$5,000 reward offered for missing Gloucester County pup
HARRISON (Gloucester County) — Sitting on 11 acres in the Mullica Hill section of town Mark Gray said he taught his Akita's Kabuki and Shika to not leave his property. He said that training went out the window two weeks ago when they chased a deer that ran through the woods, and Kabuki hasn't been seen since.
Gray said Shika eventually found her way home, which is part of why he has hope that Kabuki will find his way as well. More than that, he said, he has been blown away by the support he has found through social media with total strangers working to help bring Kabuki home.
"It went from can somebody help me find my dog to everybody is trying to help me find my dog," he said. "I never realized how much people cared about somebody else's dog."
Not long after the initial post about Kabuki going missing he said he watched as the Facebook shares soared over 4,000 in very little time. All those shares, he said, brought help and advice from Akita experts, owners, dog trackers, and even animal psychics.
After two weeks Gray said there have been some possible sightings, but nothing concrete to help him reunite with his dog. He doesn't know what happened to Kabuki, but he said it could be something as simple as the Akita jumping into a stranger's car on the roadway who doesn't know he is lost.
Gray said Kabuki is a friendly dog, which is why he would not be surprised if he had gone with a stranger. On the other hand, he said he has been told by Akita experts that if Kabuki was alone in the woods his primal instincts might take over.
"Once he starts hunting and trying to fend for himself he then hides in the woods, hides from people, hides from noises and is just trying to survive and make ends meet," Gray said.
It is because of that, that he said finding Kabuki could be harder and take longer. However, he said he has also been reassured that those same instincts could help Kabuki survive in the wild and increase the chances of him coming home safely.
He may not have found his dog yet, but Gray said it has meant a lot to see the incredible outpouring of support, something he said wouldn't have been possible in the days before social media.
"I have people from all over the world, the United States, and everywhere here that are offering every kind of prayer and hope," he said. "In my mind I'm like 'I really hope he comes home just so all these people can breathe a sigh of relief, including me, and everybody can go back to normal.'"
In order to help bring Kabuki home Gray has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to his return.
"The $5,000 reward is just to help somebody look," he said. "Nobody stole my dog. I don't think anyone stole my dog necessarily. My dog was off my property, so they've actually found my dog. And for finding my dog I'd like to give them that $5,000."
Ward said not having microchips implanted in dogs, or having them on leashes when they were out of the houses were regrettable mistakes, but said he already has plans to fix those mistakes. that includes getting GPS tracking units for Shika and Kabuki if he does come home.
"We're hopeful. I'm trying. I've listened to everybody's advice," he said. "Where the heck is Kabuki? Kabuki come home."
Gray encouraged anyone who finds Kabuki to call either 609-617-1245 or 856-81-5400. A Facebook page has also been established to help with the search for Kabuki.
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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com