2016-11-03 / Front Page

Feets Is Found

By Stephanie Fortino


Nancy Meyer of Evergreen Shores holds Feets, the three-year-old spaniel mix that had been loose since October 6. The Mackinac County Animal Shelter, Mrs. Meyer, and many of her neighbors have been searching for the dog that was found Thursday, October 27. Nancy Meyer of Evergreen Shores holds Feets, the three-year-old spaniel mix that had been loose since October 6. The Mackinac County Animal Shelter, Mrs. Meyer, and many of her neighbors have been searching for the dog that was found Thursday, October 27. There wasn’t a dry eye in the Mackinac County Animal Shelter Thursday, October 27, as people gathered to meet Feets, the three-year-old dog that has been missing since October 6. After 20 days of diligent searching, the dog was captured in a live trap Thursday morning and returned to her owners, Bill and Emma Padgett of Cadillac.

“The community worked hard together to find her,” said Ginger Valentine of the Mackinac County Animal Shelter.

The successful return of Feets to her owners was a community-wide effort, she said.

“Whenever she was sighted in Evergreen Shores,” said Mrs. Valentine, “we’d get calls from people. We set out four or five live traps. The whole town was out there trying to find her.”


After 20 days missing in Evergreen Shores, Feets the dog was found Thursday morning, October 27. She is pictured here with staff from the Mackinac County Animal Shelter and residents of Evergreen Shores who have been diligent in searching for her. Pictured are (from left) Jordan Belleville, Tina Newsome, Ginger Valentine holding Feets, Mark Eby, Nancy Meyer, and Gary Meyer. After 20 days missing in Evergreen Shores, Feets the dog was found Thursday morning, October 27. She is pictured here with staff from the Mackinac County Animal Shelter and residents of Evergreen Shores who have been diligent in searching for her. Pictured are (from left) Jordan Belleville, Tina Newsome, Ginger Valentine holding Feets, Mark Eby, Nancy Meyer, and Gary Meyer. Feets, a 15-pound spaniel mix, went missing from an Evergreen Shores motel, when the couple visited the area for their anniversary.

“It was the worst anniversary ever,” Mr. Padgett said.

Nancy Meyer was one of the local residents constantly on the lookout for Feets. She sighted her many times while walking her Chihuahua. Fellow Evergreen Shores resident Mark Eby searched for her, as well, making frequent trips in his truck in search of her.


Bill and Emma Padgett of Cadillac were overcome with emotion to be reunited with their three-year-old dog, Feets, Thursday, October 27. The dog had been missing in Evergreen Shores for 20 days, and a community effort led to her safe return. Bill and Emma Padgett of Cadillac were overcome with emotion to be reunited with their three-year-old dog, Feets, Thursday, October 27. The dog had been missing in Evergreen Shores for 20 days, and a community effort led to her safe return. “She’s been elusive,” Mrs. Meyer said.

With her slight body and black and white coat, Feets has been living in Evergreen Shores for the past 20 days. On the night she went missing, folks in Evergreen Shores banded together and looked for the dog until late at night.

“About three weeks ago, Nancy and I were running around like chickens with our heads cut off,” trying to find the dog, Mr. Eby said.

“Yeah, we stayed out probably until 10 o’clock that night,” Mrs. Meyer said.

While Feets was missing for three weeks, she appeared to be in good health and hadn’t lost too much weight, Mrs. Valentine said. The neighbors in Evergreen Shores, like Mr. Eby, Tony Grondin, and Terry Gillespie, made sure she was well fed by leaving food outdoors for her.

Whenever she was sighted, she would take off running.

“She’s got long legs and she can run like the wind,” Mrs. Valentine said.

As the days wore on, people started to get nervous for her safe re- turn, especially as nighttime temperatures dipped. She found shelter beneath an abandoned house trailer to keep warm, and that’s where she was found. During the time she was missing, Feets had traveled throughout the area, roaming as far away as Mackinac County Airport. Mrs. Valentine put out a small live trap Wednesday night, October 26, to try to catch her, and it worked. Thursday morning, mail carrier Mel Prather found her near the trailer during his morning route.

“We got Feets!” he said.

The Evergreen Shores community and animal shelter had invested many hours to finding Feets, and her arrival at the shelter was met with high emotions.

“I was weak in the knees when I got the phone call,” Mrs. Valentine said. “I said, ‘I have to calm down to drive!’”

When the dog got to the animal shelter, she was given a bath to get rid of fleas and fed a nice breakfast of hamburger, one of her favorite foods.

“For not wanting to be caught,” said Mrs. Meyer as she held Feets, “she sure wants to be held. But she was just scared.”

Word quickly spread Thursday that the missing dog had been found, and a parade of people concerned about her well-being stopped by the animal shelter to visit.

Mrs. Valentine called the Padgetts early Thursday morning to share the good news. Mrs. Padgett quickly called her husband and was so overcome with emotion that she just cried on the phone. Not knowing what was happening, Mr. Padgett, who works as a small motor mechanic, promptly left work to return home. The two left quickly thereafter, making their way to St. Ignace. They reached the animal shelter in about two hours, yet planned to drive slowly back.

When Mr. and Mrs. Padgett were finally reunited with their dog, they were overcome with emotion. Tears streamed down Mrs. Padgett’s face as she hugged Feets close. Sitting on the floor near the kennels, the dog happily climbed into Mr. Padgett’s lap and snuggled in.

“She’s loveable,” Mrs. Padgett said, “and a sweet dog.”

“We’re just glad to have her back,” said her husband.

As the office of the animal shelter emptied, hugs were shared all around and people wished Feets well.

“Goodbye, baby girl, you be good, OK?,” said Glenda Raleigh, who works at the shelter.

The couple is thankful for the diligent work of the animal shelter and the community in Evergreen Shores.

“If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have her,” Mr. Padgett said. “They went well above and beyond what they had to do.”

“It’s a happy ending,” agreed Mrs. Valentine. “We were bound and determined to get this dog, and we did.”

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