PARK RIVER, N.D. — Sheila Hannesson is looking for a home for four golden retrievers. Not just any place, but their original home.
Hannesson, owner of Animal Elskan Inn in Park River, N.D., has been searching for the owners of a male and female golden retriever and their two puppies for the past week. A Pembina County Sheriff’s deputy brought the male to Hannesson’s animal shelter/kennel on July 21, after a rural resident asked the department to pick up the dog, which had wandered into her farmstead.
In the afternoon of that same day, a Pembina County Sheriff's Department deputy received a call that someone saw a female golden retriever and two puppies at an abandoned farm west of Hamilton, N.D. A deputy picked up the trio and took them to Animal Elskan Inn, where there was a joyful reunion.
“As soon as the male saw the female and pups, he broke out of his kennel and ran up to them,” Hannesson said. “This is a family.”
She’s pretty sure the four dogs also are part of a human family who loved them.
The adult dogs are well-groomed, weigh what they should and are friendly, while the puppies are healthy and socialized, according to Hannesson, who said she believes the male and female are about 7 to 9 years old and the puppies are about 2 months old.
The dogs and puppies are not micro-chipped, and more than 700 shares of posts about them on social media, on both sides of the United States and Canadian border, have yielded no clues to where the dogs originated or how they got to Pembina County.
“The only logical reason is they’ve been taken,” said Hannesson, who speculates they may have been stolen from a location far from Hamilton and that the person who took them from their owners either dumped them in Pembina County or were harboring them there.
Pembina County Sheriff Terry Meidinger said his office has found no evidence the dogs were stolen, but does believe they may be from out of the area. Typically, once his department shares information about strays on social media, he is notified by the owners, he said. Besides posting information, the sheriff’s office went to Hamilton where truckers are delivering equipment for a pipeline and told them about the dogs.
“We asked them to spread the word around in case the dogs got away from some driver,” he said. “I’m kind of surprised no one has come forward.”
Hannesson has wracked her brain for ways to get the dogs home.
“I keep feeling like I’m missing something," she said. “It’s kind of like one of those mysteries that are going to haunt me.”
If no owner turns up, Hannesson plans to take the four canines to a veterinarian who will spay the female dog and puppy and neuter the male dog and puppy and vaccinate them before putting them up for adoption. The two puppies will be put for adoption separately as Hannesson already has two prospective owners in mind. She plans to have the male and female adults adopted as a package.
"They deserve a happy retirement together," she said.
Anyone who has information about the dogs can contact Hannesson at 701-284-6888, or visit Animal Elskan Inn on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Animal-Elskan-Inn-818607191832377.