COTTAGE GROVE (WKOW) — A rescued dog who went missing in Cottage Grove lived through the dangerous arctic weather for nearly a week until she was found and taken home.
“We’re on a high. We’re still on a very big high right now,” said Patty Manier with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes.
Manier picked up Keeton, a four-year-old rescue dog from Alabama, about two weeks ago.
“I fostered her for a week,” she said. “She [Keeton] was adopted by a person in Cottage Grove and I took her to their home on Saturday.”
The excitement of getting a new furry friend didn’t last long. About an hour after Keeton met her new owner, she got away while on a walk.
“I got a call from the adopter saying that she slipped out of her leash when they were taking her for a very short walk,” said Manier. “She bolted across the street.”
Manier took her dog, Anna, and raced to Cottage Grove to help look for Keeton. They searched the area, but she was nowhere to be found.
“I took Anna with me because she knows Anna,” said Manier.
After a long search, Manier went home and around eight o’clock Saturday night she received a call that Keeton was spotted. Sadly, the sighting didn’t lead to Keeton.
“We started a Facebook page for her called ‘Finding Keeton.’ From there, people started getting the word out,” Manier explained.
Flyers were also distributed around town.
Before she knew it, Manier and Keeton’s adoptive owner had an entire village helping in the search.
“The community, Cottage Grove, really came together. It was amazing,” said Manier as she had tears in her eyes, overwhelmed by the support.
“The police department was notified, the fire department was notified, we had someone on an ATV go around the cornfields. We didn’t know where she was,” Manier added.
For five nights everyone wondered where Keeton was and how she was doing in the dangerously cold temperatures.
“We were hoping she’d find shelter because the temperatures just got unbelievable,” Manier said. “Nobody really lost hope, but everyone was super concerned because of the weather.”
Then, there was a potential lead. Manier got a call from a man who was driving his truck along a road near a cornfield when he spotted Keeton. He recognized her due to the flyer in his truck and immediately called Manier.
Manier drove to the area where Keeton was seen and got another guy to give her a ride on a snowmobile to where Keeton was resting.
“We got here a couple hours later. She was in that field hunkered down in an area near a treeline,” said Manier. “She came running right out to me when I called her name.”
Manier calls it all a miracle. Keeton is doing rather well and is healing after getting frostbite to her nose. She also lost three pounds but is eating well, according to Manier.
“She’s going to be OK,” said Manier as she pet Keeton. “You know, in a way, Keeton has always been a survivor,” she added as she smiled.
The dog, who was rescued from a shelter in Alabama, survived neglect and abuse and now a near-death experience in a Wisconsin winter.
“Her first four years haven’t been the greatest, but the rest of it is going to be great from now on,” Manier said.
Once Keeton gets clearance from a veterinarian, she will move back in with her adoptive owner. Manier, who works for Underdog Pet Rescue of Wisconsin, says Keeton just needs more time to get used to her new home.