One day last February, a big, beautiful dog could be seen walking around the Tall Timbers and Sun Rise Bay senior communities in Little Egg Harbor. She would make her way around the different communities in search of some food. Ray and Irene Wolf started feeding her on a regular basis and the Mastiff would return for meals but back off and retreat if others tried to come close. After several calls to animal control who had no luck in capturing her, Ray Wolf called the Society in July.
Ray and Irene Wolf with Greta after she was finally captured.
Popcorn Park Director John Bergmann visited the scene and assessed the situation visiting her over several days. John then set out a large dog trap. The Mastiff tried to get some food but was too big for the dog trap, so John contacted Homestead Fence in Eagleswood Township who donated fencing to set up a large outdoor dog kennel. John and Papo, the Society Maintenance Supervisor, put it together. The door was locked in an open position so the frightened dog could get used to the area where she would be fed. A long clothes line with a pulley was then set up about 70 feet from the fenced enclosure. Bad thunderstorms interrupted this effort and she did not come around for a few days. But when she returned, she was very hungry and went in with ease and then the pulley released the door to be shut. The whole capture was done with close communication between John and Ray and Irene Wolf who kept in touch with each sighting.
There was a difficult time to restrain her on a pole as she ran around the yard. Eventually, John got her into a crate to be brought to the shelter. The mastiff was then carried in the crate to the kennel where she was released without incident.
Greta on her new bed in our Forked River shelter, waiting for a home.
Thankfully, she calmed right down, found the bed and was so tired, she laid on it and when to sleep within 15 minutes. The next morning, the kennel supervisor had to remove a huge number of ticks. She was then given all vaccines, Frontline and given her own collar. Each day, Society staffers have gained her trust and she is now responding to us. According to John Bergmann: "I take her out to the barn and let her hang around for most of the day with a leash on. She's a real sweetheart. It will take some more time to get her socialized. But it breaks your heart to see how scared she is but then she'll look at you when you call her or come over to you when you ask her to, and we see that she has made real progress."
There are several people to thank including Tall Timbers manager Nancy Henziker , St. Theresa's Church leadership who played a part by allowing the enclosure to sit on their property during the capture, especially to Ray and Irene Wolf who made the effort possible and to Homestead Fence in Eagleswood Township.
Most of all - to Popcorn Park Director John Bergmann whose soft heart would not let an opportunity pass to save a helpless animal.
Her name is Greta and she is at our Forked River shelter waiting for a special forever home.