COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) — 8News spoke with Robert Orfield Wednesday morning who says the dog spotted roaming around a Colonial Heights park is his. The man says he doesn’t know how his dog got there, but he picked him up after watching 8News reporter Parker Slaybaugh’s story on Good Morning Richmond.
It turns out the dog’s name is Juice. The owner said Juice escaped when he let him out a couple days ago to use the bathroom and he broke his collar.
“He broke his collar and got loose…he didn’t show back up so I went searching for him and couldn’t find him,” said Orfield.
To get from Orfield’s home to the park the dog either had to cross this busy bridge or swim the mighty James. Orfield claims that just yesterday he even searched the very park where residents had spotted.
“I was back there yesterday checking on him, checking to see if he was there,” said Orfield.
He says he could not find the dog.
“Did you drop the dog off to abandon him there for whatever reason,” asked 8News Reporter Parker Slaybaugh. “Oh no, oh no I love my dog, my dog loves me,” said Orfield.
Orfield says he is extremely grateful the residents took care of his dog in it’s time of need.
“I’m just tickled to death that people were generous to help him out, most people as far as I figured wouldn’t do anything,” said Orfield.
Tuesday night when 8News Reporter Parker Slaybaugh posted a video on his Facebook Page of the dog wandering in this park in the freezing cold rain, it reached more than 100,000 people in just a matter of hours. Many of you reached out to him saying you would be willing to adopt the dog if he were ever caught and if the owners went found. It is important to note there are dogs just like Juice waiting in animal shelters all across the state, waiting on someone to take them home. Now, while they may never be on TV or never may receive the fame Juice has now received, that doesn’t mean they still are not looking for their forever home. So over this holiday season why not give your local animal shelter a visit. Who knows you may fall in love all over again.
COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) — A pitiful sight in Colonial Heights shows as a lonely dog that appears to have been abandoned in a park off old Archer Avenue.
Neighbors say it’s been there for days, and now the local community is doing everything it can to catch the dog and take it to a warm home.
All day long — person after person, treat after treat — dog lovers tried to lure a lonely, wet and hungry dog within arms reach.
“Come here sweetie,” Towanda McLeod said as she called out to the dog trying to catch it.
The mixed breed appears to be someone’s well-taken-care-of pet, but for several days it has refused to leave the park.
“I’m just so worried about him because it’s so cold out here and rainy,” McLeod added.
Temperatures nearing the freezing point and the cold rain has been coming down for hours. Worried residents set up a makeshift shelter, filled with blankets and food.
Police believe the dog may have been abandoned here. All they can do now is wait and hope the owner returns.
If that is the case, people here say if the owner comes to help catch him there are many willing to take him in.
“He deserves a good home,”McLeod said.
As darkness sets in, the park is now only lit with headlights from the cars that pour in with people trying to help.
“He seems reluctant to come near anybody,” said Melissa Bartholomew, another person who tried to help.
Even young children tried to help.
“Want a treat?” Pacience Keller-Bartholomew said as she tried to get close to the dog.
One guy even brought out McDonald’s food to try and catch the dog.
“Figured maybe we try some hot food, get something warm in his stomach,” said one man as he opened his bag of McDonald’s for the dog.
One woman arrived who showed up believed the dog may be her neighbor’s.
“If he knows it’s me, if it’s him, he’ll come straight to me,” the woman said.
Sadly, no luck.
So for at least one more night, the dog is once again poised to snuggle up in the cold, wet grass.
8News has reached out to the Colonial Heights Animal Shelter they tell us they have made attempts to capture the dog but to no avail.
8News has also reached out to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to see if they will tranquilize the dog to transport it to a safer place. They said they will not, citing that all domestic animal situations are left up to the local animal shelters to deal with.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.