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Casper, the 7-month-old Australian Shepherd, taken on Sept. 5 from a farm on Locust Lane, is back home with his owner.
Lynn Hirsch had expressed pessimism that he would find Casper, who was seen being picked up by two girls in a red Pontiac Sunbird from outside his farm near La Grange Road, but after a story was published Wednesday in The Sentinel-News, calls from alert friends of Hirsch led to the recovery of the dog.
“After a few days I started to get worried,” he said. “At first, I thought maybe they were just trying to protect him because he got to close to the highway [La Grange Road], but when I didn’t see him or them around in the next few days, I started to get kind of worried.”
So Hirsch did what anyone would do if they thought their dog was missing or stolen – he hung up flyers, called the police, put an ad in the newspaper, drove countless hours in the surrounding area.
“The people that had picked him up put an ad on Craig’s List [the free Internet advertising site], and several people I knew called and let me know,” he said.
Hirsch enlisted the help of a friend to go ID the dog and purchase him for $100, well under the $500 reward he had announced.
“We paid to get him back, but I’m going to press charges and get the sheriff’s office involved,” he said.
Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Murray, who took the original call about Casper going missing, said the SCSO is in the process of gathering information.
“Once we find out who had the dog and everything, it will be turned over to the county attorney,” Murray said. “He [Hirsch] hasn’t filed a complaint yet, since he just found out who did it, but he’s planning to.”
Casper, Hirsh said, looks fine and will still end up being an important part of his cattle operation.
Before Casper was picked up by the strangers, Hirsch said he was getting ready to have Casper professionally trained to work with the herd on his farm, just like his last dog.
“I had him for 14 years, and Casper is from the same line,” he said.
“I’m just glad to have my dog back.”