Stray Dog Avoids Capture For Months


Cooper is the master escape artist.

This German shepherd mix has been able to avoid animal control officers in cars, evade traps, chew his way out of an animal shelter, and was able to even get away when he was surrounded by six officers and got shot twice by a tranquilizer.

Orange County Animal Control officers first met Cooper on February 21. They got a call that a dog and a puppy had been dumped near a hotel by John Wayne Airport and left to fend for themselves.

Animal Control Officer Valerie Schomburg took the call and she was determined to find the two dogs and bring them to safety. She also knew that she had to find the dogs before they got hit by cars.

Cooper soon became Schomburg’s mission.

She tried using beef jerky treats and put food in traps to lure them, but once the dogs saw any animal control officer, they ran away. Animal control officers could never get within 300 yards of the dogs.

Cooper even escaped getting captured when two other animal control officers and three police officers surrounded Cooper. An animal control officer was able to hit Cooper twice with a tranquilizer gun.

Schomburg said: “Any normal dog would have gone down in 15 to 20 minutes. But we chased him for 45 minutes. He never went down, and we lost sight of him. He must have had a real good night’s sleep that night.”

Unfortunately, in mid-March, the puppy, Cooper’s companion, was hit by a car and died.

For months, Schomburg was obsessed with trying to capture Cooper and find him a loving home. She worried about his safety all the time and talked about him constantly to her family and friends.

In late March, she then received a call that Cooper had been hit by a car. But Schomburg couldn’t find Cooper. Finally, a week later, someone called her to say they spotted Cooper limping near the airport.

To help Cooper, Schomburg put food out for the dog for the next three months. She placed the food by a hotel where Cooper usually hung out, and the food would always be gone that night.

In June, she noticed that the food she put out was untouched for five days. She feared the worst.

But, Schomburg then received a call. Cooper had been caught. A person had heard of his story and used a female dog in heat to lure the stray dog.

Cooper was then taken to the Irvine Animal Shelter. But again, Cooper escaped. He chewed his way out of his kennel. Shelter workers found a hole the size of a large cantaloupe in the chain-link fence.

A week later, Irvine animal control officers trapped Cooper in a residential neighborhood. He was finally caught.

Schomburg was called and after months, she finally got up close to the dog that she had been chasing for all this time.

She said that Cooper is actually quite a laid back dog and would make a perfect family pet. He is docile, walks on a leash, and even shakes hands. His weakness is hamburgers.

After five months on the street, Cooper is healthy, neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and getting trained so he can be adopted.

“He taught me to never give up on something because you never know the outcome,” Schomburg said. “I just want to do my best to make sure he has a chance at a better life.”

Source: Orange County Register

5 Responses to “Stray Dog Avoids Capture For Months”

  1. bengals says:

    bless his heart…Cooper is quite a champ. Kudo’s to Schomburg for her heroic efforts! Too bad the puppy wasn’t saved too…but one is better than none I guess.

  2. Nora and Rufus says:

    Cooper seemed to know that “Animal Control” could have been the last capture and last few days if his life. I am so happy that he is safe now and someone really on his side is watching out for him. I would love to personally thank Ms. Schomburg. What a gal!!!!

  3. Goody 4 Paws says:

    This is so encouraging for me. I and a few friends are attempting a capture of a female stray in heat. She has lived at a gas station at the corner of a busy highway and an interstate for MONTHS. A friend and I have lured her to a field in some condos near my house. We seem to take one step forward and two steps back, but we are not giving up.

  4. mary says:

    Hi there ! Thats a wonderful story about Cooper ,good luck with Cooper.That was a great thing you did by not giving up,you are a special person.About three days ago I let my one dog out Bear and now I can’t find him,Im very sad. Please say a prayer and some luck my way with a great ending in the end,we get bear back Thank you always mary

  5. Austen says:

    I have a question do you know what cooper is mixed with because I have a dog that looks just like that shepard mix breed.

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