Terry Sheinfield lies awake at night fearful that the Rhodesian Ridgeback named Rosebud she helped rescue from a troubled home is trying to find her wait back to St. Louis.
Rosebud ran away just four hours after the dog was dropped off at her “forever home” in Barrington Sept. 18. Missing for about a month , Rosebud has been spotted several times but remains lost and on the loose.
“She’s looking for something familiar,” said Terry Sheinfield a Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue, Inc. coordinator, “That may be me or my home but she continues to move south.”
Sheinfield helped rescue the dog and fostered Rosebud for two months at her home in St. Louis. “She couldn’t just go to any family,” Sheinfield said, “We placed her with a Ridgeback savvy, rescue savvy family.”
Sheinfield drove from St. Louis and delivered Rosebud to her adoptive family in Barrington Sept. 18; four hours later the dog escaped. “I was about an hour from home when I got the call,” said Sheinfield, “I just made a U-turn and drove right back.”
On a walk with her new owners, a timid Rosebud backed out of her harness and ran off. “She saw an opportunity and took it,” Sheinfield said, “She was terrified.”
Within two hours of her escape, Rosebud was seen in Barrington, a mile south from her “forever home.”
Three days later, Rosebud was spotted in Inverness on Sept. 21 and then again Sept. 26. Sheinfield said, “She was just running through, running with the tail in between her legs.”
Rosebud’s trail went cold for about two and a half weeks, but hope was restored Saturday, Oct. 13, when Rosebud was seen five times near the Paul Douglas Forest Preserve in Hoffman Estates.
If the dog continues to head south, Rosebud will have to find a way to cross Interstate 90. “I pray now more than I ever have,” Sheinfield said, “I pray for dumb luck, for her to get trapped in someone’s yard or fenced in pool or just something.”
Rosebud’s former foster mom tries to stay positive but knowing Rosebud is trying to make her way back to the only home she’s ever known in St. Louis, keeps Sheinfield up at night. “Dogs can track their way back to what’s familiar but they usually don’t make it,” Sheinfield said, “Not because they can’t but because they run into something dangerous.”
To keep Rosebud away from busy streets, they're trying to keep her in one place. “We’re putting high concentrations of familiar scents in those areas to make her feel a little bit more safe so she settles in one area,” Sheinfield said, “That’s the only way we’ll get her.”
According to witness reports, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is still wearing her red collar and trackers believe Rosebud is most likely still in Hoffman Estates. “We hope she is still in Hoffman Estates, then we would just think towns south of there,” Sheinfield, said, “Schaumburg could be a likely place too.”
Sheinfield did not want to give the exact locations of where the dog has been spotted because she does not want people to look for Rosebud. Sheinfield said, “If you even talk to her, she’s going to be terrified and run.”
To help find Rosebud, Sheinfield asks people who see the dog to call her at (314) 805-6781 or contact the local police department. Chasing or calling Rosebud could make her panic and run further. Sheinfield said, “We simply need people to pickup the phone and give us times, locations and the direction she’s headed.”
Mistrustful in new situations, Rosebud is so afraid of people, Sheinfield, said she has no hope of the dog coming to anyone. “It’s a crazy strong instinct to avoid humans,” Sheinfield said, “Fear is her strongest survival instinct and that will be what drives her unless she gets close to death, unfortunately.”
Witnesses who spotted Rosebud Oct. 13 said the dog looked very thin. “She’s obviously starving,” said Sheinfield, “Her poor little heart has to be torn over her fear of people and her need to eat.”
In an effort to keep Rosebud alive and stationary, feeding stations have been set up in the same areas where Sheinfield spread scents that are familiar to the dog. Sheinfield said, “What’s going to bring her home is making her feel safe and keeping her in one spot.”
On the loose for about a month, Sheinfield said her best bet to get Rosebud back will be with help of a live humane trap. Sheinfield said, “We’re inching toward that but there’s a lot of work that goes into it and getting everything lined up.”
If trackers narrow Rosebud’s whereabouts to a specific location, Sheinfield would need to get permission to set a trap and then of course, lure Rosebud into the trap. Food is placed in the back of the long metal cage; when stepped on, a plate in front of the food dish tricks the trap door to contain the animal. The trap is commonly used to by rescuers use to catch dogs, it does not harm or injure animals.
If found, Sheinfield would take Rosebud back to her last home in St. Louis, “It would be a re-rescue,” Sheinfield said, “We’d have to start over.”
First rescued from an Illinois farm in June, Rosebud was removed from “A horrible situation,” Sheinfield said, “It was hard and inhumane conditions.”
When Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue, Inc, rescued Rosbud she was dangerously skinny and had heartworm; her chances for survival were slim.
Nursed back to health once before, Sheinfield said she’s ready to save the dog all over again. “The conditions she’s in now is probably the equivalent to what we rescued her from,” said Sheinfield, "She knows how to survive, we just need to find her."
Away from her St. Louis home for about three weeks, Sheinfield has hung more than 300 posters throughout the community. “It started off very emotional with a lot of tears but it’s turned into this mission to bring Rosebud back,” said Sheinfield.
As word of Rosebud spreads, Sheinfield said she has lost count of the number of volunteers eager to help in her search. Overwhelmed by the community’s generosity, Sheinfield said she’s very grateful but stresses people should not go out to look for Rosebud. If people spot the dog Sheinfield asks they call her at (314) 805-6781 or the local police.