camper. Donna also was there and decided to play the recording of Teege’s voice.
“The minute he heard my voice, his head popped up and he looked around. I called him and he came directly to me. He let me rub and scratch him and jumped on the couch and laid down next to me.”
Teege is grateful to Bambi and Leland who fed Bear and to Donna, Patty, and the One Love Animal Rescue team who supported them at a time when they thought they’d never see Bear again.
One piece of advice Teege gives is to be aware of the rescues in your area and support them with monetary donations (501c3 rescues are tax-deductible) or donate food and other supplies. Rescues can be a major asset when a pet is lost in their area because they most likely have a network of supporters who can share information on the pet.