A search for a missing dog that rallied residents throughout Northwest Philadelphia—online and in person—ended Saturday.
Shirley, a 3-year-old Great Dane who suffered from Addison's disease and went missing in Germantown Aug. 29, was killed by a SEPTA train along the Chestnut Hill west line. Her owners recovered Shirley's body Saturday after tips from a local veterinarian student.
The dog went missing around West Coulter Street near Queen Lane Station. Since then, a Facebook page and Wordpress blog tracked sightings and organized searches around the Wissahickon Valley—with various reports coming in all from Forbidden Drive, East Falls, and both the Mt. Airy-Chestnut Hill and Roxborough side of Wissahickon Creek.
Organizers continued their search by flyering the community and posting an announcement on Patch.com.
The dog's owners, Alissa and Mike, shared this post Saturday on Facebook:
"At 4:00 p.m. today we recovered Shirley's remains on the Chestnut Hill West SEPTA line. At least one week ago, she died instantaneously after being struck by a train. We are eternally indebted to Eric, the fourth year UPenn Vet student, who heard from a neighbor that there was a deceased animal on the tracks. While many had looked the other way, he took it upon himself to investigate and found Shirley so we could bring her home one last time... We've been amazed and humbled by all the wonderful people of Philadelphia and the mid-Atlantic region who helped us through our search, and the many sympathizers who followed our story. We will be posting more tonight for all who care to follow. Thank you and God bless.
Earlier that day, volunteers spread out from Valley Green Inn to canvass the area and to search for Shirley.
The online community continued its support following news of the dog's death. On the Facebook page, which quickly earned 889 likes, one user said:
"I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know your hearts are broken and I'm hoping you find peace and comfort. RIP sweet girl, if you meet a big black Dane named Dexter over the bridge he will definitely take you under his angel wing."
"There are no words that can adequately express how we feel at the loss of an esteemed family member, whether they are two footed or four. Please try to increase the number of happy memories that you have each day and know the she will be waiting for you when you arrive at the bridge."
Visit the Facebook page for more information about Shirley the Great Dane's story.