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Waddington’s ‘Ghost Dog’ finally captured, finds new home

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WADDINGTON - About two months ago, someone dropped off of a dog in the village.

Since that time a number of village residents have been caring for the animal, whom came to be known among other things as “Ghost Dog.”

Among those helping to care for the dog was Karen Thew, of Fenton Street.

“About two months ago, we spotted the dog running loose and I called Jim (Animal Control Officer James Pipher) as soon as I saw him,” she said. “It took us a little while to track him, because he was all over the place at first.”

When he was first seen, Ms. Thew said, he was thin. As a growing number of village residents began feeding him his health improved, but he remained skittish around people.

Ms. Thew said she turned to Facebook to ask others to stop feeding him in an effort to help corral the dog and find him a new home.

As others got the message and stopped feeding him, Ms. Thew said the dog began spending more and more time on Fenton Street, but at night he would always return to the same spot.

“During the evening he would go back to the four corners,” she said. “It was almost as if he was waiting for someone to pick him up. Obviously someone dropped him off there.”

During the past two months, she said, the dog picked up a lot of different names; Ghost Dog, Backyard Dog, Blue, Waddington and Fenton.

“We narrowed it down to Fenton,” she said. “Because that’s kind of where he ended up.”

Chris Reagan, who works for the village, started calling him “Ghost Dog” several weeks ago.

Steve VanPatten, who also works for the village, explained why.

“Everybody was telling us about this dog, but never saw him,” he said. “So we started calling him ghost dog.”

Mr. VanPatten said the fact that the dog was so well cared for over the past couple of months made his capture that much more difficult. “It’s hard to trap a dog with a full belly,” he said.

Ms. Thew said the dog was trapped Wednesday morning with the assistance of a humane bear trap supplied by Mr. Pipher in an effort to trap the animal in a way that would not harm it.

The order to take time with the capture came from Mayor Janet Otto-Cassada.

The mayor said she would like to commend the work of Ms. Thew, Katie Lynch, Mr. Pipher, Mr. Reagan and the other civilian volunteers who helped care for and capture the dog over the past two months.

“They went above and beyond and it shows the kind of people we have in Waddington,” she said. “I know he’s going to find a good home and I think that’s the best part of this story.”

“There are a lot of people who care about that dog.” Ms. Thew said. “He kind of became a community dog. I’m sure we’ll all be keeping tabs on him.”

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