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August 7, 2013

Nonprofit group reunites 1,200 dogs, owners

Nine-month-old Zadie has been missing since May 27.

That day, the shepherd-coonhound, let off-leash by a dogwalker and spooked, traveled from the Middlesex Fells to Stoneham, then was spotted by state troopers going south down Interstate 93 to Route 28. Then the trail went cold for a month, before people reported seeing a dog matching Zadie’s description in Peabody and Beverly in July.

Now, co-owner Matt Osborne-Smith of Cambridge says he has 4 credible reports in the last 12 days — two on Sunday — that his dog is in the Gloucester village of Magnolia, near Hammond Castle and Route 127.

Zadie’s owners are receiving help from Granite State Dog Recovery, a nonprofit group focused on reuniting dogs with their owners. The group has posted Zadie’s picture and description, reaching more than 25,000 Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

“The most important thing is to get the word out to as many people as possible,” said Lori Bertrand, one of the organization’s founders.

Bertrand is one of six women who volunteer around the clock to find missing dogs or the owners of found pets.

The organization, based in Salem, N.H., covers all of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and posts notices for dogs missing elsewhere in New England.

The volunteers create and post fliers on social media and go out searching for dogs.

Osborne-Smith says that the hunt for Zadie has led to the recovery of two other lost dogs, and that he is “cautiously optimistic” that the dog seen in Magnolia is his, and that she will be recovered.

“These are the best leads we’ve had in over two months,” he said. “This is hard work, with a lot of emotional ups and downs. Granite State Dog Recovery is fantastic, all the volunteers are fantastic.”

Granite State Dog Recovery is also helping with the search for Duncan, a 58-pound white coonhound with liver spots who left home when a latch broke and followed his nose into Dogtown on July 27. He’s wearing a collar and has been heard baying in Nelson’s Quarry.

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