Runaway dog safely home but without a wag

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 July, 2008, 12:00am

Eleanor is found! The (almost) lost puppy, whose plight has touched everyone's heart, is safe and sound back on Lamma - unfortunately minus a tail.

The terrified puppy (pictured before her ordeal) slipped her collar and ran off while boarding a ferry in Central almost two weeks ago. Four volunteers helped locate her in Hong Kong Park this week.

Owner Sheila McClelland, who runs Lamma Animal Protection, had given up hope of finding the five-month-old mixed breed when she received a dawn call from Helen Leung, Alice Cheng, Winnie Wong and Gretchell Yaneza.

'It's a miracle she survived in the traffic and the typhoon,' Ms McClelland said. Even worse, the dog had not eaten for two days when she ran off, having had a de-sexing operation that day.

Ms McClelland and her husband, TV producer John Elphinstone, pounded the streets with posters from Tin Hau to the Macau ferry pier. They put notices on Facebook and received more than 100 calls offering help. RTHK carried appeals.

'People were amazing - some came from as far as Tai Po after work to search, others looked in their lunch hours and went out again at night,' she said.

Despite sightings of Eleanor - in a bank on Connaught Road and at a rubbish depot - she was too scared to be caught. Finally, after 10 agonising days, Eleanor was coaxed out from bushes in the park. Unfortunately her tail was broken and the skin stripped to the bone.

'The tail looks awful and will have to be amputated, but she'll be fine in 10 days,' veterinarian Kylie Griffin said.