By Kevin Pence, BRATT
Triangle Beagle Rescue alumna Duplin escaped from her adopter’s fenced yard and was on the run for 39 days. BRATT (Triangle Beagle Rescue’s Beagle Recovery And Trapping Team) members and volunteers from the neighborhood and the TBR community were hot on her tail and never gave up on their commitment to capturing her. This is the story of the day she was finally trapped as told by Kevin Pence — her prior foster dad and BRATT member.
In the two days preceding her capture, Duplin had been absent from the area which was concerning given that she knew she had a reliable food source at the trap. After almost exactly 48 hours, she popped back up on the cameras. She teased us by lingering around the backyard gate and popping in and out but the opportunity for capture evaded us yet again. Sunday morning was spent (by several of us) catching up on some sleep. Mark and I devised a strategy for the afternoon and so we set out towards the trap location (about an hours drive for Mark and 90 miles for me).
As I was nearing the area, Mark called to state that he encountered an electronic failure with the remote control component. We devised a new triggering mechanism and I headed for the local home improvement and auto parts stores to purchase the supplies we needed.
Upon my arrival, Mark informed me that our crafty Ms. Duplin had just paid a visit to grab a bite for lunch. Unfortunately, the trigger mechanism for the trap was not yet operational. So, we got to the task of rewiring the manual trigger switch to a 100' lead that would allow us to hide under two trees at the top of a slight hill.
By 3pm we were ready to go so I crawled under the trees, Mark staked out in his car, and we had the owner walk the loop through the wooded area that Duplin had been following. Sherrie & Jeff kept watch from the house. The rest of the team was monitoring the WhatsApp chat, eagerly awaiting any update. Now we wait.
The owner had seen no sign of Duplin on his initial loop so we weren’t sure she was still in the neighborhood. We waited for nearly two hours with nothing. The owner made a second loop around 5pm and still no sign of our quarry. We were beginning to get concerned that daylight was quickly fading since we did not yet have the light beam trigger mechanism completed.
Suddenly, Duplin appeared in the clearing directly across from my vantage point. My heart was now pounding in my chest but I had to remain calm and still so I didn’t give away my position and spook her off. The wait for her to make her way down the clearing towards the trap seemed like an eternity. Just as it seemed like luck was in our favor, she startled and looked right at me! We had a good headwind that day so I don’t think she could smell me but had she seen me move. We are so close now!! At that moment, I heard some tags jingling behind me. A neighbor walking his dog around the cul-de-sac. The timing could not have been worse. It was him that she saw and when he cleared the trees, she shuffled into the woods and disappeared from view.
Ugh! Nothing to do now but wait longer to see if she circles back. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long. Duplin approached the bowl under the net from the opposite direction and when she lowered her head to eat, I threw the switch to drop the net. She was lightning quick to run as the net started coming down. I sprung from my hiding spot and sprinted down the hill as fast as my bad knees would carry me. With Mark on my heels, we raced to the bottom of the hill as Duplin turned the corner…towards the retention pond. The one direction we did not want her to go. As I rounded the corner, I could see that she was caught in the net but was fighting furiously to free herself from the entanglement. She started down the embankment towards the water but the long brush slowed her progress enough for me to get hands on the net a few feet from the water. I threw the blanket I had over her to calm her…and to prevent any possibility of a panic bite.
Mark was able to get the blanket adjusted so she was fully covered and bring her crate so we could safely carry her to the owner’s garage to be untangled from the net. With the help of Jeff and Mike, Mark and I were able to carry Duplin to the secure location. Surprisingly, we were able to get her untangled fairly quickly and give her some time to calm down before we removed her from the crate.
What a huge relief!!! After nearly six weeks and many sleepless nights, Duplin is now safe. Tears of joy were shed. Neighbors cheered. Kids rushed up to give our girl some gentle pets. Success!
This kind of a capture requires a small army of dedicated/obsessive volunteers to see things through to the end. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Team Duplin members without whose tireless help this happy ending would not have been possible!
To learn more about BRATT and to support their rescue efforts, you can follow them on Facebook by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/191500125524250