“It was such a miracle,” commented the owner of Bailey, a terrier mix rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico that went missing for 18 days but finally was captured on Sunday afternoon six miles from home after escaping from his new adoptive owner’s house in Noyac on December 11.
Volunteers, Bailey’s owner, and Teddy Henn of Long Island Lost Dog Search and Rescue in Sayville located the skittish pup near the Carvel store on Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton after a Summerhill landscaping crew reported seeing him there. Mr. Henn finally managed to catch him with help from highway drivers who pulled over when he ran into the road.
It was Mr. Henn himself who grabbed Bailey after the highway chase — eastbound at first toward Citarella then westbound — after the dog had run into a low, brushy area off the highway near the west end of the Bridgehampton Commons shopping center. The vegetation hemmed in the dog so he could not escape as Mr. Henn reached him.
His owner, Carol Holley, said on Monday that his capture came after two days of sightings and efforts to trap him in feeding stations. The climax came after the dog ran onto the highway, prompting drivers to pull over and help in the pursuit.
Until he was captured, it began to seem that Bailey would elude his pursuers and disappear again for another 18 days, Ms. Holley said. Calling it a miracle, she praised the many people who volunteered to help find Bailey. “I can’t thank the community enough,” she said.
During the 18-day search, Mr. Henn set up feeding stations on trails, along the power lines, and at private properties; used a drone that has a camera aboard with a zoom lens; and sent out his search dog named Winston.
Mr. Henn was called in by the ARF, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, which obtained Bailey through one of its partner rescue organizations in Puerto Rico, according to Ms. Holley, who had adopted Bailey eight days before he ran off.
“I was coming in the door with too many things; I should have made three trips instead of one,” said Ms. Holley, “and he just scooted out.”
“Every person I see on the street tells me they’ve been looking for Bailey,” Ms. Holley said on December 21. “I can’t thank them enough.”