The two-year search for a missing Littleton dog has reached new heights. Bridgett, a missing female Siberian husky from Littleton, Mass., has now appeared on camera multiple times at the same location.
Over the course of two years, Bridgett has traveled through Littleton, Sudbury, Acton, Maynard, Wayland, Westland, Waltham, Concord and most recently Lincoln. With sightings, scent tracking and positive identification via photographs, it has been a roller coaster ride of hope and disappointment.
Pat Panek, Bridgett's guardian, has been diligently searching for her from day one. Panek has done everything: search on foot, elicit help from others who lovingly call themselves “Bridgett's Brigade”, contact professionals who search for missing dogs, put up posters, hand out flyers, design lawn signs, create a Facebook page and make bumper stickers. She even became certified as a Missing Animal Response Technician, as well as a team leader for Lost Pet Consultants for Missing Pet Partnership.
Even when the town of Lincoln gave her trouble over the lawn signs, Panek didn't give up. It only spurred her into action. She mailed a postcard with Bridgett's picture and information to every resident in Lincoln. It worked. More sighting reports came in.
With a location narrowed down and help from Granite State Dog Recovery, trail cameras were set up to hopefully capture Bridgett on camera. Granite State Dog Recovery (GSDR) is a volunteer organization that helps search for missing dogs in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
“Beth Corr from GSDR called me a mere eight hours after Bridgett went missing and offered her help. She has been in Bridgett's corner all this time and I consult with her every time I believe we have located Bridgett,” says Panek.
A trail camera set up at a certain tree Bridgett frequents has not only captured Bridgett on film but an array of other wildlife including deer, squirrels, mice, crows, neighborhood dogs and a fisher cat. The area is wooded and Bridgett seems to have made herself at home there.
Though some have questioned whether it is indeed Bridgett on camera, her distinctive markings have been verified.
“Leanne Coles and I have pored over the images, as have Beth Corr and Holly Mokrzecki - experts from Granite State Dog Recovery. Bridgett has distinctive markings on her face and shoulders that form quite a contrast with her white fur. We were able to define the blaze down the middle of her face that ends in a blunt horizontal line about a quarter of an inch from her nose. She has two almost rounded diamond shaped gray projections on each shoulder going toward her chest. We also think that we have seen a collar and tag on the animal appearing on video,” says Panek.
The next phase is underway: the setting of humane traps. Now that Bridgett is visiting the same area, traps can be set up to lure her in. A local licensed trapper has volunteered his services and equipment to help get Bridgett.
Panek, familiar with the ups and downs of looking for a missing pet, has tried to keep an even keel and level head through the recovery process. She admits the second time she spotted Bridgett on camera she began to feel what she suppressed for so long: honest to goodness hope.
Regarding the third time Bridgett was seen on camera, Panek says, “I shouted for joy, cried tears that I didn’t even try to stop, and kept watching and looking at the video clip over and over. I just couldn’t get enough of her. I was so relieved to have seen her still in the area because we were forced to take down a trap we had set up there due to interference from some ignorant neighbors, and I thought the plummet had begun. Then there she was at her chum tree. I am hopeful, very hopeful.”
Panek goes on to say “I believe that Bridgett is coming home and I would like to publicly thank the emergency veterinary practice who will be treating Bridgett” upon her return.
If you have any information or see Bridgett, please call or text 978-853-4087. For more information on Bridgett's disappearance, please visit Help Bring Bridgett Home.