The bad news is: .
The good news is: Hundreds upon hundreds of people have been helping spread the word about the disappearance of the 6-year-old pit bull who suffered brain damage after being abandoned in the snow—frozen, as a puppy, and left for dead.
Chilly was rescued by Kathy Homan-Soul and Tom Soul of White Hall, MD. For the past five years, they have been working with his special needs and behavioral differences. But he disappeared on the Northern Central Railroad Trail on Weisburg and White Hall roads last Wednesday.
Kathy, desperately worried, knowing how different Chilly is from other dogs, used her Facebook page to post photos of him in hopes of spreading the word about his disappearance. Patch meanwhile posted an article (read it ) to help disseminate the information as well.
After that, friends of the Souls and readers of Patch took over.
More than 1,500 Patch readers posted the article on their Facebook pages to make Chilly’s sweet, white and gray mug as recognizable as possible, in case someone spotted him locally.
“I shared this across Facebook, Twitter and plastered it all over Tumblr, where it's being reblogged like crazy,” wrote Patch reader Shelli Peltzer Lutz in our comments section.
The Souls' Facebook friends have also been busy online.
“I have put the message about Chilly Dog on all my Twitter accounts, on Facebook, and Tumblr,” wrote Ann Coleman, who also posted our story on Unleashed, a Facebook blogging page for Maryland animal lovers.
“I've shared Chilly's story every day with my Facebook friends since August 29 when I read about it in a friend's feed,” wrote Shelley Silwick in an email to Patch.
Silwick emailed news anchor Donna Hamilton of WBAL-TV, asking her to air Chilly’s story on the news. Hamilton agreed instead to post Chilly’s story on her Facebook wall because the coverage of Hurricane Irene was taking precedence at the station.
Silwick also wrote to Patrice Harris of WBFF-TV’s morning news show, who wrote back right away and copied the news desk as well.
“Thank you for the email and I'm sorry to hear about Chilly,” wrote Harris to Silwick. “I am copying our news desk on this email. If there is a crew and time available, they'll be back in touch with you to talk more about the story. I wish you all the best.”
Kendall Henderson, a friend of the Souls and a police officer in their area, used some of her connections to spread the word.
“Once Kathy decided to post on Facebook, every day I try to post his picture to get his name and photo out there,” wrote Henderson in an email. “You never know who might be reading. Also, as a Baltimore County police officer in her area, I have given that flier to the officers that patrol that area to keep a lookout for Chilly. I also have one posted in our station in case someone would come in with Chilly.”
Henderson also sent Chilly’s poster to all her animal rescue friends, including the All Shepherd Rescue, which posted it on its internal online forums.
Peggy Murray has been an especially helpful Facebook friend—she has more than 600 animal rescue connections online and has shared Chilly’s information with all of them.
“Cross-posting and sharing of animal links on Facebook has revolutionized pet rescue or finding lost animals,” wrote Murray in an email.
Murray also called and emailed a pile of local stations, including WMAR-TV, WBFF-TV, WJZ-TV and WBAL. She was disappointed that she didn’t get the responses that Silwick did.
“Unfortunately, no one responded or called or seemed to express any interest,” Murray wrote. “I tried to stress the fact that he is a special-needs dog and also a pit bull—the most often stolen, neglected and abused dog in America.”
Homan-Soul has sent Chilly’s information to rescue groups and shelters with online pages, such as Babes for Bullies, B-More Dog, Baltimore Bully Crew, BARCS, Charlie to the Rescue, Pinups for Pit Bulls, Ethical Bully Breed Rescue, Jasmine’s House, Craigslist and Pet Rescue of Maryland.
She didn’t forget to notify the mail carriers and the UPS men, either.
And of course, she and her husband are still combing the shelters every few days.
“Tom is out again with a dog tracking search and rescue team,” Kathy said. “We're exhausted and unhappy. We want that kid to come home.”