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Finding Frankie: Montreal hockey pros pound the pavement in search of lost pup

Montreal’s professional women’s hockey team, business owners and concerned neighbours are all pitching in to find a lost puppy named Frankie.

The 14-week-old rescue dog went missing last Saturday afternoon in what was a matter of seconds. Frankie ran through the streets of the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood toward a shipyard.

“She took sort of one paw on and just backed out and slid out of her harness and took off,” said Trish O’Neill, who was visiting family in the city when the incident occurred.

Frankie belongs to the sister of Kristin O’Neill, a forward on Montreal’s new PWHL team. The entire family came in from Ontario to put up posters and search the area to find the lost pooch.

“It’s definitely a sad and difficult situation,” Kristin O’Neill said in an interview Tuesday.

When the professional athlete shared a photo of her sister’s missing pet online, “basically the whole team” showed up at her apartment. That is where Frankie first took off from Trish O’Neill’s grasp.

“We all divided and conquered and tried to put up posters in different areas,” Kristin O’Neill said. “And search maybe in little hiding spots that she might be in. So it was really nice from them all.”

The posts have made the rounds online, too. Team captain Marie-Philip Poulin shared a photo of Frankie to local Facebook groups, asking people to keep an eye out.

The puppy belongs to her big sister Meghan O’Neill. The short-haired dog from Mexico was initially being fostered but the family and their resident dog quickly fell in love with her.

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Frankie was officially adopted around Christmas, and she is described as small and super sweet. She’s also skittish and scared of people.

“We love her a lot and we’re very concerned,” Meghan O’Neill said of her dog.

Frankie, who weighs fewer than 15 pounds, was wearing a coat when she fled. But with winter far from over in Montreal, her family is worried and asking the public for help.

“She’s supposed to be getting a new start here from her days in Mexico,” Meghan O’Neill said.

Not only have the O’Neill clan combed through the area and shipyard alongside the PWHL hockey team, but strangers have since come out to lend a hand. Local businesses have also put up posters to spread the word.

“I just think it’s great to see everyone being so supportive. People around the community are really helping out,” Kristin O’Neill said, adding she was touched by her fellow hockey players’ kindness too.

“My teammates here have helped a lot.”

The family is asking Pointe-Saint-Charles residents to look in their backyards, alleyways and other possible warm spots where a pup could hide.

Anyone who sees the skittish pup is urged not to approach her but instead take some pictures, note the location and leave food for Frankie. They are also asked to contact the Montreal SPCA or the police, which have both been alerted to Frankie’s disappearance.

“We want to bring Frankie home,” Kristin O’Neill said.

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