After more than a month on the run, Sophie, a 2-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, is back home in Granville.
Sophie was found Tuesday on Airport Road, just east of Streator, and recovered by La Salle County Animal Control Officer Gary Wind, Jordan Donnelly and Streator Animal Control Officer Amy Ragusa.
In a video posted by Streator Animal Control, Sophie jumped excitedly with her tail wagging as her owner exclaimed: “Hi, momma’s baby girl.”
“The farmer who owns the field was nice enough to give us permission to do what we had to in order to catch her,” Ragusa said on Facebook. “Jordan Donnelly asked if I could use his help, he showed up on a four-wheeler, which was exactly what was needed.
“ ... Gary and Jordan did some slick cowboy moves in order for Gary to tranquilize her to slow her down. Had her slowed down enough and Jordan jumped out and snatched her. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t pretty, but she is safe and home and unhurt.”
Sophie had been missing since March 9 when she was last spotted on South Archie Avenue in Granville, which is more than 30 miles northwest of Streator.
Ragusa said Wednesday “after tail wags and happy kisses with her four-legged siblings, Sophie is plumb tuckered out and safely at home napping. I bet she sleeps for days!”
Sophie had spotted in the Streator area for the past few days. A drone was launched in an attempt to spot her, but it did not catch sight of her.
Sophie’s story is reminiscent of the story of Brooks, the Siberian husky and retired Iditarod sled racer from Wyanet that was found five days later in Streator — a roughly 54-mile trek.
That time, it was again, Ragusa helping to rescue the dog and return him to their owner.