Rescued dog reunited with owner, had been missing more than a month from Hokes Bluff area

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Fisher — the dog rescued by a group of dedicated volunteers Sunday after he was spotted Saturday with a jug stuck on his head — has been reunited with his owner, Patrick Stallings. The dog had been missing since Dec. 20.
Fisher — the dog rescued by a group of dedicated volunteers Sunday after he was spotted Saturday with a jug stuck on his head — has been reunited with his owner, Patrick Stallings. The dog had been missing since Dec. 20.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the name of Brittany Dunn.

Get ready to wag your tail. The dog with the jug stuck on its head, rescued Sunday when a group of dedicated volunteers searched Lookout Mountain, is now home with his owner.

The dog, who Chris Moulds had referred to as "Buckethead" is really Fisher, and he'd been missing from his Hokes Bluff home, and owner Patrick Stallings, since Dec. 20.

The dog caught the attention Sunday of Brittany Dunn, a mail carrier, as she ran her route. She tried to help him, but couldn't get near him. She snapped a photo and as it was shared on social media, other animal lovers started looking for the dog.

He looked thin in the photo, and they had no way of knowing how long his head had been stuck in the container, making it impossible for him to get food or water.

Moulds (who is active in animal rescue efforts), Jolene Fagin, Ashley Smith, Dustin Frazier and others searched — organizing an effort Sunday morning that brought out about 35 people.

"Ashley Hill Smith and Dustin Frazier were the keys to his capture," Moulds said in a Facebook post. "Ashley was able to tackle Fisher in the woods and remove the container from his head. At this point, a perimeter was being set up to keep him contained."

However, Fisher got away before the perimeter was set and traveled a few more blocks — crossing a "very high-traffic area," Moulds said — but he soon got a call from Gina Hollingsworth telling him the dog had been caught.

Frazier, on a dirt bike for easier access to the woods, was trailing Fisher and was about to earn the dog's trust, Moulds explained. He managed to slip a lead over the dog and hold him.

Frazier's wife Nicole owns Bark Avenue Boarding and Grooming, and she agreed to take Fisher there to clean him up and let him rest, Moulds said.

After the dog was rescued, and the story circulated, the owner realized his dog — missing some 34 days — had been found. He visited Bark Avenue Monday, Moulds said, and with Fisher's help was able to positively ID the pet.

Moulds said Stallings was grateful to have Fisher back, and Stallings echoed that in a message to The Times: "My wife Tammy and I are so happy to have him home."

The dog had gotten away before, Moulds said, but there now are plans to have him chipped, so he can be found more easily; and neutered, to curtail his wandering ways.

Stallings said he has an appointment on Thursday with a veterinarian in Centre, and that Fisher would be receiving a GPS chip.

Many people had offered to give the unfortunate animal a home. Potential adopters contacted The Times from as far away as California and Florida. ("I bet he would enjoy retiring in Florida," one offered).

Moulds and others said the successful rescue was a great community effort, and had helped to forge many new relationships among animal lovers and rescue groups.

He said the plan had been to hold the dog for seven days to give an owner an opportunity to claim him.

Moulds said he works with animal rescue groups as far away as Minnesota, and his thinking was that if the dog was not claimed by an owner, he might eventually be headed there.

However, he and others involved with the rescue were pleased to see Fisher find his owner and head home.

This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Even happier ending: Dog with head stuck in jug is reunited with owner

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