Recovering Shae

Shae is one of the cases that deserves a story. She was on the run for three weeks and required a lot of work, since she is a very, very smart dog.

When Shae went missing she found a hidden spot near the rail tracks in Waldwick, NJ. The first week, the owner received multiple calls of people who reported Shae was at that location. The reports came from people in the area, NJ Transit and the Police.

When we first got to the location, almost a week later, we knew she was moving along the tracks and that she was using the bushes to hide. The regular traps were not going to work with Shae due to her smarts, speed and strength - but we gave it a try. Just a few days later, she knew how to move around the area with no problem and how to stay away from the traps.

The second week, we brought a special trap for Shae: one of those that works in almost every case. But things still weren’t easy with her. Shae was approaching the trap, but she was very careful when doing it. We wondered why.

She had a good reason for avoiding the trap: Shae had bonded with a baby fox. NJ Transit had reported seeing her along the tracks playing with the baby fox on multiple occasions, and every time she approached the trap the baby fox stayed very close to her. Their relationship lasted almost a week.

It was a very cute story, but the bond was creating a huge problem for rescue efforts. We do not know what happened to the baby fox, sadly. It disappeared. Shae started to approach the trap by herself one day, with no fox following. Finally, we thought we were very close, however she proved us wrong again. Shae was going inside the trap but was not activating the trigger.

We used multiple triggers and techniques to trap her and nothing worked. She was losing weight, and we were tired; we decided to move and modify the trap for her. Finally, we caught Shae and breathed a deep sigh of relief.

Shae’s case took almost three weeks of work and 100 rotisserie chickens! Her family was with us every second, helping during the day and night, non-stop. It was the toughest case we've had so far at NJ STRAYS...but we learned a lot.

Shae is now safe at home, and - luckily! - rabies-free.

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