July 24, 2017
On Friday afternoon, Heidi Lynn and a friend were driving home to Montgomery County after a work conference in Philadelphia when they saw something they still can't believe.
Traveling along Lincoln Drive in the city's Germantown neighborhood, she noticed a car stopped in the opposite lanes despite the light being green.
"I saw this man just rip a Golden Retriever out of the car. The dog was fighting him. He wanted to get back in, but the man just shoved him over to the side of the road and took off," Lynn told PhillyVoice on Monday morning.
"I started shaking. I was freaking out," she continued. "My friend was driving. She asked, 'Do we need to turn around and go back?' I said, 'Yes! Now!' "
Everything happened so quickly that she didn't think to get a license plate or detailed description of the car or man, other than it being a silver sedan or SUV being driven by a white man possibly in his 30s.
"I only saw him hunched over and fighting with the dog," she rued. "It boggled my mind, seeing what happened. I just couldn't believe it."
They searched for the dog for about an hour-and-a-half. Lynn said she's been back each day since leaving food out. Some of it's been eaten, but she's not sure if that's from the dog or another animal in the wooded area.
The incident made its way onto community message boards and Facebook groups. Animal lovers were not only disgusted, but sprang into action trying to find the dog.
“We often hear a lot of sad stories involving animal cruelty, abandonment, and heartlessness. It pains us to share this story but we desperately need your help in locating an abandoned dog,” read a post from Team Louie Animal Rescue. “We're committed to doing everything we can to help find this poor dog and ensure him/her a happy and safe future.”
That group started back in 2014 after a woman named J.J. Pierce's car was stolen from a South Philadelphia Home Depot parking lot with her 2-year-old rescue dog inside. The dog would return home more than a month later, but the group of volunteers which banded together to help has been going strong ever since.
Missy Morrissey is still with that group today.
"The sooner he calms down and stays in one place, the better," said Morrissey, noting that she and Lynn set up a camera in the area on Sunday night hoping to catch a glimpse of the missing dog.
There was at least one reported sighting, along with an unexpected, and troubling, report that a “neighbor in the area said someone also released a boa constrictor in the same woods.”
While the PSPCA said Monday that it didn’t receive any independent reports of the abandonment, the case was forwarded to its humane law-enforcement officer after PhillyVoice reached out for information.
The agency is willing to do anything it can to help and invites anybody with information to call its animal-abuse hotline at 866-601-SPCA.
For her part, Morrissey said she hopes people will get in touch and call the rescue group at 267-625-0785 with any sightings so the dog can be cared for as soon as possible.
Volunteers can also post signs in the area and share information about the incident on social media, she said.