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Rescuers searching for lost Australian shepherd

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Missing dog, Chance, one of 11 rescued

Ten of the 11 dogs rescued from abandonment in Bridgeville last month are in the warm comfort of foster or permanent homes, but one young Australian shepherd has not been so lucky.

Chance, a black-and-white male with bright blue eyes, went missing shortly after being rescued. Since escaping, the 2-or-3-year-old dog has been on the run for about three weeks.

When student and stay-at-home mom Ashlyn Sammons met Chance during the early December rescue, she said she bonded with him. She brought him home that day. But Chance, who rescuers say had been left unattended for most of his life, didn't know how to react. The first few days, he huddled in a corner, shaking and refusing to drink or get up. He would eat, but only when Sammons and her family left the room.

"He never got mean, never snarled," Sammons said. "He just buried his head and shook. His whole body would tremble."

A few days later, Sammons took in another of the rescued Australian shepherds, an older dog named Buddy who had run away from his foster home in Dover. Within two hours of Buddy's arrival, Sammons said Chance began running around the house.

But when Buddy returned from a trip to a local veterinarian, Chance got worse; after Chance bit one of her sons, she sent the dog to her grandmother's house in Lincoln for a night or two.

On their farm property, Sam-mons's relative was walking Chance when gunshots rang out and the dog bolted.

"When he got away from her, he was in a petrified state again," Sammons said. "He heard a couple shots and just took off."

That was around Dec. 16. Since then, there have been reported sightings of the blue-eyed Aussie: in downtown Milford, around Washington Street, and as far north as Paris Kirby Road and Thompsonville Road. "He is in super panic mode," Sammons said. "He was when we got him."

Karli Swope, co-founder of Grass Roots Rescue, the group that spearheaded the rescue, said it's important for people who think they see Chance to report it immediately, and to call only with confirmed sightings.

"The most important thing is just to keep your eyes out," she said. With temperatures this week falling below freezing, Swope said there is concern for the dog's welfare. "It's not good for any domesticated animal to be outside in these conditions," she said.

Because Chase has not had much human interaction, and did not have quite enough time to learn his new name, he's going to be hard to bring home.

Loud noises, big crowds and direct spotlight could all spook him.

Anyone with information about the dog's whereabouts, or who has possibly seen the dog, is asked to follow Grass Roots Rescue on Facebook or join the Facebook group "Finding Chance The Rescued Aussie" at

Anyone with a confirmed recent sighting of Chance should call Sammons immediately at 302-535-6561.

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Original Publication Date: January 8, 2016

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