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Update: Missing Shih Tzu in Mattoon IL reward increased

Maya's owners continue the search
Elahe Golpari, Maya's owner

It has now been over two months since Maya, a tiny Shih Tzu, went missing from the Mattoon IL area on Christmas night. On December 29th, 2013 someone spotted a mini-van near the area the dog was last seen in and a man was carrying a small dog to it that they believed to be Maya. Since then, there has been no sighting of the white/cream/tan colored dog.

Mattoon and all of the surrounding areas have been plastered with flyers and the owners make trips back to the area as often as possible. One dear friend and animal lover, Maureen Moe Kennedy, who lives in Mattoon, spends many hours a day distributing flyers and driving around. Maya’s reward was set at $600 but has recently been raised to $1000.00.

Some people will dispute whether it is a good idea to post a reward publicly for a pet. One group, Lost Dogs of Wisconsin, states, in an article, that it may cause people to chase the dog merely to grab a reward. Others say it is a good incentive to get people to help look for the pet. It comes down to what the pet owner thinks is best and what they can afford to do.

Most people will do whatever it takes to find their missing dog. Maya’s owner is no exception. English is not Maya’s owner’s native language but she has reached out to friends, family and many rescue groups to help in the search for her fur baby. Language is no barrier when it comes to the love of animals. Elahe Golpari stated:

Loss of Maya was the most serious terror and the most painful thing in my life especially as a new-comer in this country. Search for Maya forced me to seek help from people who I didn’t know them. Fortunately the Language of love is the same in all of the world. Until now many people, many animal lovers join us in search of Maya and some of them are truly amazing. Now Maya has a big family who they care about her and want to return her to her home. We ( the parents of Maya) appreciate them sincerely. Our search won’t end until our baby is returned.”

Elahe speaks for all animal lovers who have lost their pets. They do not forget and they do not give up. Their search and worry will continue until their pet is returned. If you know anything about the disappearance of Maya or would like to help with her search, you can join the Facebook group, In Search of "Maya", or you can email

"It breaks my heart to see so many homeless, mistreated or lost pets. I try to do my part to help them, by educating the public in pet health and care. I also help however I can to reunite lost pets with the owners. This article is one way of helping." Donna also writes about pet care from personal experience with her own two fur babies. Subscribe above to follow what she writes or contact her at

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