Lost dogs reunited with owners after parkway scare

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Beagle mix and labrador retriever stranded on highway after chasing deer off Anderson County property

By Marty Finley

Two dogs stranded on the Blue Grass Parkway outside of Lexington safely made it home through the kindhearted resourcefulness of some local residents.

Blossom, a beagle mix, and Noel, a black labrador retriever, were reunited with their owners, Danny and Janet McEntyre of Anderson County, after Taylour O’Neil and her brother, Bren, happened to spot the animals during a drive from Lexington to Elizabethtown to surprise their father. Taylour is a student at the University of Kentucky.

Bren said they were just a few miles outside of Lexington on the parkway when the vehicle in front of them clipped Blossom, knocking the beagle into a ditch. The driver, he said, did not stop to assist.

Taylour parked the vehicle and they rescued both dogs, bringing them to Elizabethtown.

“They didn’t have collars and seemed well acquainted,” Bren said of the two dogs.

Taylour entrusted Blossom to the care of her friend, Courtney Boulden, who set out looking for medical care for the injured beagle. She reached out to PAWS Shelter Foundation for help.

“Neither of us can afford medical care for it and we really don’t want to see it be euthanized due to its sweet nature and awesome temperament,” Boulden wrote PAWS in the email.

Diane Shoffner, of Sam Russell’s Pet Provisions and PAWS, told Boulden to consult a local veterinarian and the agency would cover the cost. Blossom’s right hind leg was mangled from the collision, forcing an amputation, Boulden said.

In the meantime, Taylour took Noel back with her, turning the black lab over to her friend, Lindsay Claycomb. Boulden said Claycomb was willing to take the dog in as a pet but reached out to animal shelters and humane societies along the parkway first to see if two dogs matching their descriptions had been reported missing.

Danny McEntyre said he had taken the dogs out for a bathroom break when they broke loose and started chasing a deer off the property.

They had chased deer before, he said, but it never bothered him because they always came back.

“I’d never seen them get out to the parkway,” he said.

When the dogs did not return, he started searching around the property nearby and even ventured out to the Mercer County line. Every day after work, he resumed the hunt, he said.

As he scoured the area, he consulted with local animal shelters and the Mercer County Humane Society to see if the dogs had been found.

McEntyre’s home sits roughly 400 yards from the Blue Grass Parkway and he eventually searched the highway with no luck, not immediately considering the area because a fence separated it from his property, he said.

Nearly a week after the dogs’ disappearance, nearby animal officials contacted the couple with good news: the dogs had been located. It came at an opportune time, McEntyre said, as they were starting to lose hope they would ever be found.

As he started to doubt their return, he simply hoped someone had found the dogs and taken them to their home rather than the more disturbing fate of death or injury.

The McEntyres reunited with Blossom in Elizabethtown after retrieving Noel, and Shoffner described the reunion as touching. Kisses and love were shared by the dogs.

“It was a good ending,” Shoffner said.

Danny McEntyre said Blossom is showing no signs of lingering trauma from the amputation, and both dogs have reacclimated to their surroundings smoothly.

“They’ve been doing really good,” he said. “Playing in fields and running in ponds.”

Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.