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Rocko Returned To Owner In Happy Reunion

Rocko is pictured Wednesday night with his owner, Tory Johnson, after the pit bull jumped from a tractor-trailer last week and ran away. The dog was kept at the Lakeshore Humane Society prior to the reunion. Photo by Jo Ward

It was a happy reunion for Rocko and his owner.

The 1-year-old pit bull was returned to Tory Johnson in a late-night meeting made possible by T&M WNY Lost Dog Search Rescue and Lakeshore Humane Society. The dog jumped from Johnson’s tractor-trailer along Interstate 90 between the Westfield and Dunkirk exits Aug. 12 and ran into the woods.

Johnson briefly searched for Rocko, but had to get back on the road.

“He was so upset and we just wanted to find this dog before coyotes did or he ran back out into the thruway and was hit,” Denise Zentz, animal control officer for the city of Dunkirk, said earlier this week.

Rocko was eventually located three days later by two Forestville High School students, Lauryn Pierce and Annie Bruce.

“I received a call late Friday evening with a sighting in the wooded area where he ran off from his owner on the I-90,” Zentz said. “Lauryn Pierce and Annie Bruce were riding a four-wheeler in a grape vineyard when they saw him lying in a wooded area. They immediately reached out to the Lakeshore Humane Society’s shared post and the search began.”

With the help of Mary Beth McElligot and Lisa Fish-Vaccore, of T&M WNY Lost Dog Search Rescue and Trap, the team jumped into action Saturday morning. By Sunday evening, Rocko was trapped safely.

Rocko was kept at the Lakeshore Humane Society until Wednesday night’s reunion.

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