Scully Was Out There; a Granite Shoals Community Effort Found Her
GRANITE SHOALS — As the days since her family dog, Scully, went missing dragged on, Amanda Langley didn’t give up hope. She and her family kept posting the 7-month-old French bulldog’s photo on social media, hung flyers around town, and talked to anyone they could about her.
“After four or five days, the only things that probably could have happened was somebody picked her up and was going to keep her, or she — we have some areas of trees and stuff around her — went in there, and, you know …”
She clung to the first thought after a few days stretched into more than a week then two weeks.
Scully (yes, the name is from the TV hit “The X-Files”) and the Langley clan’s other dog, Jasmine, a miniature pinscher, slipped out of their Granite Shoals yard on the afternoon of Aug. 6.
“They went on a walkabout,” Langley said.
The dogs first stuck together, it appears, but the heat began to get to Scully. With their short snouts, Langley explained, French bulldogs don’t tolerate heat as well as other breeds. Scully scratched on the door of a home, where a woman let her in and gave her water then let her back outside believing the dog belonged to a neighbor.
Now separated from Jasmine, Scully was on her own.
When Langley got home and realized the dogs were gone, she and her family began calling for them. Jasmine quickly returned, but not Scully.
“We immediately started posting on social media — Facebook, Nextdoor (a neighborhood-based private social network),” Langley said. “We went to Craigslist to look for any (French bulldogs) for sale. Just daily, we kept posting and trying to let people know.”
They went door to door with missing dog flyers, posted them on telephone poles, hung them wherever people would let them, gave them to area police dispatch centers, and notified Granite Shoals Police Department and the animal control officer.
“The community support was amazing,” Langley said. “People we didn’t know were out looking for her, sharing the post, it was incredible. We got to know a lot of our neighbors because of this.”
But Scully was still missing.
Time passed and a few days turned into two weeks without a word on the dog’s whereabouts. Then, on Aug. 21, an anonymous tip to the family gave them a name of someone who might have Scully. Langley told Granite Shoals police.
“We love dogs. We all have dogs, so we know when a dog goes missing how much (the family) want to get it back,” he said.
Officers keep an eye out for missing pets while on patrol. It’s all part of community service, the captain pointed out.
The name Langley provided was familiar to the police. Officers were looking for the suspect for another reason, one Decker couldn’t talk about due to an ongoing investigation.
And the tip didn’t prove the person had Scully.
The same day Langley received the tip, a Burnet County sheriff’s deputy pulled over a vehicle during a routine traffic stop. The deputy identified the driver and noted the passenger and a dog also in the car. The deputy concluded the stop, and everyone went on their way.
After the stop, the deputy saw one of the flyers and immediately recognized Scully as the dog in the car with the passenger. The deputy passed on the information to Granite Shoals police.
Based on the description of the passenger, Decker said they were pretty sure it was the suspect in the investigation the department was working. Granite Shoals officers had obtained a warrant for the man’s arrest in the investigation not related to Scully, and they determined the residence in which they believed the man was staying.
On Aug. 22, Granite Shoals police served the warrant on the suspect at the home. The house wasn’t far from where Scully went missing, and Langley and her family had hung flyers in the immediate vicinity, even placing one under the door mat at the house.
During the suspect’s arrest, Decker said officers asked about the missing dog. At first, the other person at the home denied the dog was there, but, after a few minutes, the individual retrieved Scully and turned her over to the officers.
At her office, Langley was in a staff meeting when she got the call.
“Chief Boshears called, and he said, ‘We should have her in about 10 minutes,’ and then he said, ‘Wait, no, we got her now,’” Langley recalled. “We started bawling.”
Even others in the meeting who knew about Scully’s disappearance shed a tear or two. When Langley got Scully back, the dog had gained weight, probably due to getting the wrong type of food, and too much of it. Plus, the French bulldog wasn’t the fawn color she was when she left the yard more than two weeks prior.
“They used human coloring and dyed her hair black,” Langley said. “I think they were trying to change her looks.”
Langley and her family are glad Scully is back.
“I know people were like, ‘Are you posting about your dog again?’” Langley said about her family’s vigilant social media campaign and continuous efforts to locate Scully. “People were probably tired of seeing it, but we weren’t giving up.”
Decker said those efforts helped locate Scully as it kept the dog’s image in front of people. The captain added that social media is also a great asset for law enforcement in how they share information with the public, whether it’s about a missing dog or a missing child or elderly person.
Langley is also firm believer in the benefits of social media.
“We’re so thankful to everyone who shared the post, walked the streets looking for Scully,” she said. “The Granite Shoals police and animal control officer were incredible. The community was amazing. Everyone — thank you.”
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