July 31, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
75°F

Top show dogs are no-shows

MEDINA TWP. — Township drivers couldn’t get very far this week without learning about two missing 9-month-old flat-coated retrievers, Phantom and Cricket.

The pups got loose from their owners’ Huffman Road home earlier this month. The Ungar family, has hung 150 posters near roadways throughout the area. Signs also went up in local stores, veterinarian offices and police departments.

Jim Ungar holds one many “Lost Dogs” signs his family has posted in Medina Township and surrounding areas. Two of their flat-coated retrievers have been missing since Feb. 9. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY MARIA KACIK KULA)

Jim Ungar holds one many “Lost Dogs” signs his family has posted in Medina Township and surrounding areas. Two of their flat-coated retrievers have been missing since Feb. 9. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY MARIA KACIK KULA)

They’ve also distributed fliers to local school bus drivers, asking them to keep a lookout for the missing dogs.

They registered with a petfinder service that, for a fee, called 1,250 homes in the area to send notices about the missing animals.

Jim Ungar said he’s concerned about the dogs, which are bred to be show dogs.

“They’re members of our family. They’re our pets. We love them,” he said Wednesday.

“It just seems like they vanished off the face of the earth. It heartbreaks us,” he said.

Ungar, his wife, Gail, and their daughter, Alison, have eight other black flat-coated retrievers, some of them related to the missing Phantom and Cricket.

Ungar said every one of the dogs is a part of the family. “Just because you have other ones, doesn’t mean you didn’t love the ones you don’t have,” he said.

The dogs went missing the morning of Feb. 9. Ungar said the latch to their gate may not have closed correctly or the dogs may have found a way to open the gate.

Only the dogs’ tracks could be found when the family returned home that day. They followed the paw prints to a neighbor’s house and back to their own house, and then up their driveway and back. Then they stopped.

“The tracks just like disappeared. (The dogs) ran up the street … or someone picked them up in front of the house,” he said.

Since the family’s launched the search for the dogs, Ungar said they’ve received about 80 calls.

“We’ve probably got 50 to 60 calls giving support, saying they’ll look for the dogs and about 20 calls saying they saw a black dog or two black dogs,” he said.

So far, all the calls about dog sightings have led to dead ends.

One was in Norton and another was in Columbia Station.

He said several sightings have been on Abbeyville Road.

“We drove up and down Abbeyville, and we didn’t see any black dogs,” he said.

Ungar said the family is going to continue the search, which already has cost about $1,000.

He said he thinks by this point someone may have found the dogs and taken them into their home.

“My hope is that the people who adopted the dogs will love them as much as possible and take them to the vet,” he said.

He said the next step is to contact dozens of local veterinarians and ask them to keep an eye out for people who bring the dogs in for exams. However, he said, it gets harder and harder to hand out the fliers.

“It’s hard not to cry. It’s just like they vanished,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call (330) 722-6397.

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.