INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A lost dog from Ohio has been reunited with its owner, thanks to some good Samaritans from Vero Beach.
Cairo, a 7-year-old male boxer, was lost May 10 while his owner, Brent Pirich, was visiting Vero Beach for a master dive class. The dog got away and escaped into the woods near U.S. 1 and 53rd Street in Vero Beach.
Pirich posted signs throughout the area, and searched for the dog unsuccessfully for days. While posting a flier, Pirich met Kory Casey, a volunteer for the Coastal Boxer Rescue of Florida, who offered to keep looking for Cairo because Pirich had to return to Cleveland.
"I was searching for Cairo more over a month," said Casey, who is a chiropractor in Melbourne. "Brent was beside himself with worry and all of us at the Coastal Boxer Rescue really wanted to help him find his dog."
Also joining in the search for Cairo was Osceola Magnet School teacher Cheryl Campbell and her 15-year-old son, Eric.
"I noticed there was a flier up about the missing boxer and we would look in the area before and after school," Campbell said. "People in the community would see me searching along the side of the road and would stop and ask me about the dog and whether he had been found yet."
On June 8, the dog was spotted in the 53rd Street area near the cement plant, but he ran off when volunteers tried to catch him. Indian River County Animal Control officer Jeff West helped with the search and eventually lured the dog into a humane trap so he could be rescued. Cairo spent several days at the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County waiting for Pirich to drive from Cleveland to claim him.
"It's one of those stories that tug at your heartstrings," Campbell said. "It was such a wonderful feeling to know that the dog is expected to have a full recovery."
Pirich was emotional when he described the feelings he had when he thought the dog would never be found.
"You figure you're never going to see him again," Pirich said. "And when Kory called to say they found him, I was shocked. I think they were as happy to see him as I was."
Although he's about 30 pounds lighter, Cairo seems healthy, Humane Society officials said, and he was excited to see Pirich when he arrived at the shelter June 11.
Pirich credits Campbell and volunteers from the Coastal Boxer Rescue group including Casey and Don Jackson with never giving up hope that the dog would be found.
"I was really shocked that people who didn't even know the dog would go to all that trouble," Pirich said. "I'm very grateful."