Catching Flash becomes an obsession for Port residents

Little dog named for his elusiveness becomes a social media sensation as concerned people try to help

A LITTLE BROWN puggle who has been named Flash for his speed has been seen around Port Washington numerous times during the past two weeks. Photo by Kim Haskell
Ozaukee Press staff

A little brown dog that’s been seen on Port Washington’s north side for the last two weeks has captured the hearts of residents who want to catch the canine and keep him safe as winter nears.

People have been posting dog sightings online, sending advice on how to catch him and even gave the dog a name — Flash, because he speeds away from his would-be rescuers.

They are spending hours looking for this dog, as Port resident Kim Haskell, who administers the Port Voice website, can attest.

“This morning I put in two hours walking, looking for him,” Haskell said Tuesday. “I have probably spent 20, 25, 30 hours looking for him in the last two weeks. I’ve probably put 100 miles on my car.

“I’m committed to this.”

In a community where exotic species like flamingos and more commonplace animals like cows have gotten headines recently, a little dog could easily be overlooked,­ but not in Port.

Haskell said her website gets multiple postings each day about the dog, and she also has received numerous messages from people who have seen the dog.

“The only hope we have is a group effort,” Haskell said, noting the dog is skittish and quick. “He’s not going to be an easy catch. If people approach him, he’ll just run.”

Once, she said, the dog got within about six feet of her, lured by treats she offered, but he ran after she tossed the treat to him.

“He was just shaking. He’s so scared,” she said.

The dog, she said, has touched the souls of people around the area.

“I think it’s human nature to care,” Haskell said. “He’s helpless. He’s clearly abandoned. If he wasn’t, someone would have called police to report him missing or someone would have said, ‘This is my neighbor’s dog.’”

He might also have gotten loose from a vacationer who left after abandoning the search for him, she said.

And with the weather getting colder, people are worried.

“If this was June, I wouldn’t be as concerned. But this is late October. There’s been frost on the ground. I think there’s a sense of urgency.”

People are also worried that the dog will be injured or killed either by traffic or other animals, she said.

“People have gotten invested in him,” Haskell said. “And if they happen to see him, they become part of it.”

People often post missing animals reports on her website, she said, and “We’ve always had good outcomes.”

The dog, a male puggle — part pug, part beagle — was first sighted in the area near Cousins Subs on Sept. 29, Haskell said.

He’s been seen  numerous times, almost  always on the city’s north side.

One of the first sightings reported was near the Port Wisconsin Inn and Suites, where workers renovating the hotel would sometimes grill outside in the evening and give the dog a brat or hot dog.

Haskell said she left her name and number with the hotel manager, asking he call her when the dog showed up.

The dog’s territory seems to range from St. Mary’s Cemetery off Beutel Road to Wisconsin Street, she said.

Haskell has set up live traps to try and capture the dog — the first one she set near Lions Park on Port’s far north side, and when she checked on it the next day, she discovered “we caught a big, fat raccoon” that had rolled the trap, she said.

“We set him free,” she said, noting she checks the traps three or four times a day and caught and released numerous wild animals — but not the elusive canine.

The dog was also seen repeatedly in the Town of Port, often along Highland Road, Haskell said.

“He’s constantly going back and forth between there and the city,” she  said.

When the dog wasn’t seen for a couple days, people feared the worst, Haskell said, but then he was seen on camera on Pebble Beach Road north of Harrington Beach.

“It was absolutely him,” she said.

Flash has apparently returned to Port, Haskell said, noting she received a number of sightings in the city this week — and she’s repeatedly gotten to houses within minutes of the sighting but hasn’t been able  to get him.

“By the time you walk up to him, he darts into the back yard. By the time you get to the back yard, he’s disappeared,” she said. “I’ve made it to people’s yards just in time to see his tail duck into a cornfield.”

Haskell said she’s working to create a map of the sightings to see if there’s a pattern, something to indicate where he’s sheltering.

“If we can figure that out, maybe we can get him,” she said. “The more eyes on him, the better our chances for a good outcome.”


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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