Owner of ’emotional and happy’ pet after finding lost dog Lani on day 18 of search

Lani, the lost dog, was found alive after going missing after being moved by a pet transport service earlier in November.

Aleisha Blackley bought the 16 month old Shih Tzu-Bichon cross from a Kaitaia seller on Trade Me.

With animal air transport suspended under Covid conditions, Blackley arranged for Hopkins Horse Transport, a pet transport service, to pick up Lani from Northland and take her south to her new Queenstown home.

Hopkins Horse Transport owner Tierney Hopkins picked up Lani on Thursday November 4th. By the following Wednesday he had reached Blenheim, where he stopped at Marlborough Saleyards at 8:30 am.

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As he will later describe in a message to Blackley, Hopkins pulled Lani out of his vehicle and put her on the ground next to his ute.

In previous pit stops, Lani had “awkwardly come under fire,” Hopkins wrote. However, this time she had “escaped”. CCTV footage of the yard shows the little dog trotting through the yard and disappearing.

Hopkins said earlier Thing he had been nearby, but had “turned his back” on the dog. By the time he found out that Lani was missing, an hour had passed.

Hopkins told Blackley he spent four hours searching for his pet, she said. However, CCTV footage shows Hopkins walking away 20 minutes after discovering Lani’s absence.

Hopkins waited 25 hours to tell Blackley his dog was missing, in a message that began with “Hi, I have bad news”.

Horrified, Blackley took the first flight to Blenheim and searched the night for her pet without success.

Professional engagements forced Blackley to return to Queenstown after a few days, leaving a friend and local organizations to continue the search.

Fortunately, 18 days later, the dog was found, about 2 km from where she went missing.

“What an emotional and happy day today,” Blackley wrote on the Bring Home Lani Facebook page on Sunday night.

“Lani was spotted today at 2 p.m. on the highway about 2 km from where she was lost by a lovely lady called Nicola, she was almost run over by a car and shot down the side ditch in the paddock.

“Nicola’s partner quickly jumped in and chased after Lani while Nicola was on the phone with me.

“We then rushed her to the vet for urgent attention,” she wrote on social media.

Lani’s relief owner says her pet is in “the best possible place she could be right now.” She will know more about the dog’s condition on Monday morning.

Blackley thanked everyone who contributed to the success of Lani’s research.

“It was so reassuring to know that so many people cared as much as I did about finding Lani,” she wrote on Facebook.


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