Large volunteer search effort reunites woman with dog who disappeared in ditch

By Gerry May

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SHREVEPORT, Louisiana (KTBS) — Many people across town saw a post on Facebook about a dog that went missing in a drainage ditch. And it worked. Gracie, the beloved lab mix, was found by a South Highlands owner who knew he was looking for him.

He spotted Gracie nestled near her trash can and phoned a friend who lives nearby, Eli Brasell, who was active in the search.

“He just said, ‘Come get that black dog! ‘” Brasell said of the call with a laugh.

Brasell drove to the house along Line Avenue in Ontario, while also telling Gracie’s owner, Sandra Scott, to come and find the dog she hadn’t seen in five agonizing days.

“Glory to God and to all those volunteers who found her. I got Gracie back and our home is back to how it should be now,” Scott said.

Scott reunited with several of the many volunteers who helped search the streets, drains and spread the word on social media. They include her longtime friend, Cynthia Keith, who is very connected in the dog rescue community as president of the Shreveport Dog Park Alliance.

“It’s been shared and shared and shared and shared and shared,” Keith said of Scott’s Facebook post, with Neighborhood Watch.

“This one was special,” Keith added of Gracie. “She’s an old dog. She was in a ditch. She was underground. It was dark. These ditches go everywhere.

Scott says Gracie pulled away from her as they took a walk on Saturday morning. She fell into a concrete drain in the Line Avenue and Robinhood area.

“She was anxious. I was anxious. She couldn’t get up. I couldn’t go down,” Scott said of the steep embankments. “She went under the culvert and we couldn’t see her anywhere.

“The firefighters came. They couldn’t do anything,” Scott added.

But plenty of other people — including plenty of strangers who learned of Gracie’s fate — could do something about it. Some of them even crossed the drainage system in search of Gracie.

Somehow, Gracie got out of the ditches. There were sightings of her in the South Highlands that Scott and the volunteers would verify, before Gracie was finally pinned down on Wednesday morning.

“It’s heartwarming for all of these people to come to Gracie’s aid,” Scott said. “It took a whole village to find her.”

This is the second time Gracie has been rescued. Scott says she picked her up from a free rescue adoption at PetSmart about a decade ago after someone found her along Flournoy Lucas Road.

“She’s street smart. She’s a survivor,” Scott said, giving Gracie firm slaps on the side.

Scott tends to cuts on one of Gracie’s hind legs. But otherwise, she did fine.

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