Articles Index/Rescue
Posted 12/07/02


Ed Plummer is recipient for e-mail sent to the ANTA website. He lives in Virginia and the times mentioned are Eastern Daylight Time; Alaska is four hours behind EDT.

On the morning of July 23rd an e-mail to the ANTA website reported a stray Norfolk in Anchorage, Alaska. The following chronicles the resulting rescue effort and its happy conclusion. It illustrates the many resources and people that are involved in such an endeavor.

7:40 AM -- Christina L. reports that, while traveling in Anchorage, she rescued a stray dog, loose in a busy parking lot. The dog appeared to be in good shape and was neither hungry nor thirsty. Unfortunately, Christina had to call animal control as she had to catch a plane back home in Valdez. The dog was a male, about 4 years old, had a rabies tag and its name was "Max." The veterinarian that examined Max thought he was a Silky Terrier but Christina said "I think she was mistaken, because I am convinced he is a Norfolk; the ears are a give away." Max was scheduled to be evaluated for adoption on July 25th and Christina did not want him to be put down under any circumstance.

8:08 AM -- Ed Plummer knows of one, and only one, Norfolk owner in Alaska: Reagan Russey. But he hasn't corresponded with him in two years. He writes Reagan to ask whether Max could be his and, if not, whether he could look into the matter. He quotes Christina's e-mail and copies NNTC Rescue Chair Sue Ely.

8:23 AM -- Ed replies to Christina L. and tells her that he has written Reagan. He notes that Reagan is a small-plane pilot who gets around the state.

8:31 AM -- Ed posts a rescue alert about Max on two e-mail pet lists: NorwichNorfolk-Xtra and NorfolkTerrier. He requests contacts in Alaska.

10:15 AM -- Kaurie Jones responds to the pet-list alert, offering help through a Mastiff contact in Alaska.

10:15 AM -- Joan Eckert responds that she knows of a dog that was sold to Alaska by another breeder; Ed knows that Reagan Russey bought one of his dogs from the breeder Joan mentioned.

11:15 AM -- Christina L. responds with phone numbers for Anchorage Animal Control and the vet that is involved. She reports that Max is about 12 pounds, drop ear, solid with strong muscle and bones, intact male, docked tail and wheaten in color. Sounds like Max could be a Norfolk!

11:33 AM -- Christina's additional information is posted to the pet lists and copied to Sue Ely.

1:12 PM -- Reagan Russey replies, saying he is in Anchorage and will go over to Animal Control today to look into it. Reagan copies Sue Ely.

1:20 PM -- Ed responds to Reagan to thank him and suggests that the rabies tag may offer a means to identify Max's owner.

1:24 PM -- The pet lists are updated as to progress.

Early afternoon -- Sue Ely and Ed are in touch by several e-mails and a couple of phone calls. Sue notes, "Wow, that will be the second running-free Norfolk I've heard of in two weeks. The other one was in a corn field in Arkansas!!! and we still haven't located an owner on her!"

5:45 & 7:45 PM -- Ed calls Anchorage Animal Control and is ultimately put through to customer service, but they have a phone backlog and voice mail for messages. He learns that Animal Control is open weekdays until 8 PM Alaska time. On second call, Ed leaves message for Animal Control to call him back about Max; fortunately, Ed has an "800" number he can provide to facilitate a call back.

Animal Control returns call and advises that Max was reunited with his owner two days before. They say that Max was, in fact, a Silky Terrier.

8:43 PM -- Reagan Russey reports that he went to Animal Control and Max had been picked up two days before "by a lady named Rose who lives in Anchorage. I called the vet clinic that had issued his license and they confirmed the license number on Max tag was the one they issued to him and that Rose was his owner." Reagan confirms that both the vet and Animal Control think Max is a Silky Terrier.

Reagan says, "So all is well that ends well. Max is back home It was wonderful all the time and effort Christina L put into helping Max after she found him. She deserves a real pat on the back. There was no way in hell that I would have allowed Max to be "put down" no matter what breed he was. He was safe. I hope his owner keeps up with him better now. She will probably never know all the interest and activity that her little Max generated."

8:47 -- 9:06 PM -- Ed writes to thank both Reagan and Christina and update the pet lists and Sue Ely.

Christina replies to say she got the same information when she called Animal Control. She says she owns a Doberman and a Havanese.


As Reagan said, "So all is well that ends well." We were fortunate in this case that everything was resolved so quickly. Often the effort goes on for days or weeks. And especially for Norfolks, often involves the dog in one location, the rescue coordinator in another with the need to pickup and foster the dog plus arrange for needed transportation. It is truly amazing and heartwarming that the system works, and works so well. Everyone who gets involved in these rescues is to be commended.

In Norfolk and Norwich, the tradition is for each and every Norfolk or Norwich owner to step up and do whatever is needed when a rescue situation comes to our attention. As NNTC Rescue and Re-homing Chair Sue Ely says, "Every club member is considered a member of the committee." This case certainly exemplifies that tradition.

For Norfolk and Norwich, probably 9 out of 10, or more, rescue alerts turn out to be other breeds or false alarms. In this regard, there is a lesson to be learned: Get as many facts and as complete a description as possible of the dog before passing an alert on to others. In this case, I assumed erroneously that Max had been found during the day before I received the first e-mail.

Editor's Note: In 2000, Reagan Russey wrote the ANTA website & shared some fascinating stories about his life and his Norfolks in Alaska. Excerpts from that correspondence appear under Articles Index/Norfolks in Alaska.

Ed Plummer
September, 2002

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