Delaware County woman enters fifth month of searching for lost foster dog

DELAWARE CO., OH (WCMH) — A quest to find a runaway dog from Lewis Center is now in its fifth month, and his foster parent is using every available means to find Rico the pit bull.

NBC4’s Rick Reitzel spent the day with Marci Dop as she search in the Powell area.

Dop has done all the usual things as she and many other volunteers look for Rico, like posting signs on light poles, taking pictures and posting them on social media sites. On Facebook,  search “lost male Pitbull” and Rico’s photo may come up.

She has even hired a company to fly a drone over remote areas, to no avail. Dop said she had a dog tracker from Dayton and another from out-of-state in on the search. That usually happens after Rico is spotted and the tracking dog follows his scent left from his collar. Applying modern technology, she bought several trail cameras paired with bowls of food.  She said the cameras use a data connection to send pictures taken to her cell phone after motion is detected by the bowl.

“I love that dog, I was very connected to him and I feel like I have let him down. I took him in and I was supposed to make his life better,” she said.

It’s bond any parent or animal lover understands.

“It is hard to go to bed at night not knowing where he is sleeping if he is hungry and what is happening to him,” Dop said as she drove down Seldom Seen Road with her head on a swivel.

Dop said Rico has been spotted about once every two to three weeks and the sightings give her hope. Asked about the expenses, she says she will do whatever it takes.

“You can’t put a price tag on love,” she said. “I know he is out there, I know he is traveling and long as I have the resources and support from the community, to find him then I’m going to do it.”

When Powell resident Dee Dunn heard Rico was missing, she placed his poster in her car window and joined the search.

“We heard he was actually close to our backyard and then we met Marci,” said Dunn.

“My family knows I’m a little bit nuts so that is ok, my family has been incredibly supportive of the whole thing,” Dop said.

Dop said she became Rico’s foster parent in January after he was taken to the Franklin County Dog Shelter. She was following Angels For Animals and other rescue groups and was interesting in fostering. There are a lot of rescues like this around the county who Dop said will take some of these dogs that don’t make it to the adoption floor. Then rescues find foster homes for the dogs.

She said Rico had medical and skin issues along with an ear infection, and was withdrawn.

She said Rico ran away on May 4th after another dog ran at him to play and that scared him, causing him to yank out of his collar

Rico is a shy dog without many social skills, so Dop said if you see him, do not chase him, take a picture and text it to her at 614-769-3288.

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