There’s a ₪20,000 ($5,600) reward awaiting the person who can reunite Israeli dog owner Raquel with her beloved pooch, Perri, missing since March.
Finding Perri has become a national project, fueled by Raquel’s comprehensive campaign to find her eight-year-old brown border collie.
She’s put up billboards on the highway to Tel Aviv, sent thousands of flyers to be hung in post offices, stuck signs on her car and fence, placed ads in Hebrew, Arabic and English newspapers, printed t-shirts, created a Facebook page, searched dog pounds from Beersheva to Tiberias, appeared on TV and even went up in a Cessna with a private pilot to scour the landscape for Perri.
“Everyone calls to ask if it’s a joke or a gimmick. No, it’s my dog and I am just doing everything I can to find him,” says Raquel, a businesswoman in the Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion and a master’s student of archeology.
“Before this I was a very private person,” Raquel tells ISRAEL21c shortly before her third radio interview about her quest.
“All the people who have dogs know how it is to lose one. I can’t stop because I really love him and he’s a part of the family. I can’t stand not to know what happened to him.”
Raquel adopted Perri seven years ago from a shelter. “He was a year old and he’d gone through a lot and was very afraid of men. It took two years and a lot of love to get that fear out of him. He’s very smart and sensitive.”
On March 5, Raquel brought Perri to a nearby kennel before flying to Europe for a vacation. Early the following morning, the kennel called to tell her that Perri had escaped when a new worker forgot to lock the gate after feeding time.
“At 10am I went to the airport and flew back to Israel. I even left my luggage there. I had to borrow clothing from friends.”
For eight days, Raquel slept at the kennel and roamed the area looking for Perri. Then she started driving around, calling the dog’s name from her open window.
When that didn’t work, she began printing flyers and her search escalated from there. She emphasizes that all her efforts are funded out of her own pocket.
So far, nothing has helped. But Raquel isn’t giving up. “I look for him every single day,” she says.
Have you seen Perri?