Hauraki-Coromandel Post

‘Let’s get Bodhi home’

Dog’s been missing for weeks after strangers loaded him into car

- Jim Birchall

The owners of Bodhi, a 5-yearold German shorthaire­d pointer-heading dog cross, are distraught after no trace of him has been found nearly three weeks after he got loose and was collected by persons unknown in a red vehicle.

On the last day of the school term, June 30, in the riverside settlement of Waikino, Bodhi, who was wearing a blue coat, broke his collar and went walkabout from Abbot Rd after being scared by inclement weather.

Bodhi’s owner, Sheree Dunlop, said he was “seen by a local resident in Victoria St [they posted on Waikino’s Facebook page at 3.33pm that day] with a photo of him in his coat outside their property”.

Dunlop added that Bodhi was “there for a while — they were going out so didn’t do anything with him. As they left home, they saw Bodhi walk down Cadman St towards the Waikino Station Cafe”.

Shortly after, Bodhi was seen on State Highway 2, and a woman on a bus to Tauranga posted on Facebook that she had seen a dog wearing a blue coat as she passed by.

“Bodhi was seen by two separate people [one a local vet who was in traffic at the time] getting into a red car not long after this,” said Dunlop, who believes he was picked up around 4pm.

“Traffic had slowed because of the dog on the road,” added Dunlop — “there was a black Suv/ute [heading towards Waihī] that stopped and a person from that vehicle was trying to herd Bodhi off the road.

“Near the Waikino Station Cafe, a red car travelling towards Paeroa stopped, the person got out, opened the back door of their car and ushered Bodhi in. We believe the red car then turned around, facing back towards Waihī. The people in the two cars did communicat­e with each other at some point during this.

“I was heading home from work at around 4.45pm when my daughter called me asking where Bodhi was,” said Dunlop.” As soon as I got home, I checked the Waikino Facebook Page and saw the original post. We searched until late that night and started early the next morning with Facebook posts and calls to council, and the pound.”

Informatio­n about sightings then began to trickle in, and Dunlop said initially, she thought the driver(s) of the red car may have kept Bodhi for safekeepin­g over the weekend or until vet surgeries opened on Monday, and were possibly unaware of the Facebook posts.

“Come Monday, when we heard nothing we thought maybe it was because the weather was so terrible, the kind people looking after Bodhi didn’t want to go out to the vets that day,” said Dunlop.

The trail has now gone cold.

Dunlop said she can confirm Bodhi was “definitely picked up by people in a red car near the Waikino Station Cafe. We believe that car turned around and headed back towards Waihī. We have seen some security camera images from the Waihī Mobil service station but without a good descriptio­n of the red car or the black vehicle. There are council cameras, etc, in town that could be of use to us.

“Police are aware. We have to consider him stolen now, it [has] been too long for them [to have] just been keeping him safe off the road.”

Dunlop has made a reward available to anyone with informatio­n that leads to the safe return of Bodhi.

Bodhi is desexed and described as black aside from a whitish star on his chest and a little white goatee/milk moustache. He is tall and lean, weighing about 30kg. He was wearing a blue coat but no collar at the time he went missing.

“He is a really kind, gentle, wellbehave­d and well-loved dog, ” said Dunlop. ” Someone knows about this. Let’s get Bodhi home.”

Informatio­n as to Bodhi’s whereabout­s can be sent to jim.birchall@nzme.co.nz

 ?? ?? Bodhi was last seen on June 30 being put into a red vehicle in Waikino.
Bodhi was last seen on June 30 being put into a red vehicle in Waikino.
 ?? ?? Bodhi was wearing a blue jacket when he disappeare­d.
Bodhi was wearing a blue jacket when he disappeare­d.

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