Here is the saddest story of the week, even sadder than Foster’s lost scooter (sorry!). Amy Stefanowski, a Connecticut woman who’s lived in London for the past three years, was headed back to England last week after spending the summer on the East Coast. Her three-year-old Yorkie, Ramsay, stayed behind to receive his tick and tapeworm treatment before being transported to his British Airways flight via a company called World Pet. As Stefanowski tells it, “All was going fine. But as he was going up the cargo belt, a gust of wind came, the crate opened, and he went running off to the runway. No one has seen him since.”
Distraught, Stefanowski returned to the U.S., where she’s been spending days at JFK airport and its surrounding areas searching for Ramsay. “We had sniffer dogs out three times, and they’ve sniffed him out,” she says. “The area is now confined to a grid between Baisley Pond — there’s a big lily pad area and they think he gets his water there — down the pond, and then over to JetBlue, that South Conduit area, and 150th Street. But I’ve walked it, I’ve yelled, and no one has seen him.”
Along with sniffer dogs and, yes, pet psychics, there’s Phyllis Taiano, who, outside of her day job, runs nonprofit rescue group Four Paws Sake, which also functions as a lost and found service for animals. “Every night they’re blanketing this area, calling, putting out traps with food, calling rescue shelters,” says Stefanowski. “They are the heroes.”
Taiano checks websites daily, including Craiglist, where people often attempt to sell found animals, as well as plastering local businesses, post offices, and hotels with flyers about missing pets. “This is what I do,” she says.
Stefanowski is withholding blame from British Airways — the company has flown her back twice for free to look for Ramsay, given her meals and hotels, and provided her with a driver — and World Pet, whose employees have helped her search and refunded her money. “Some say the dog shouldn’t have been on the conveyer belt; he weighs less than 7 pounds, maybe he should have been handled with more delicacy,” she says. “Or maybe the crate could have been more secure. All I can say is, they’re helping me, and blaming them doesn’t find my dog.”
Last month, a yellow Lab/German Shepherd mix named Daisy was lost at Newark airport. She was found yesterday by a sniffer dog named Salsa, who’s also on the trail of Ramsay. Stefanowski, who’s holding out hope after a week of searching, says, “I’m going to keep looking until my husband tells me I have to come home.” Taiano is also hopeful: “Our success rate is pretty good. The dog trackers have picked up his scent, and it appears he’s traveling the same triangle path each and every day,” she says. “The key is getting sightings and people calling in.”
There’s a $4,000 reward for Ramsay, who has a collar and tag, as well as a long tail unusual to Yorkies. If you have any information, please get in touch via Stefanowski’s Facebook page.