Community steps up to capture vacationing couple’s escaped dog

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It was a scary 12 hours for a Zeeland couple after they learned their dog escaped from a friend’s house who was watching him while they were away on vacation. 

“We got to Florida. We were relaxing on the beach, and we got a missed call and a text saying call us urgent. Blue went on a little adventure and ran away,” said Ryan Skornicka. 

Feeling helpless more than a thousand miles away, Ryan Skornicka and his wife Christina did one of the first things they could think of. 

“We sent out some Facebook posts in Jenison informed and on our personal page, and it spread like wildfire,” he said. 

Facebook messages and texts started flooding in from people who had seen Blue in the Jenison area and friends and family who wanted to help find him. People were even sending Ring doorbell footage of Blue passing through various neighborhoods. 

“It went on for about 12 hours. He was gone,” Skornicka said. 

Eventually, someone connected them with Mary Humphrey, who is known for live trapping. They got hold of her and she was more than willing to help.

“She drove up from Wayland to Jenison, set out this live trap. We knew he was hanging around this one house with some chickens and ducks. I think Blue was getting a little hungry being out all day,” Skornicka chuckled. 

A rotisserie chicken and about 30 minutes were all it took for Blue to find the trap. 

“(Humphrey) just kept constantly sending us updates. At one point, he had two of his paws in the live trap like sniffing around, then he got spooked somehow,” Christina Skornicka said. 

Finally, around 12:30 a.m., Blue was caught. 

“Sure enough, he ate the whole rotisserie chicken. Every bone, every piece of meat, everything,” Ryan Skornicka said. 

Based on what people were posting on social media, the couple estimated Blue ran approximately 10 miles that day and crossed back and forth over a typically busy Cottonwood Drive about five times, which made them the most nervous.

They asked Humphrey how they could repay her for getting Blue home safely but she didn’t want anything. Instead, she encouraged them to donate to their local animal shelter. 

“I was like almost in tears. Like, this is amazing,” Christina Skornicka said. “Honestly, it really restored some faith in humanity. I feel like the world’s been pretty tough the last couple of years, and it was just really cool to see that we can work together and not be divided over everything.”

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