A real dill-emma: Ditmas Parkers lead weeks-long search for pup Pickles

A real dill-emma: Ditmas Parkers lead weeks-long search for pup Pickles
Jasmin Cruz

They’re in a pickle!

A pair of Ditmas Park dog owners are desperately searching for their pooch, Pickles, who would-be rescuers have chased across the borough since he ran away during an August walk.

And although the last time a passerby eyed the escaped border-collie mix was almost two weeks ago, his humans — who gave the mutt a Kings County home after do-gooders saved him from becoming dog meat in his native Thailand — have no doubt he is still somewhere out there.

“He’s a survivor,” said Jasmin Cruz.

Pickles and a dog walker were out for a stroll near his home on Aug. 26 when another canine spooked the pup at Ditmas Avenue and Marlborough Road, where he took off after wriggling out of his harness and a GPS-equipped collar, which Cruz claimed the walker carelessly attached to the leash.

“We have those separate for a reason — if he were to get loose, the collar has his tags and a GPS to track him,” she said. “Her negligence has led to this unfortunate event.”

Cruz and her husband Joseph Masella posted hundreds of fliers and took to social media to spread word of their missing pooch soon after he bolted, and the next day someone responded claiming to have seen Pickles near Brooklyn College, according to the dog owners, who said another do-gooder then alleged to witness the furball at the Marine Park Golf Course on Aug. 28.

Masella trekked the four-plus miles from Ditmas Park to the course after receiving that tip, and actually caught a glimpse of his beloved companion there, but the skittish canine darted away at the sight of his master, Cruz said.

“My husband was there and physically saw him, but he was in complete flight mode, and as soon as he saw a shadow he ran the other way,” she said.

Other locals have since claimed to see Pickles in Prospect Park near Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch, and at the intersection of Fort Hamilton Parkway and E. Third Street, where someone reported the last alleged sighting of the dog on Sept. 2.

It’s not the mutt’s first time living on the streets — prior to arriving in Brooklyn in 2015, Pickles spent seven years as a stray in Thailand before being abducted by butchers intent on selling his flesh on the country’s thriving dog-meat market, according to Cruz, who said a rescue group ultimately freed the pup and transported him to the United States.

But Pickles would never be on his latest odyssey if his walker with pet-sitting service Wag did a better job keeping an eye on her four-legged client, according to a do-gooder helping to recover the dog, who claimed the company has a poor record of returning mutts to their owners.

“We’ve had at least 10 dogs missing with this walking group,” said Stella Blanca Panzarino, who runs the Lost and Found Pets in Brooklyn Facebook group. “We’re not too fond of it.”

A Wag spokeswoman defended its professionalism, however, claiming escapes rarely occur, and that the firm took steps to relocate Pickles including employing a professional dog tracker in addition to forming search parties, posting fliers, and issuing a so-called canine Amber Alert.

“Returning Pickles home has been, and remains, a 24-7 effort,” said Dini von Mueffling.

Cruz acknowledged Wag’s attempts to find Pickles, but didn’t rule out taking legal action against the company if its workers stop assisting in the hunt before it is resolved.

Anyone who spots Pickles is asked to immediately call (917) 521–6408, and should avoid approaching the dog, who will likely run away, his owners said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.