Cane Corso dubbed Brooklyn’s “Ghost Dog” finally rescued

The large dog so elusive that he earned the nickname “the Ghost Dog of Prospect Park” has finally been captured, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sean Casey and “Ghost Dog.” (Photo credit: Peter J. Smith/The Wall Street Journal)

The mysterious Cane Corso, a kind of Italian Mastiff, has maintained a reputation rooted in legend and myth since 2008, when the first sighting of the dog was reported. Since then, discussion groups and social media outlets have detailed encounters with the shy “Ghost Dog,” encounters described in both mystical and mundane terms. Filmmaker Arielle Apfel even created a documentary short about the “Ghost Dog of Prospect Park” called Roaming Wild.

New York based rescue group Bobbi & the Strays encountered the “Ghost Dog” while searching for another lost dog near Quaker Hill, a section of the park that is home to an old Quaker cemetery.

Commenters in this Brooklyn chat forum have posted photographs and descriptions of their run-ins with the sizable dark brown brindle dog since last year.

During his time running loose, the dog appeared well fed and healthy, managing to slip past animal control officers. New York Animal Care and Control spokesman Richard Gentles said that the organization has received reports of the “Ghost Dog” for four years.

Rescuer Sean Casey has been trying to capture the timid canine for quite awhile. “We would get out there and there’d be no dog,” Casey explains of his many failed attempts. “He would be there one minute, and he’d just disappear in the blink of an eye.”

But early the morning of May 16, Casey and a group met up in Prospect Park and were able to use a catchpole to grab hold of the Cane Corso Mastiff. The dog with the larger than life reputation has proved to be a gentle giant, allowing Casey to pet him and walk him on a leash.

Casey is relieved that the dog is finally safe. He had stepped up his efforts in recent weeks because the large dog had been showing signs of injury, unable to put weight on one of his legs.

A visit to the veterinarian revealed that the dog was limping due to floating bone fragments in his knee, an injury that required an operation. The Cane Corso also contracted Lyme disease during his time in the wilds of Prospect Park.

Casey says that many people have come forward interested in taking the quiet giant home. “I’m going to do what’s best for the dog,” Casey says.