Dog Caught After Two Years on the Run

An escaped Golden Retriever nicknamed The Golden Ghost by locals has been captured after evading humans for two years in New Hampshire.

Sam, a 4-year-old Golden Retriever who had been on the lam for two years in New Hampshire since escaping his owners yard, has finally been caught.

After trying numerous measures in those two years, including satellite tracking, helicopter surveillance and dart gun attempts, Sams time on the run was ended on April 5 by a decidedly low-tech solution — the lure of a good meal and an overhead net.

Peg and Dennis Sklarski of Deerfield, N.H., adopted Sam in 2004, but only had him three weeks when he got loose. What followed was two years of efforts to catch him, involving everyone from local dog lovers with treats to animal rescue experts with high-tech equipment.

The dog survived during his time as a furry fugitive by raiding garbage cans and then eating food left for him by concerned people.

The sagas end came when Police Officer Tona McCarthy spotted Sam, then hid and watched the Golden Retriever while waiting to release a net that had been up for about five weeks.

After the dog grabbed a nearby bowl filled with food, the net was released barely capturing Sam as he fled. Sam, now at an SPCA animal shelter, is being treated for a cut to his upper lip suffered while trying to escape.

Veterinarians say he’ll need treatment for heartworm and Lyme disease and must be watched to ensure he hasn’t contracted rabies. He’ll stay under observation for 10 days, and then he can go home to the Sklarskis.

Posted: April 10, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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