Facebook pages rally around missing Ocean County dogs

     Jeter, left, has been missing from Toms River since late July. Cooper disappeared from Long Beach Island in late September. (Photos courtesy of Facebook pages organized for the dogs.)

    Jeter, left, has been missing from Toms River since late July. Cooper disappeared from Long Beach Island in late September. (Photos courtesy of Facebook pages organized for the dogs.)

    Thousands of dedicated animal lovers are rallying around two missing Ocean County dogs.

    The Facebook pages Bring Jeter Home and Cooper Come Home have amassed 7,839 and 1,403 “likes,” respectively, as of Nov. 17. 

    And those who like the pages are not just sitting idle. 

    Community members are organizing online and acting offline, including canvassing neighborhoods, posting lost posters throughout the county and on vehicles, hiring animal communicators, and even sponsoring a float during the Toms River Halloween parade.

    Page organizers say that they won’t stop until the beloved dogs return home. 

    Jeter’s owner, Danielle DiGiovanni of Toms River, said the white pit bull was outside her Holly Village Lane house on July 28 when he walked down the street to play with another dog. 

    As two children began petting Jeter, a newer model white SUV or minivan with a tan interior occupied by a man and woman pulled up, asked the children if they owned the dog, and then said they were going to take him home and try to find his owner, DiGiovanni said.

    Eyewitnesses described the couple as in the late 60s to early 70s, she said. The man had light complexion, very short gray hair, a full gray mustache, and a beer belly, she said, while the woman had blonde hair a little more than shoulder-length and wore glasses.

    Jeter has blue eyes, a brown nose and lips, and a brown patch on his back that runs down his tail, according to DiGiovanni. He’s a little over a year and a half old. 

    Just down the Parkway, Cooper, a 16-year-old australian shepard that serves as a therapy dog in a hospital cancer unit, disappeared from Beach Haven on Long Beach Island on Sept. 26, according to owner Mary Ann Wurst. 

    The Wurst family was in Long Beach Island for a wedding, she said, adding that there were multiple sightings of Cooper until early October. 

    “So where is he?” Wurst ponders. “The confirmed scent off the beach. He did not go into the ocean (I check with the Coast Guard often).  Many houses are closed up for the season. Hopefully he’s not locked in someone’s garage. Or did he get taken off the island?”

    Cooper is primarily black with a white blaze on his face, according to Wurst. He weighs 35 pounds, is deaf, and was wearing a bell and a harness when he went missing.

    “He is friendly and will come up to people,” she said. “Cooper loves food, so if anyone sees him, a few smelly treats will go a long way to gaining his trust.”

    “It’s pretty hard to get lost forever on the island without someone seeing him. We’ve had some possible sightings but no success. If someone has him, I hope he is warm and loved.”

    Jeter’s contact: Danielle DiGiovanni at (732) 642-3987.

    Cooper’s contact: Mary Ann Wurst at (201) 777-0189.

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