‘Truly remarkable.’ Mission to find missing dog from Shelton unites thousands in CT and beyond
Jason Petrini, of Shelton, was in Europe when he got a panicked call from the pet sitter: Louie, Petrini’s 5-year-old pit bull, had escaped from the house on Waverly Road. Petrini immediately cut his trip short.
“To hear the news he went missing, was devastating,” Petrini told News 12.
Monday marked Day 12 of Louie being gone, despite an extensive search effort that’s turned into a movement, uniting thousands of people in Fairfield County and beyond. Lost dog flyers are seemingly everywhere in Shelton—telephone poles, mailboxes, businesses, even cars. Petrini set up a table stacked with posters and flyers at the end of the driveway, which hundreds of people have stopped by to grab.
“I think so far we've printed well over 5,000 fliers and lawn signs, so the word is traveling,” Petrini said.
That’s also thanks to social media. Scroll through Facebook, and Louie's picture pops up plenty in part because of a growing Facebook group devoted to bringing him home. People across Connecticut and even New York and New Jersey have joined the effort.
“It's truly remarkable,” Petrini said.
He told News 12 he bought dozens of surveillance cameras and put them at nearby water sources where Louie might potentially stop to drink water. A couple sightings near the reservoir led Petrini to sleep in the woods for several nights. “Normal Jay wouldn’t go on a hike or two feet into the woods,” he joked.
Strangers who've never met Louie have checked their Ring cameras for possible glimpses of the dog and shared them online.
“I’ve also heard stories of people just stopping what they're doing to hang posters up and kids from high school and middle school putting TikTok videos up,” Petrini added. “The amount of support to me has been—I mean, it's been life changing.”
Petrini said it’s also given him hope as people have shared their own stories of reunions with pets weeks or even months later.
He told News 12 Louie can travel 10-15 miles a day so he could be anywhere in Connecticut at this point. Petrini asked that if you do see the dog, don’t shout his name or chase him. Instead call Petrini’s number, which is listed on the flyer, 203-246-6628. You can learn more by clicking here.
“I just want to get him home,” said Petrini, who teared up when talking about what Louie means to him. “The old saying goes, ‘A dog is a man's best friend.’ But it's so much more than that.”
There is a $5,000 reward for Louie’s safe return, no questions asked.