MARQUETTE – A beagle that had been running wild at a central Kansas lake since he escaped his owner during a hunting trip in November has been captured by a concerned local resident who feared the dog wouldn’t last the winter.
Yancy Trostle of Salina lured the 15-pound dog, originally named Clay Boy, into a trap at Lake Kanopolis using a pork chop Dec. 31. Trostle renamed the dog Buddy and plans to keep him. He said he first saw the dog when he nearly ran him over as he drove along Kansas Highway 141.
“We were going to the cabin and the dog ran out in front of me. I just about rolled my truck,” he said. “I hollered at him and he took off running down the highway.”
Park rangers, maintenance workers and residents had been keeping an eye out for the dog since he fled his original owner, from South Carolina, and many left food out for him. Buddy was sometimes seen running with a herd of deer.
Deputy Salina Police Chief Carson Mansfield, who owns a cabin at the lake, said the South Carolina man had tried to find the dog but eventually left for home. The dog managed to steal food from several live traps without being caught, but snow and freezing temperatures along with area predators including coyotes, bobcats and eagles were raising concerns.
“He survived at least in part by being evasive,” Mansfield said of Buddy. “That was almost his downfall, because people couldn’t catch him.”
Worried about the harsh conditions, Mansfield put together a “calorie bomb” that included a ham bone and fat poured over dog food. The dog managed to eat it over a week’s time but again evaded capture.
Last Friday, Trostle set a live trap, combining a cage, rope, sticks and the pork chop. During breakfast on New Year’s Eve, he heard the sound of a gate slamming shut. Trostle ran outside and found the skinny dog in the trap.
His wife, Cindy, cleansed a wound where electrodes on a shock collar had infected Buddy’s neck and got him some antibiotics from a veterinarian.
“I don’t think that dog would’ve made it through the winter,” Yancy Trostle said. “The real hero is Buddy. He kept himself alive through some pretty bad stuff.”
He said the South Carolina hunter wanted the shock collar back but that the Trostles could keep the dog.
Mansfield said the dog was friendly but that he displayed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“If there is a loud noise, he can’t help but duck. If you come close to him while he’s sleeping, he growls,” Mansfield said.
He also had cuts on his nose and scratches and cuts on his belly. Buddy’s right ear is “shredded,” he said.
“To live in an environment where things eat each other, it amazes me he’s still alive,” Mansfield said. “They should name him Lucky.”