On Sept. 24, 2011, Minx, a 5-year-old male dog, went missing. Since then his family, Laurie, Jim and Dylan Horner, have been on a mission to find their missing companion.
“He means the world to us,” said Laurie. “My 10-year-old son, Dylan, is heartbroken.”
About a month ago, Laurie decided to take her search for her dog into cyberspace and created a Facebook account for the missing pup called “Bring Minx Home.” Now the page has 270 followers.
Every day there are new comments, messages and tips that range from well wishes to possible Minx sightings.
Minx was last seen at a Chinese restaurant on Gansett Avenue in Cranston. Jim Horner had taken the dog out for a ride to pick up the family’s dinner. When he went into the restaurant, he left Minx in his truck with the window partially down. When he returned, Minx was gone.
“He must have jumped out of the window,” said Laurie, who said Minx had never done anything like that before. “He must have seen something.”
Laurie doesn’t suspect that anyone unlocked the door and stole the dog, but she’s not so sure that someone isn’t keeping Minx as his or her own now.
“I kept posting on Craigslist under Pets and Lost and Found, but someone kept deleting my posts,” she said, speculating that the person who has Minx might be the culprit.
The frustration with Craigslist led Laurie to Facebook, where she’s found the support of individuals and animal organizations.
Minx is a 5-year-old neutered male and weighs about 85 pounds. He’s a black Husky-Shepherd mix with pointy ears and white markings on his chest.
“When his ears are up, they touch,” said Laurie through sentimental tears. “He looks like he’s wearing a top hat.”
Minx was wearing a red nylon collar with Cranston rabies tags, but no other form of identification. He is not outfitted with an identifying microchip, as some dogs have been in recent years.
Those on the Facebook page have kept their eyes open for a dog that fits Minx’s description.
A few weeks ago, Laurie got a phone call that someone had seen a black dog in Providence.
Armed with his cell phone, Jim hopped into his car and hit the road in search of his dog. By the time he arrived, the people who had reported the sighting said the dog had run away.
“He’s friendly, but I don’t know if he’ll go to someone,” said Laurie.
The sightings have been an emotional roller coaster for the family.
On Monday, a Warwick resident wrote on the “Bring Minx Home” Facebook page. She said she had seen a dog that resembled Minx near the Warwick Public Library. The Horners said they would check Sandy Lane, but later reported via Facebook that they had “no luck.”
In addition to the sightings in Warwick and Providence, the Horners have gotten reports from Johnston, Charleston and Cranston, too.
A few weeks ago they received a Craigslist posting that said a black dog fitting Minx’s description had been hit by a car and killed in Cranston.
Laurie contacted the Cranston animal shelters and found the posting to be a hoax.
One of the recent calls she got was from a woman who said her next-door neighbor’s dog resembled Minx. They’re trying to follow up on that now.
“I hope someone has him because the weather is getting bad,” said Laurie. “He’s got to be somewhere.”
Laurie’s son Dylan has been out with his friends to put up flyers and to look for Minx, too.
“The first week we were outside every night with food, squeaking his toys, crying,” said Laurie. “We kept going back to the restaurant just expecting him to be sitting there.”
The family was so devastated by their missing dog that they adopted a Border Collie puppy from Tennessee. But they say finding Minx is still a priority.
“He was like a brother to my son,” said Laurie of Minx. “We pray to St. Anthony every night. I’m not going to stop looking until I find him, alive or dead. I need to know where he is and what happened.”
The Horners are offering a reward to anyone who can safely return their dog. If you have any tips on the whereabouts of Minx, call the Horners at 461-6583 or 368-9894.