Cortney Peck wants her dog back.
The dog in question, an 18-month-old British bulldog named Otis, ran away after getting spooked by fireworks when Peck was visiting friends on Durgy Hill Road in West Rutland. Peck, who is from Castleton originally but now lives in Framingham, Massachusetts, has been looking for Otis since and has offered a $2,000 reward for his return.
Peck said she got Otis when he was 2 months old from a dog breeder in Massachusetts.
“He doesn’t have papers or anything,” she said. “He’s super friendly. He loves dogs, loves people, loves breakfast — it’s his favorite word. ... He’s a really fun dog. He smiles a lot. He can’t swim, but he loves water. He likes to lie down in the stream. He doesn’t chase other animals — at least he hasn’t before this. He might now — he’s probably hungry.”
She said the fireworks spooked Otis, and he ran into the woods.
“I tried to follow him into the woods, but it was dark,” she said. “I don’t know these woods, so I only got so far. The next day I woke up at 5:30 and walked the woods all the way to the power plant.”
Peck said she searched on her own and with help from numerous friends. She used a paid service that puts out Amber alert-style calls to phones in an area where a dog has gone missing and hired a dog tracker whom she now feels took her for a ride.
“I gave him a lot of money, and then he left,” she said, adding she is now working with a different tracker who seems more qualified.
She said they are planning to do more searching in the woods, because the new tracker said Otis would be more likely to hide there when scared. She said she also heard reports of sightings in Rutland, and that it was also possible someone has Otis at their house.
Peck said anyone who sees Otis should not try to chase him, and that the best way to call him is to offer him “breakfast,” preferably in a higher-pitched voice.
“I feel like, with the reward I put out, I believe if someone has him, they’d want the reward more than the dog,” she said. “I made it $2,000 because I figure if someone really wanted a bulldog they could go get one. I just want my dog back.”