Community Steps Up To Find Three Missing Dogs

Published 3:29 pm Thursday, February 1, 2024

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A Nicholasville resident lost three of her beloved Australian Shepherds. Two of them were missing for almost a week. The surrounding community, however, ensured this woman wouldn’t go through the search for her furry family members alone.

After her three dogs, Bo, Piper, and Hella, got out of her fenced-in yard on Tuesday, January 23, Lorrie Deering spent all her time at her job or searching and getting the word out through friends, family, and Facebook. She visited everywhere she could where she may find her dogs, including the Jessamine County Animal Shelter and the Lexington-Fayette Animal Shelter. She also posted on every lost and found page she could find.

Deering said hundreds and hundreds of people got involved to help her find her beloved dogs. “I’ve gone everywhere, I posted everywhere. I had people sending me messages. I even had friends in Florida and Nashville posting pictures of my dogs on their own Facebook pages because they knew someone who lived in or near Jessamine County.” Deering said.

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On the morning of Wednesday, January 24, a man reached out to Deering’s daughter and told her that he saw Bo. When Deering got off work, she spent three hours searching for Bo with the same man who spotted him and three women she didn’t know who kept telling Deering that Bo was in the area. That night, Deering brought Bo home alive and well. She got one of her babies back. But, Piper and Hella were still missing- Deering’s full-of-life mother-daughter dog-duo.

Several days later, Deering got a call from Director of Parks and Recreation, Duane McCuddy, who Deering said has known her adult children since they were babies.

“He called me and said ‘Lorrie, I’m at Lake Mingo, and I found a dog; it’s about ten feet out in the water. I don’t know if it’s yours or not and I could hardly hear him, he was torn up.’” Deering said, adding that her dogs all had collars with her name and address. She asked McCuddy if he could call her once the dog was retrieved.

That’s when she got heartbreaking news. McCuddy called her back and told Deering that this was her girl. “So, of course, I work about 45 minutes away, so I called my daughter, and they just waited for her. Duane told me he’d never seen six men cry, while they were out there with the dogs. One guy put a blanket over her and said a prayer.” Deering said.

Shortly after McCuddy and his team retrieved the first dog in the middle of the lake, they spotted another body.

Deering’s daughter called City Commissioner and friend Bethany Davis Brown, who quickly called the city and county fire departments and the Nicholasville Police Department.

The crews located the second dog with a ladder truck and a camera and then grabbed a boat from the city fire department to take the second girl home.

“I was just so moved… it was the saddest, but they were determined to get her home to me. To get me to have both of my girls.” Deering said.

McCuddy told Deering, after asking if it was alright, that she, Piper, and Hella were playing with ducks at Lake Mingo when they got stuck under the iced-over lake and froze.

Deering said that even though this is a horrific ending for her sweet dogs and that she will never truly get over it, she is still amazed by the “beautiful gesture of the men and women who brought my three dogs home to me. I can still see them bringing my dog out of the water like it was a baby. It was just amazing to me.”

“I was just so moved at all of these resources being used to find my girls. I felt guilty at first, but my dogs are my life. But it’s brilliant for a community to come together for a family of two and…I just can’t say enough good. We see on the news all these stories about drugs and people dying, and just to see a community come together… It’s beautiful.” Deering said, adding that she has had flowers sent to her house by strangers, and that her phone is still blowing up with messages of condolences.

“I just feel like sometimes bad things need to happen to show that humanity is still alive. I just thought maybe these guys should get some appreciation, and although they feel sad, they got my girls home to me. In my 58 years of life, I’ve never seen an outpouring of kindness like this.” Deering said.