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Maya has been found after nearly 8 months missing

Maya (Maia) has been found
Maya (Maia) has been found
Elahe Golpari

Those of you that have read about Maya here at Examiner know her story. This tiny little Shih Tzu ran off on Christmas night, in 2013, from Mattoon IL. She was from St Louis Mo. so finding her in a strange territory seemed impossible. Maya’s owners, Elahe Golpari and Mike Lavin wouldn’t take “impossible” for an answer and on August 11 their dream came true, according to Mike’s announcement on Facebook.

In the Beginning

A massive effort, via friends and a Facebook page called “In Search of Maya” came together over this nearly 8-month period where true believers knew that Maya was out there somewhere and they were determined to find her and get her home. Members of the group searched for hours, via the internet and by going to shelters. No stone was left unturned in the search for Maya.

Maureen Kennedy, who lives in Mattoon, joined the search for Maya in the very beginning and she spent hours driving the countryside and hanging posters. Since Maya’s owners lived in St Louis, Maureen became their eyes and ears in the area Maya was lost in. She even met Elahe and the two drove the area together, searching and hanging posters.

Never Give Up

Members on Maya page would send each other photos, asking “Could this be Maya?” Time after time the answer was no, but that didn’t discourage anyone from continuing the hunt. This effort eventually paid off when a photo was shared and a member of Maya’s page saw it and sent it to Elahe.

A small Shih Tzu had been rescued from a 6 lane highway in Indiana and the rescuer thought she resembled Maya. After seeing the photo, Mike Lavin and his mother headed to Indiana to see the dog. Could this be the miracle they were seeking? Mike told the group:

“We arrived at the hospital and the tech brought Maya out on a pink leash..... At first it was hard to tell.... the dog before my eyes was clearly in the wild for at least a month... Matted hair, no muscle mass whatsoever, fleas, abrasions, and in deep need of a hair cut..... She was weak and frail, but she was not scared.”

Maya has been transported back to an animal hospital in Mattoon Il. She has been under the watchful eye of the vet and is reported to feeling much better after IV fluids and decent meals. She is scheduled for grooming and will soon be able to go home with Mike and Elahe.

Elahe’s career has had her stuck in New York during all of this. She waited anxiously for news on this recent dog sighting and she has yet to be able to see Maya and once more hold her in her arms. She has been in constant contact with the Facebook group, Mike and many others who helped in the search for Maya.

At the time of this writing, Mike has rented a car and is driving to New York to pick up Elahe and their other dog, Dani, so that the family can finally be reunited. Members of the Facebook group have set up a fundraiser at Pet to help with the travel expenses and Maya’s medical expenses.

This group of 562 members, who were once strangers from all over the globe came together and watched a miracle happen before their eyes. Many have become friends and plan to meet, all because of this tiny little Shih Tzu named Maya. Stay tuned to this Examiner as we bring you updates on the family reunion and Maya’s amazing recovery and story. Welcome home Maia (Maya)

Note: Notice the name on the poster. Maia is the Shih Tzu's actual name. It was advertised as "Maya" on the lost posters as a way to be able to say her name properly.

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