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Monterey County family reunited with their dog in Lodi, which they thought had been euthanized

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Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 10:00 pm

When Diane Cosentini agreed to foster Jack, a rat terrier from Monterey, she couldn't even imagine what troubles he had faced.

"All we knew was that he was in a shelter and had been attacked by some wild animal," Cosentini said.

But those struggles came to a happy ending when he was reunited with his Monterey County family Wednesday evening in Lodi.

"I've missed him so much," said owner Pat Thommarson, of San Miguel with tears in her eyes. "He was probably saying to himself, 'I wonder what happened to those people who once took care of me.'"

On June 28, when Catherine Lambert, California state coordinator for Ratbone Rescues, pulled a dog from the Monterey County Animal Shelter, she had no idea the dog had been thought dead for two weeks. Lambert stays in touch with shelters across the state to rescue rat terriers.

After pulling Jack from the Monterey shelter, she arranged with Cosentini to provide foster care for the dog. Cosentini is regular foster volunteer.

"I have a hairy house. Sometimes I have three," Cosentini said about being a foster parent. Shortly after receiving Jack, she posted a profile of him on Ratbone Rescues' Web site in preparation for finding him a permanent home.

Pat Thommarson, after hearing her dog may have been rescued by an emergency clinic in Salinas, was searching online and found Jack's profile and story.

It took a few days, but eventually she was able to contact Cosentini, and they arranged for the Thommarsons to pick Jack up Wednesday evening at his foster home.

Jack, a rat terrier, licks his owner, Pat Thommarson, at an animal foster home in Lodi. (Brian Feulner/News-Sentinel)

It was a welcome relief for Pat and her husband Wendell Thommarson, who had at one point been mourning the death of their pet after they were told by a local animal shelter Jack had been euthanized.

Jack's story began on June 15, when he was found by firefighters with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, just a short distance from his home in Lockewood.

He didn't have any form of identification and was far from the Thommarson's new home, because his family had moved to San Miguel during his absence.

The cuts and gouges across his body led firefighters to believe he had been attacked by a wild animal.

After making him scrambled eggs, they took Jack from the station to the Monterey County Animal Shelter, where he was treated for multiple wounds, Pat Thommarson said.

Firefighters were dispatched to the Indian Fire shortly after dropping Jack off and were not able to follow up with information about where the dog was found and who he may have belonged to.

When the Thommarsons came home, they found one of three dogs missing and another slightly injured.

They put fliers up around town, but after about a week they hadn't heard anything in response.

So the couple went to the shelter as a last resort.

"We just assumed he had been lost because we had gotten no calls. We just figured he was gone," Pat Thommarson said earlier this week.

After giving the shelter a description of Jack, she was told there had never been a dog like that at the shelter before and dogs not claimed were euthanized after three days.

"I was just dumbfounded that the county only kept them for three days, and they wouldn't even go back and look for him," Pat Thommarson said.

But she didn't give up and asked a week later again, only to be told her dog had been euthanized.

The Thommarsons began mourning the loss of their pet, but during a trip to Utah, Pat Thommarson didn't let the possibility of Jack's survival leave her mind.

"That week I could not get Jack off my mind," Pat Thommarson said. "Then I thought 'I've got to (call).'"

After more calls, she was told her dog was alive and well, and living with Cosentini in Lodi.

Pat Thommarson was overwhelmed with joy he was safe but hurt after hearing how much pain he had been in.

"I'm devastated that he went through this, but delighted he survived," Pat Thommarson said. "We've missed him so much."

Contact Natalie Flynn at natalief@lodinews.com.

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  • posted at 4:03 am on Tue, Aug 12, 2008.


    Brian Feulner: Nice photo! :-)

  • posted at 4:02 am on Tue, Aug 12, 2008.


    I love this picture of Jack with Mr. Thommarson. Jack's face is just priceless.

  • posted at 4:01 am on Tue, Aug 12, 2008.


    OTH: I know. It's hard. Ya just want to take them all home. It's really sad what people have done, and continue to do, to loving pets. Humans can be disgusting.

  • posted at 3:59 am on Tue, Aug 12, 2008.


    cmd: I too wish the bill would pass. There is really NO reason it should not pass. Oh, and the males (human men) that have an issue with their dogs being neutered are just immature weak cowards. They need to get over it and do what is right, like a real man would do.

  • posted at 5:16 am on Sun, Aug 10, 2008.


    LodianI have a cat now that wondered into my life. The shelter said he would be dead in 3 days, and I just couldn't do it. I would keep him but he's an outdoor/indoor car and I have 2 females that are strictly indoor. He is part orange tabby and has that sweet disposition.To the ladies who saved this dog, bless you. I think God has a special place for people who go out of their way for animals.

  • posted at 3:19 am on Sun, Aug 10, 2008.


    Hi WY - hope your summer is going well!

  • posted at 9:36 am on Fri, Aug 8, 2008.


    Lodian - I agree. However, I do not think the spay/neuter bill will pass in CA requiring animal owners to do so unless they have a special permit as a breeder. I wish they would pass that bill even though I have several male friends who are absolutely against neutering b/c they cringe at the thought. However, the immediate problem is that lots are being put down before they have enough time to either be found or adopted out which is really sad.

  • posted at 8:26 am on Fri, Aug 8, 2008.


    Hey there nylodian... long time no see

  • posted at 1:24 pm on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    I believe that irresponable people should be spayed or neuted. An animal is only as good as the person that ownes them. I`m not sure who came up with the microchip idea , but for a person that loves his dog its a way home if the animal should ever get lost. Well said Lodian. Both my Labs have been chiped, look for Discount Pets, they run a low cost chip program every now and then, well worth the time to stand in line.

  • posted at 9:21 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    Congratulations to the Sentinel for putting this story on page 1. It's refreshing to read news about wonderful volunteer organizations like Ratbone Rescues and caring volunteers like Diane Cosentini, who is willing to have a "hairy house" so dogs like Jack can find a good home (or their original one). Thank you for the smile.

  • posted at 7:10 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    Good doggie! I've seen estimates that 96% of people are basically good and decent; the other 4% do bad things. Yet the 4% usually get the front page of the newspaper or the lead story on the nightly news. Why don't we put the 96% on the cover of newspapers or as the top story on the evening news?

  • posted at 6:50 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    GOOOO, JACK! :-)

  • posted at 6:49 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    To be very clear... In no way is my previous post directed towards the abused, neglected and abandoned pets. It is directed, with disgust, at irresponsible pet owners. Just want to be clear. Thanks

  • posted at 6:43 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    cmd: The REAL crime is that irresponsible pet owners do not spay/neuter their pets and also allow them to run around breeding. This creates thousands of animals that have to be put down in our local shelters, leaving no room for a cat/dog for more than a couple of days. I would love to see the day when our shelters can only take care of a beloved family pet that just got away from home one day. For that to happen all the human idiots would have to be spayed or neutered in order to kill off their lazy kind. The killing of thousands of animals in our local shelters, due to complete morons, is appalling to me. A shelter should be there only to help out with pets that run off, get away from their responsible owner or need help due to a disaster etc, not because some jerk is too lazy to "care" for their pet. The shelter should be there for pets like JACK!

  • posted at 6:38 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    Ratbone Rescues is such a wonderful organization for helping rat terriers in need. Thank you to LNS for running such heartwarming story - too bad all news can't be this good!

  • posted at 6:18 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    that happy picture of jack being scratched makes me want to give my dog a hug and a good scratch

  • posted at 6:17 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    I think it is horrible that budget crunches have left shelters being able to only keep dogs for 3 days. Could you imagine going away on a cruise, paying the neighbor kid to feed and look after your dog, returning a week later to find out that he left the gate open, your baby got out and is now euthanized because you realized what happened and started calling on day 5 or even day 4 of your dog being in the shelter. Sad! I only hope that the microchip in my dog will help then contact my parents if I am away and my dog is found.

  • posted at 6:11 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    I was so happy for Jack and his parents I had tears in my eyes. Thanks LNS for running this story to remind us there is much good happening in the world! :)

  • posted at 5:56 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    What a refreshing way to start my day when I read the front page story about Jack. There should be more stories like this in the news. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.

  • posted at 4:18 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    Lodian, well said.

  • posted at 4:17 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    Nicole, knowing Diane as I do, your parent's baby was well taken care of and well loved. Last time I saw her she was bragging about what a cutie Jack is.

  • posted at 4:13 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    Wow! I would have loved to witness that reunion. What a happy story. Jack has surely got a couple of angels by his side... I think their names are Diane and Catherine (and I'm sure there are many more too!). I'd say "Good luck, Jack!" but I think he already has lots o' luck. Happy tails! :-)

  • posted at 3:53 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    Catherine and Diane are both truly amazig people! Pat and Wendell are my parents! They were both heartbroken when told Jack had been put down. My mom's gut feeling wouldnt quit. She was overjoyed to find out Jack was not put down but actually alive and living with Diane in Lodi!Thank you both for taking care of Jack! My parents are so relieved and happy that Jack is finally home! We are having a welcome home party for him this weekend!Again, thank you!

  • posted at 3:06 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    Diane, you are an amazing person for running a rescue for these dogs. God bless you and job well done.

  • posted at 3:04 am on Thu, Aug 7, 2008.


    Rat Terriers are terrorists. Not much effort went into locating our missing menace.



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