Not every missing dog story has a happy ending.
Then again, not every dog’s owner is as persistent as Timbergrove Manor resident Kathy Katcher.
When her son’s dog, Saylor, went missing from the backyard June 12, Katcher sprang into action. She had hoped to have the dog, a 6-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, back home before her 11-year-old son, Sam, returned from camp.
Neighbor Steve Casto allowed Katcher to use his fence at Durham and 11th streets as an evolving billboard of sorts focused on Saylor, who had been part of the family since he was 13 weeks old.
“Every day I added more to it,” Katcher said.
She even built a website – FindThisDog.com – with updates on the search and offered a $2,000 reward for the safe return of Saylor, who Katcher said had never spent as much as an hour outside of the house.
Katcher’s diligence didn’t pay off immediately, but it did eventually. Sam and Saylor were reunited Sunday, when the Houston Police Department recovered the pooch and brought her home.
“Saylor is the first dog that belonged to me,” Sam said. “My heart hurt when she was taken from me.”
According to HPD spokesman John Cannon, 47-year-old Dutch-Christopher Lindeburg was arrested Sunday and charged with misdemeanor pet theft in Harris County Criminal Court No. 4.
Cannon said HPD officers got involved at 4:15 p.m. Sunday when there was a report of a disturbance at 1202 Shepherd Dr. Cannon said a witness told police that Lindeburg had given the dog to someone and then police went to recover the dog in the 5900 block of Kansas Street.
Lindeburg’s arrest was not a surprise to Katcher, who said she suspected him from the start. Katcher said Lindeburg had been living with a neighbor of hers and parked his truck at the neighbor’s house during the day. She said she did not see the truck there after the day Saylor went missing.
Katcher said more than 20,000 people visited Saylor’s website and that there was an active discussion on Nextdoor.com about where Saylor might be. Katcher said she got a call from someone who recognized Lindeburg’s truck on Shepherd Drive at a self-storage facility. Katcher said she called 911 once she got there and found Lindeburg. Katcher said she went with police to recover her dog.
Now the website and the fence have been updated with news of Saylor’s homecoming, and Sam is enjoying some snuggle time with Saylor.
“Every time the phone would ring, Sam would say, ‘Please let it be about Saylor,’ ” Katcher said.
Now all is right with their world.
“Home is just not home without my Saylor,” Sam said.