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Abandoned dog rescued from Prince Edward County woods after hours of coaxing

It took all night, but a group of dog-lovers were able to rescue a pup left abandoned in a wooded area of Prince Edward County over the weekend.

Abner, a Great Pyrenees mix was found all alone next to a pile of dry dog food on a seasonal road near Hillier, Ont., on Friday.

Luckily for Abner he was found by Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward (HSHPE) board member and experienced dog rescuer, Fred Armitage.

Armitage says he decided to check things out after seeing a vehicle turning off of the little-used road near his home late in the day Friday.

After driving about a kilometre down the road, Armitage says he found Abner sitting nervously next to the food where his owner had left him.

Despite his best efforts to get the pup into his truck, the dog wouldn’t budge.

“He wouldn’t let me get near him,” Armitage said in a humane society media release Thursday.

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“He had this low growl and would run into the woods each time I tried.”

But Abner didn’t know who he was dealing with — Armitage has international experience rescuing dogs.

Before joining the HSHPE board, Armitage worked for the the Embassy of Finland in Kabul, and in his spare time he started a project that saw stray dogs rescued from Afghanistan and sent to live with families in Canada.

In all, Armitage helped bring 21 dogs to Canada and his efforts were featured in the 2011 documentary, Refugee Dogs.

So Armitage wasn’t going to give up that easy.

After calling in Prince Edward Animal Control — who also had no luck with Abner — Armitage asked for help in a social media post and reached out to Quinte West Lost Paws, a local volunteer-run group that helps reunite lost dogs with their owners.

By the next morning Armitage’s post had made the rounds and other people started coming by, too, dropping off food and donations.

Rhonda Guthrie-Taft, who heads up Quinte West Lost Paws, also arrived with volunteers who got to work trying to coax Abner out of the woods.

It took some patients — and a lot of liver treats — but  one of the volunteers was able to slip a lead on Abner and bring him into a vehicle.

“This is always a team effort,” said Guthrie-Taft.

Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward says an exam found Abner is likely a year-and-a-half to two years old, and most likely a Great Pyrenees/Australian Shepherd mix.

After waiting on a mandatory five-day hold, Abner remained unclaimed by his owners and he is now up for adoption.

Anyone interested in adopting Abner should call HSHPE at 613-968-4673 or email [email protected].

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