By Bridget Albert
When Milford resident Kellie Roper brought her pet greyhound to Companion Animal Hospital of Milford on Dec. 29, she never expected she would be going home alone.
Roper adopted Finnley Nov. 1 from ReGap CT, a rescue group, and brought the dog to the animal hospital for dental work.
"When I first called to make an appointment for Finnley I asked if they knew how to handle a greyhound. They said ‘yes’ they did," Roper said. "Apparently they don’t."
She has not seen Finnley since that day.
Despite some sightings of Finnley in the Walnut Beach area, a widespread search and newspaper advertisements the animal hospital placed, the animal has not turned up.
"People I have never met have come from 1½ hours away, scrambling through brush and forest helping me look for my dog," Roper said.
"People in Milford have amazed me calling with wishes and prayers. It’s nice to know there is still such generosity left in the world," she said.
Roper said Finnley is black, with a gray muzzle, weighs 54 pounds and wears a pink/purple collar with yellow bones on it and might be dragging a leash. Roper also said the greyhound has a REGAP of CT tag, and that the dog is shy but extremely friendly and loves the sound of children.
Roper said she was told by hospital owner Dr. Kenneth Preli that veterinarian Dr. Dave Champaigne took Finnley outside after the Dec. 29 dental work.
"He said she became tangled in her leash and when (Champaigne) went to untangle her he dropped the leash and she bolted," Roper said.
Hospital administrator Rona Preli said when Champaigne went to pick up the leash Finnley "was probably disoriented."
"I was told he chased her into the K-Mart lot and jumped in a stranger’s car to try and follow her. He borrowed a cell phone and called the office and they evacuated the office and went looking for her," Roper said.
Rona Preli said eight of the office staff of 10 people immediately left to look for the greyhound and searched until 8 p.m. that night and for the next four days. Since then, she said, staff have continued to canvass the area, putting up fliers and talking to people.
Roper said the greyhound community, as well as the Milford community, have been extremely helpful, finding time to help her repeatedly canvass the beach area and put up fliers everywhere. Rona Preli said the hospital contacted area police and fire departments and animal control officials.
Roper said Milford Animal Control, which has increased patrols in the vicinity Finnley has been seen, has been "truly amazing."
Roper said before the dog was lost, Finnley had changed her life.
"She has made me take a step back from work stress and Ironman training. She has made me relax. She has been a wonderful stress reliever," Roper said.
Anyone with information on Finnley can reach Roper at (203) 506-4790.
Editor's note: This is a reprint of a story originally printed in the New Haven Register. It is printed here with permission of the Register.