Community bands together to care for abandoned dog

A California community is proving that it sometimes takes a whole village to save one dog.

A picture of Roadie and his “home” taken Christmas of last year; Hemet residents are devising a plan to capture the animal.

The town of Hemet has rallied around a dog local students have named Roadie, a shy American Pit Bull Terrier who was taken to a field and abandoned by her owner sometime around August 2012.

Though many have tried to coax the scared dog with food, toys, and treats, Roadie refuses to leave the field where she was left nearly six months ago.

So Hemet dog lovers have teamed up to make sure that Roadie is as cared for as she can be. Every day, residents like Shannon Ortiz and Lisa Chancellor come to Roadie’s field with food and water for the skittish pooch. While Roadie keeps her distance, locals come to straighten the blankets they have set out for her or spread out fresh ones after it rains.

One Hemet resident told The Press-Enterprise Roadie is “everybody’s dog.”

Two doghouses have been built to protect Roadie, one A-frame construction at one end of the field and another near a fence, but Roadie rarely if ever uses them, according to reports.

Roadie’s caretakers have established a Facebook page to coordinate their care and rescue efforts called “Save Our Roadie,” which has earned more than 1,400 “likes” since its inception January 21.

“She is very timid, and won’t let anyone within about 50 feet without getting very nervous, but never aggressive,” the page explains.

Over the past week or so, a rescue team has been established and they are trying to coordinate the humane capture of the dog that has become a Hemet staple.

“If anyone has any ideas, or connections on someone who can help capture Roadie (without hurting her) please, share them!!” the “Save Our Roadie” page reads. “Let’s do everything we can to try and give this pup the good life she deserves.”

The rescue team, led by Dr. Gary Gray, has developed a plan that, as of Tuesday morning, has been put into place. So far, Roadie’s feeding area has been moved to a different part of the field and team members are tracking her whereabouts throughout the day to ensure that when they initiate the next part of the plan — safe sedation administered by a veterinarian — they know to what areas she might roam. The group plans to then take her to the Ramona Humane Society for an examination, and there she will be evaluated to see what kind of rehabilitation and professional training might be needed.

The rescue team estimates the entire operation could take a week or more, and they have asked the community to avoid approaching Roadie during the process. The team has posted signs urging residents to keep their distance.

Roadie already has a forever home lined up; an interested adopter can’t wait to give the once-abandoned dog the happy ending she deserves.

For daily updates on the Roadie rescue mission, check out the “Save Our Roadie” Facebook page. If you would like to help care for Roadie during and after the rescue mission, please consider making a donation in her name to the Ramona Humane Society.

Sources: Save Our Roadie, The Press Enterprise