Kris Hart fell in love with shy Jade when she jumped up as he walked by her
kennel. Jade, a young Basenji, was brought to Washington, DC from
Alabama after extreme flooding left many animals homeless in 2011.
“She’s shy initially and doesn’t completely trust people, unless she knows you,” said Kris. “She loves dogs, and we spend hours in the dog park playing, but she rarely leaves my side.”
One January Saturday in Foggy Bottom, Kris had Jade off-leash for mere seconds outside before getting her ready for a walk. He turned away for a moment, and she vanished. The 36 hours that followed were the worst of his life. Jade was wearing a collar and had a microchip, but he discovered too late that the chip was un-registered. Kris’ devastation left him incapacitated.
Kris’ sister Kim Hart-Paulsen took the reins in Jade’s lost dog campaign. Having volunteered with the Delaware Valley Second Chance for Animals (DVSCA) in Philadelphia, she knew the best way to find a lost pet was through outreach on many fronts. She started a Facebook page, Googled every animal welfare group in the DC Metro Area - including the Washington Humane Society (WHS) - and emailed each one with a flyer and Jade’s information.
“It blew up from there,” said Kim. “I had people calling me from all over. The
immediate outpouring of support from DC residents was amazing. People offered
to print our flyers and post them on their lunch breaks and regularly contacted
us for updates on Jade. It was nice to see a real community effort.”
Miraculously, Kris received a call three days after she went missing that Jade had been found and brought to the WHS DC Animal Care and Control facility on New York Avenue. Terrified to get his hopes up, Kris walked the aisles of kennels but didn’t see Jade. Crushed, Kris went back to the front desk, where a WHS Officer said that there was still one more dog in the Animal Care and Control vehicle that they hadn’t brought in just yet.
There she was.
A few pieces of paperwork later, an excited Kris and Jade were reunited and on their way home. They spent the first 24 hours cuddling, and Jade slept… a lot!
As things calmed down for the two, Kris discovered that Jade was actually found
by a man that he knew through an old fraternity brother. The finder had spotted
Jade and brought her to his office, where a WHS Animal Care and Control Officer
came to pick her up. Because Kris’ sister had submitted a lost report through
WHS, Kim was notified as soon as Jade was found. Kris is now friends with
“I can’t thank everybody who was involved enough,” said Kris. “It means the world to me that she was found safely.”
If you lose a pet in the DC Metro
Area, submit a lost report to WHS by following the instructions on our website. DC Animal Care and Control is
always on call, 202-576-6664.
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