A Real life Lassie come home story with a happy ending

Irish Red and White setters are known for their stubbornness and their stamina.  No one could have predicted that Gareth the would have 95 miles of stamina used over 7 months. 

But when the dog was seen last Friday afternoon Kent County animal control officials had no idea they had found a dog who had crashed through a screen door and traveled into the Middletown area before being captured near the Summit Aviation with a tranquilizer gun.

Lyn Paymer is Gareth’s owner and before she moved to Maryland from California she was a breeder of that type of dog.  She says “there are only four (in the entire Delmarva peninsula)”.  She described Gareth as a “butthead”.  She says the dog started barking at something back on the 4th of July.  He crashed through the screen door “and took off”.

She did an extensive search all around Worcester County, Maryland when she received word in August that Gareth has crossed the border.  But she says that was it.  She has no idea how the dog travel so far and what kinds of conditions he was under. “He has never seen snow.”

Paymer says the dogs were bred in Ireland during a time centuries ago when Ireland was over hunted.  She says the dogs and their owners would go long periods without seeing anything.  It was important that the dog was patient.

Now she is “just delighted.” She says the dog is “happy to be home.  He doesn’t seem to have any behavioral issues.”

As excited as she is for Gareth to be home she couldn’t be happier the way the Kent County SPCA and their animal control officers handled the situation.  She says they tried to trap the dog, but says he was to smart and to stubborn to be caught.  She says they tranquilized the dog as a last resort.

Paymer says the biggest lesson here is to have a microchip implanted in your pet.  She says she has always had that done in the dogs she has bred.  In Gareth’s case SPCA officials were able to scan the chip and call the registry that keeps track of them.  From there it was just a matter of contacting Lyn.  Because of the holiday she couldn’t pick up Gareth until Monday.

“He needs to gain weight,” she said. She also notes 95% of all pets not found in the first 24 hours are never found. “I can’t say enough about getting a microchip for your pets.  And make sure you register the chip too,” she said.  

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