EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 24, 2013

Community rallies to find local teacher's missing dog

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY – Local residents are rallying to help Caitlin Flanagan find her dog, who has been missing for more than a week after she ran off after her walker was struck by a car in downtown Amesbury.

Maya, who is a honey colored, mixed-breed female, ran away Aug. 14 after the woman who was walking her was hit by a car in the crosswalk at the corner of Main Street and Friend Street. Maya reportedly got spooked, slipped her collar and took off, and since then Flanagan and her family have worked tirelessly to find her.

Although Maya has not been seen since last Wednesday – she was last reportedly spotted near Hatter’s Point by Bailey’s Pond, nearly 2 miles from where the accident occurred – the community response to her disappearance has been enormous. A Facebook group created by Flanagan’s brother called “Help Us Find Maya” has already garnered more than 180 “Likes,” and Flanagan said she has received numerous calls from locals offering to help.

“The support from this town has been overwhelming,” Flanagan said. “Strangers have been calling telling me that they’ve been going out looking for her. I’m new to this town and it’s very endearing, and it gives me hope that we will get her back home.”

Flanagan, who teaches math at North Andover High School and only just moved to Amesbury in July, said a friend of hers was walking Maya when the accident happened, and other than general soreness she is ok.

“She’s a little bit banged up, but she’s more concerned about finding Maya,” Flanagan said.

Today the Flanagans will be sweeping the woods around Bailey’s Pond, hoping to find Maya in the area where she was last seen. The search party will meet at 8 a.m. in the Hatter’s Point parking lot, and if Maya can’t be found, Flanagan said the expectation would be that she is no longer in Amesbury and has moved further away.

“We’re going to try and sweep the woods,” Flanagan said. “She’s quick and she could be three towns over at this point, but we’re going to do what we can.”

Maya is a rescue dog that originally came from the Dominican Republic. Flanagan said she came to the states four years ago after a woman who visited the Dominican Republic teamed up with a shelter and came home with her and two other island dogs. Flanagan adopted Maya from the woman and she has been a part of her family ever since.

Flanagan described Maya as a “cuddler” who loves people and has a very relaxed and happy demeanor. She added that Maya is also very skittish and will probably run away if approached too quickly, so people should avoid giving chase if they encounter her.

“Loud noises sometimes scare her, and being away from me for a week I think anything would spook her,” Flanagan said. “If there is a sighting they should call me.”

In addition to her honey colored complexion, Maya also has several darker patches of fur, short ears, a long tail and no collar. Anyone who finds Maya is urged to call Flanagan at 845-527-1425 or the Amesbury Police at 978-388-1212.