Town rallies to find lost pet

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Margaret Dodd with her dog Eric Banner.
Camera IconMargaret Dodd with her dog Eric Banner.

Margaret Dodd barely knew anyone in Katanning the day she lost her bull mastiff “Eric Banner” earlier this month.

Ms Dodd, whose daughter Hayley went missing in 1999, said she expected her first visit to the town to be quick and easy.

She had come to Katanning to drop off some materials for the Federal election that day.

Her pet bull mastiff was sitting on the back seat of her car during the trip with a harness on and a leash attached.

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She decided to leave him in the car while she made a toilet stop before the journey back to her home in Pinjarra.

“When I got back to my car a council worker told me he had jumped out,” she said.

“I went around the area trying to find him all day that day, but I couldn’t find him.

“So I travelled home and I felt so bad. I only adopted him seven weeks ago.”

Ms Dodd said her newly adopted dog had brought a lot of joy to her family.

She posted a missing dog announcement on the Katanning Notice Board Facebook page to see if any of the locals had seen Eric Banner.

To her surprise, the post received more than 300 comments, as everyone in town banded together to help her.

“I just can’t believe it — the people in Katanning are so wonderful,” Ms Dodd said.

“I don’t know any of the people but they were putting out food and water out for him, they let all the farmers know not to shoot him.

“Katanning police even jumped in and looked for him as well.”

Eric Banner the dog was missing for 19 days before Ms Dodd finally received a call from a local man named Chris French.

“Everyone calls him Frenchie and he said he saw my dog in his property,” she said.

She said Mr French tried to retrieve the dog, but failed.

Mrs Dodd then decided to drive back to Katanning to see if she could lure him back herself.

“He’d been gone for so long, I thought he would have died from starvation or someone might have stolen him to use him for dog fighting,” she said.

She scoured Mr French’s property and called her dog’s name to see if he would come to her. After some hours of searching, Eric Banner finally heard his owner’s voice.

“He ran straight at me and jumped all over me,” she said.

“I felt like I was winning a Lotto. Not that I’ve ever won Lotto before but I could imagine that the feeling was that wonderful.”

Ms Dodd said she would have never found her dog without the help of the Katanning community.

“There were 1500 likes on the post when he was found,” she said.

“I would like to thank everyone in the town who helped me find Eric Banner. We’re really happy to have him home again.”

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