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Women Uses Spy Cameras And Meatballs To Find Missing Dog After 15 Weeks

Women Uses Spy Cameras And Meatballs To Find Missing Dog After 15 Weeks

Rescuers finally caught pooch Zena with a meat banquet fit for a doggy queen.

Lauren Bell

Lauren Bell

A dog that went on the run has finally been rescued after three women spent 15 weeks tracking her down.

The ladies went to extreme lengths to find dog, Zena, using spy cameras, night goggles and even a make-shift trap filled with meatballs and tripe.

Shelly Spiller, 32, Amanda James, 42, and Hazel Richards, 52, who run a Facebook page called Bristol and Somerset Missing Dogs, spent nights camping out into the early hours in a desperate bid to find Zena.

She had runaway from her new foster home in Bristol back in April.

Zena pictured on the night camera.

Her temporary family had reported the Bosnian rescue Terrier-Cross missing after she bolted through an open door.

Shelly said: "Because she is a rescue dog, her first instinct was to bolt off. She had only been with her new foster family for two weeks."

The pup was then wandering alone for months, but soon there were several confirmed sightings of the two-year-old pooch in Blaise Castle park.

The women set about distributing posters and setting up night patrols in the park armed with meaty treats.


They had to fend off teenagers, drunks and foxes during their night shifts, which sometimes went on until 3am.

When a month passed without success, they started a GoFundMe page to raise £500 to buy a wildlife camera and chipped in a couple of hundred pounds of their own money towards night-vision goggles.

"We all work during the day so we'd have our dinner and meet up in the evening.

"After a few weeks we were able to pin down a precise area of the park.

"When we first started looking it was during the summer so there would be people hanging around the park being loud, which spooked her."


"That happened for a few weeks which was really frustrating. But we still stayed out just in case we spotted her."

But soon the bad weather hit which played in their favour, with less people hanging around the park.

"The key was being as quiet as possible," Shelly added.

"At the beginning we were out there until 2:30-3am in the morning.

"But once we got the cameras installed we were able to watch the trap from one of our houses, as we live nearby.

"Sometimes we would have to do another late night as the WiFi router would run out.

"We had to keep topping that up every three or four days."


After watching Zena for so long, the ladies soon got to grips with what the pooch liked and disliked.

Shelly said: "We soon realised she wasn't a fan of things like fish, tuna, mackerel or anything fishy really.

"So we switched it to meats and fresh wet food. We didn't buy tinned goods. She was living like a fox so that wouldn't have been any good.

"It was quite expensive in the end. We must have spent about £500 which came out of our own pocket. But after we changed the food we had to look at changing the traps".

The first trap they realised was too small for Zena to enter, so they ended up making a longer version.


She added: "We got a longer one which she did go in, but it would take her forever to get to the back.

"We'd put a trail of food to the bowls but she just never went far back enough."

After five more weeks of no success, they introduced a third new trap.

When Zena started peeing against it to mark her territory, they knew it was a good sign.

"We would move the bowl an inch or two back everyday so she would go further back into the cage and eventually hit the footplate.

"The aim was for her to press on it which would then release the trap door and trap her in. But she's not silly. If we moved it back two or three inches she wouldn't go in because she knew it was tampered with.

"It was all about having a lot of patience," Shelly said.


The women were actually behind nearby bushes when she was finally caught out four months later.

Zena was captured after being enticed into the cage with a banquet of liver and garlic sausage, butcher's tripe, swedish meatballs and biscuits. A doggy feast!

The women were in disbelief that they finally caught Zena, but said they wouldn't have stopped until they had.

Shelly commented: "It was basically a banquet in there. There was liver sausage, garlic sausage, butcher's tripe, Swedish meatballs, chicken meatballs and biscuits.

"As soon as the door was released we crept over as we didn't know if she was 100 per cent in there."

After successfully catching Zena, the trio carried the cage into a car before reuniting her with foster owner Denise on Monday evening.

However, the troublesome pooch has now returned to a local animal rescue home in the hope of building her confidence before she finds a long-term home.


Shelly said: "She's very nervous around people so it was probably too early for her to be fostered.

"There are going to be people who will say why did you spend months searching for her when she had only been with her foster family for two weeks, but I just think animals shouldn't be dismissed.

"She came to England for a better life.

"It was just for the love of animals."


"In our eyes every animal deserves to be warm, fed and comfortable.

"We treated ourselves to a well-deserved pint afterwards but tomorrow we'll be onto the next one."

In our opinion ladies, you deserve more than a single pint.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Cute, Real, Life, Dogs