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Irondequoit Post
  • Hundreds use social networks to search for missing dog

  • It's been nearly two months since Maverick, an Irondequoit family's Siberian husky, escaped from his yard; since then, dozens of people have seen a husky matching his description, with special thanks to social networking for spreading the message.

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  • It's been nearly two months since Maverick, an Irondequoit family's Siberian husky, escaped from his yard; since then, dozens of people have seen a husky matching his description, with special thanks to social networking for spreading the message.
    Maverick escaped the day after Thanksgiving. His owner, Joe Vara had posted for Maverick's return on Craigslist and Facebook, where county residents have pledged $1,250 for the safe return of the dog.
    The postings on Craigslist appealed for information on Maverick's appearance, and within days, there were reports of him in Penfield, near the Embury and Creek Street intersection. Now, more people are calling in to say they've seen a husky matching his description in the same area, and more residents have called in to help bring the dog home.
    The Facebook group — "Maverick the Siberian Husky is Missing" — has devoted followers who are braving the elements to search for the dog, whose breed is built for winter survival. Huskies are known for their energy and thick, double-coated fur coat. Their ancestory runs to the Siberian Arctic, and they were bred to be sled dogs, according to the American Kennel Club.
    Last week, there were three possible sightings of Maverick. Around 10:10 a.m. on Jan. 12, a woman saw a husky matching Maverick's description heading south on Creek Street. Ten minutes later, a woman watched a husky pass in front of her on Creek Street. Five minutes after that, a young girl told her aunt there was a dog behind her car in a long driveway on Cardogan Square, a housing tract off Embury Road.
    Vara joined volunteers from Facebook who went to follow the dog's tracks. They were joined by Murphy, the Vara family's 3-year-old beagle-shepard mix. Maverick is 'Murphy's playmate.'
    The tracks lead them through the Embury area, following until they hit a creek bed and lost sight of any more tracks.
    "We just reconstructed the scene," Vara said. "We followed the tracks and we hoped that maybe at the end of the tracks we'd find him, or at least know there's been a dog walking around there, or maybe he had laid down somewhere."
    Other sightings include Schlegel, Salt and Plank roads and on Monroe Avenue in the city. Residents at Phillips Village in Webster also saw a Siberian husky matching Maverick's description.
    Maverick, who has not been neutered, has been tracked by some other volunteers off Facebook, who have unspayed females. All in all, the eyes on the missing dog's case have been put there by the social networking push.
    "It got people interested in Maverick," Vara said. His daughter, Kelly, helps manage the page. "It got people to help pass out fliers and to organize people."
    Page 2 of 2 - Tips on any husky sightings have been left on the page regularly, averaging two to three sightings a day in recent weeks.
    "It's really nice to see people come together," Vara said.
    He hopes that if someone has, or had, his dog in their home, that they return Maverick. The family says they hope to have Maverick back, to join Murphy, or "Murph," and their cockapoo, Sammie.
    Maverick is black, white and silver, with white patches above his eyes. When he left the Varas' Culver-area home, he had a blue collar with a blue dog bone tag attached. He is 1 year old, weighing about 50 to 55 pounds.
    Local veteranarians and animal control officers have been made aware of Maverick, as well.
    If you've seen the dog, contact the family through the Facebook page, or at 775-2586 or 330-0983.

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