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Mocha getting some much needed rest after her long ordeal.

Many Sanford residents have been anxiously following the story of Mocha, a 1 1/2 year old brown mini-labradoodle who went missing from her State St. home on January 6, not long after being adopted. Sanford Animal Control Officer Lauren Masellas and Maine Lost Dog Recovery (MLDR) volunteers followed up on tips from the public to track her down. The good news this week is that after 19 days out in the cold, Mocha was secured and returned to her family on January 25. She was immediately taken to the vet for assessment and fluids. Mocha lost 10-12 pounds while she was on the loose, more than a third of her weight.

Ofc. Masellas said efforts to capture Mocha were hampered by well-meaning individuals who chased after the dog in attempts to be helpful, but those only served to spook the skittish pup, who reportedly had a traumatic upbringing as the product of a puppy mill.

Mocha’s travels took her all over town. She was sighted in numerous locations including St. Ignatius Cemetery, Dunkin’s and the rotary in South Sanford, Number One Pond and the trails off of School and High Sts. Eventually, after the big snow storm she settled in off Candlewood Lane. A sharp-eyed homeowner spotted her entering his shed and confined her there with a space heater until rescuers could arrive.

Ofc. Masellas credits the help of MLDR in this and other rescues. The organization supplies volunteers, traps and game cameras to bring furry family members home.

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