Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Doberman missing for a month to return home

Zoe lost about half her normal body weight after getting lost. 

Courtesy of SPCA Tampabay

Zoe lost about half her normal body weight after getting lost. 

LARGO — Elizabeth Morris was sure she would never see her pet again.

Zoe, a 6-year-old Doberman, disappeared from her home a month ago. She and one of the family's other dogs broke through the backyard fence and ran off. The other dog returned, but Zoe, who likes to run, did not.

Morris, 36, and her husband, a state trooper, put up fliers, checked with animal shelters, drove around their New Port Richey neighborhood and even posted a message on the Internet.

After weeks passed, they started to lose hope.

Wednesday, Morris got a call from a family that lives a few subdivisions away.

They had seen one of the fliers and recognized the photo as the emaciated and dehydrated dog that had wandered into their yard on Christmas. The family took the dog to an emergency clinic in Largo, and it was now at the SPCA Tampa Bay shelter.

But there was a problem. Zoe couldn't be released until a $1,000 vet bill was paid. The Morrises didn't have the money.

"The whole thing was so unexpected. I would have to surrender her ... because I can't afford that," said Morris, a speech therapist who has a 12-week-old baby and a 6-year-old daughter. "It's very difficult at this time. Everything that comes in basically goes out."

Enter Seminole City Council member Dan Hester, a former SPCA Tampa Bay board member, who saw their story and decided to donate $1,000 to get Zoe home.

"I was touched by their story," he said. "I don't know who these people are, but I certainly understand the roller coaster they must be going through."

The family was thrilled when they found out. But Zoe still has a long road ahead of her. The dog, which used to weigh about 60 to 70 pounds, is currently at 35.

"We all understand it's tough economic times," said Megan Trethewey, a SPCA spokeswoman. "Zoe needs to go home to be with her family. It's about reuniting them."

Kameel Stanley can be reached at or (727) 893-8643.

Doberman missing for a month to return home 12/31/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 31, 2009 9:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  2. Quiet college dropout turned bomber: Who was Salman Abedi?


    LONDON — He was quiet and withdrawn, a college dropout who liked soccer — and, some say, showed alarming signs of being radicalized years before he walked into a pop concert at Britain's Manchester Arena and detonated a powerful bomb, killing himself and 22 others.

    Salman Abedi was identified by British authorities as the man behind Monday’s attack.
  3. Soldiers launch attacks in besieged Philippine city


    MARAWI, Philippines — Backed by tanks and rocket-firing helicopters, Philippine troops launched "precision attacks" Thursday to clear extremists linked to the Islamic State group from a city that has been under siege since a raid that failed to capture one of Asia's most-wanted militants.

    Soldiers fire at enemy positions Thursday while trying to clear the city of Marawi, Philippines, of armed militants.
  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Seminole man accused of fracturing 8-month-old baby's leg


    Deputies arrested a Seminole man Thursday after he fractured an 8-month-old baby's bones, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Gary G. Gibeault of Seminole was arrested on a charge of aggravated child abuse.