The Horse’s Pal


Lost: Unknown

Outcome: Returned to Rescue

We were informed by Dave and Sheryl in Stacy, MN that a black dog had appeared from no where and had been hanging out in their yard for 5-6 weeks. It was cold and she appeared to become great friends with the neighbor’s horse and was sleeping in the horse barn. After doing some asking around, they found out the dog was a foster dog from their neighbor down the road and she had gotten loose.

Dave and Sheryl started feeding her outside their sliding door and she got into the routine of feeding from that location when she’d see them step out to fill the bowl and hear them whistle. Often she was seen in their back yard playing in the snow with milk cartons or other things she found.

Dave and Sheryl were concerned that the impending polar vortex would make it tough for her to survive and they contacted us to see if we could help trap her into safety and warmth.

I drove up with a Missy Trap on the morning of January 4th and we set up the trap in the location right outside their sliding glass door. I had to laugh because the dog watched me set it up from 50 feet away. The plan was to run a rope into the sliding door and when the dog entered the trap, pull the rope to close the gate on the trap.

As soon as I put the bait into the trap and ran around to the front of the house, the dog immediately ran up to check out the situation. The three of us hid behind the curtains and furniture so she would not see us inside the glass door. She did one lap around the trap and then slowly walked in. I gave the signal to Sheryl and she pulled the rope and we had her. Fortunately it was an easy catch, one that was quicker than actually setting up the trap…

I entered the trap and she was cautious, but allowed me to carry her into their home to get warm and calm down. She was a bit skittish, but quickly warmed up to Sheryl and Dave. They named her Bella.

Dave and Sheryl considered adopting Bella, but after a couple days it was decided that it was best for her to go back to her foster. Bella is now living happily with a family nearby and has taken a great liking to their daughter. Happy and warm ending for Bella.

Dave and Sheryl did a great job of keeping Bella safe and fed until she could be captured. We were happy to help capture her and get her warm. Bella is a young border collie mix and very sweet. We thank Dave and Sheryl for contacting us and for all they did for Bella.

Golden on the Run


Lost: August 17, 2013

Retrieved: August 30, 2013

Outcome: Returned to Rescue

Case Manager: Devon Thomas Treadwell


Larry is a former puppy mill dog who was rescued through Retrieve a Golden Minnesota(RAGOM). On a warm day in August, Larry escaped his temp foster’s home in rural Annandale, MN, when the resident dog pushed the door open, allowing Larry to bolt through.

As members of RAGOM’s Lost Dog Rapid Response team, we were on-site within four hours, setting up the Missy Trap at the point of flight and placing yard signs at key intersections. The next day, a robocall with a lost-dog alert reached 750 neighbors within a five-mile radius.

After three days without a sighting, Larry was spotted on the temp foster’s property. It was information from an animal communicator that spurred a second sighting and allowed us to place the trap at locations where Larry was likely to be.

A Great Big Problem


Lost: July 3, 2013

Retrieved: July 10, 2013

Outcome: Returned to Rescue

Case Manager: Jen Eidbo and Greg James



Velvet, a shy, pretty Great Dane, newly adopted through Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue, panicked and ran from her adoptive home in Eagan, Minnesota and into the suburban surroundings.

The area’s wooded parks, recreational areas and quiet residential streets offered Velvet many places to hide. Still, it’s hard not to notice a loose Great Dane, and the rescue received many sighting calls over the next few days, indicating that she remained in the general area.

Because the rescue could not find a live trap big enough to capture a Great Dane, they contacted RAGOM’s Lost Dog Rapid Response team to see if we could help. Our engineer built a new door panel for the Missy Trap with a specially modified taller gate.

By piecing together a pattern of sightings, we determined a likely route that Velvet had been taking and set up the trap in her path. When she failed to show up the first night, we moved it half a block, which did the trick. Velvet was captured the next night after eight days on the run.

Lost in the Northwoods


Lost: May 22, 2013

Retrieved: June 4, 2013

Outcome: Returned to owner

Missy, a purebred Golden Retriever rescued from a large-scale breeding operation, had been in her forever home for only a week when she spooked at the sound of door hitting an aluminum can and bolted through an open door.

Missy’s family lived in the Northwoods of Minnesota, where bears, wolves and other large predators are commonly seen. Fearing daily for her safety, her family mounted an aggressive search, quickly spreading the word of their missing dog through neighbors, local businesses, mail carriers and DNR conservation offices. They also set out feeding stations and trail cams, hoping to catch sight of her.

Their swift awareness efforts paid off, and Missy sightings began to roll in. She was spotted as far as 14 miles away before she started making her way back toward the family’s home.

Following a tip, the family set a feeding station, trail cam and small live trap where she had been sighted, and she returned several nights in a row. But Missy refused to fully enter the conventional live crate, instead managing to steal the bait without being trapped inside. In one photo, she actually has her paw on top of the trap, as if taunting everyone’s efforts to catch her!

Several RAGOM volunteers had been discussing the need for a larger trap, particularly for cases like this one. So overnight, RAGOM volunteer and Retrievers founding member Greg James built a trap based on a design he’d already had in mind. Other volunteers transported it from the Twin Cities to the Northwoods within a day.

The first night it was put out, Missy entered the trap and triggered the gate. She waited calmly until her family came to get her. From that night on, our large live trap has been known as the Missy Trap.