Sad Update -- Elwood the Greyhound Missing, Newtown CT

Postby Marinepits » January 7th, 2009, 10:25 am


Dog gone: Greyhound fans pitch in to search for Newtown family's pet

By Marietta Homayonpour
Staff Writer
Updated: 01/07/2009 07:07:35 AM EST

NEWTOWN -- Elwood is big and beautiful, quiet and friendly -- and he's been missing for two weeks.

"He was the center of our family," Kara Pansa said of their 6-year-old black greyhound, Elwood. "The house is empty."

Pansa lives on Turkey Hill Road with her husband, Greg, and their sons, Stephen, 10, and Jason, 7.

"My kids were devastated," she said. "They still are."

The family searched frantically for Elwood after he went missing the night of Dec. 23.

Pansa said they searched the streets and woods in the area through the night and during the next day, which was Christmas Eve. Neighbors helped.

On Christmas Day, the Pansas received the help of strangers. About 20 people from animal help groups joined in the search, on foot and in cars.

"We cannot thank these people enough," Pansa said. "I am truly grateful."

Among the groups helping were Greyhound Rescue & Rehabilitation, We Adopt Greyhounds, and Connecticut Greyhounds.

"When you've had a greyhound, you love them all," Christine Johnson, founder and president of GRR, said about why her group helps search for missing ones. "They are so special."

Johnson described the breed as "gentle, so kind, and affectionate without being needy."

Because greyhounds are bred to be racers, they are all muscle, with no body fat. They do not have an undercoat, as most dogs do. That means greyhounds have little protection against the cold and are very sensitive to weather extremes.

On frigid winter days, owners usually put sweater coats on the dogs when they go outside.

Around 8 p.m. the night Elwood disappeared, Kara Pansa said she let him out the front door briefly while Greg Pansa was in the driveway taking care of the garbage. Kara went to get the dog's coat and leash.

When she came back outside and didn't see Elwood, her husband told her the dog went into the backyard and he could hear his collar tags making noise.

His collar has three tags -- one with the Pansa's home address and phone number, and another had information to contact GRR. The Pansas got Elwood from GRR three years ago, after their 13-year-old Spaniel mix, Petey, died.

Pansa was comfortable letting Elwood out without a leash briefly, something she has done before.

"He was so attached to us. He was not interested in chasing small animals," she said. That's why when Pansa went to the backyard Dec. 23, she was surprised not to see the dog.

Johnson at GRR said greyhounds should never be let out without a leash. "They're sight hounds and as racers were trained to chase."

Sixty percent of Greyhounds' senses are in their eyes, Johnson said, and they can run up to 40 miles an hour and be "a mile away in a heartbeat."

With the help of people from the animal groups, the Pansas put up about 1,000 fliers in Newtown and Monroe, distributing them at shopping malls, asking people for assistance in finding Elwood. Several false sightings were reported, the last one Jan. 2, Pansa said.

Monroe asked the family to take the signs down this week, and Kara Pansa was doing that Tuesday.

"They're survivors," Johnson of GRR said about greyhounds. "Elwood could have found some place and is hunkered down."

That's why Pansa and Johnson are asking people to check under their decks or in sheds or barns for the dog.

Pansa said if someone took Elwood or hit him with a car, the family wants to know. "There will be no repercussions. It's terrible not knowing."

Johnson said anyone with information about Elwood can call her at the GRR office. "It will be kept in the strictest confidence."

Pansa said she and her family are determined to find their pet. "We're not giving up hope."

Contact Marietta Homayonpour at or

at (203) 731-3336.

MISSING: Elwood, an 80-pound, black, male greyhound with a white chest and white-tipped tail, has been missing since the night of Dec. 23 from Turkey Hill Road in Newtown.

CALL: Elwood's owners, the Pansa family, at (203) 270-5566 or (203) 241-3617, or Greyhound Rescue & Rehabilitation at (914) 763-2221.

IF YOU SEE ELWOOD: Do not chase him; call one of the numbers above immediately.

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Postby SisMorphine » January 7th, 2009, 10:28 am


I always hated it when the towns would call us and make us take down posters when I was working with the Greyhound recovery group. It was always so heartbreaking that the towns didn't care we were trying to find a lost living being, and only cared about their town signage laws.
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Postby Marinepits » February 4th, 2009, 6:07 pm

Missing Newtown greyhound found dead
By Marietta Homayonpour
Staff Writer
Posted: 02/03/2009 02:37:42 PM EST

NEWTOWN -- Elwood, the Pansa family's beloved greyhound, was found dead Saturday, almost 40 days after he went missing.

"We do have closure, but it's not the ending we wanted," Kara Pansa said about a neighbor finding Elwood's frozen body in the woods nearby.

Pansa and her husband, Greg, live on Turkey Hill Road with sons Stephen, 10, and Jason, 7. Since their 6-year-old black dog ran from the yard Dec. 23, scores of volunteers have helped search for him.

"They were a great group of volunteers," Pansa said. "They walked through the snowy woods, sat in cold cars to watch feeding stations and traps, handed out fliers, and knocked on doors. They never gave up."

More than 1,000 fliers were put up or distributed by the Pansas and the volunteers in Newtown and nearby Monroe.

The spot where Elwood's body was found was in "woods we had walked and walked before, and where dogs had searched," Pansa said.

She speculates he may have been there for two weeks. There was a potential sighting of the greyhound Jan. 20 on nearby Turkey Hill Terrace.

Because the racing breed is all muscle, with no body fat, they do not have an undercoat like most dogs and are very susceptible to the cold.

The Pansas got Elwood three years ago from Greyhound Rescue & Rehabilitation. Volunteers from that group as well as other groups, including We Adopt Greyhounds and Connecticut Greyhounds, came from around the state and New York state to join the search for him.

"He was one of our family," Pansa said. They plan to have the dog cremated and keep his ashes. "He is back home with us."
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Postby Pit♥bull » February 4th, 2009, 6:14 pm

R.I.P. Elwood
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » February 4th, 2009, 6:18 pm

"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies.""
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Postby mnp13 » February 4th, 2009, 7:11 pm

How sad...

Alyssa - would the rescue have taken him from them if he had been found alive?

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Postby cheekymunkee » February 4th, 2009, 7:40 pm

RIP Elwood. :(
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Postby SisMorphine » February 4th, 2009, 7:49 pm

RIP Elwood :(

mnp13 wrote:How sad...

Alyssa - would the rescue have taken him from them if he had been found alive?

It depends on the rescue and how adamant they are about not letting Greys offleash. They probably would have returned him once and if he was found loose again would have taken him. But I can just about guarantee you that this family will not be allowed to adopt another Greyhound from anyone who knows the story :(
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Postby LMM » February 4th, 2009, 9:16 pm

I am so so sad to read this update :(
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 5th, 2009, 1:11 am

:( RIP Elwood
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Postby katiek0417 » February 5th, 2009, 6:07 am

RIP Elwood
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Postby TinaMartin » February 5th, 2009, 9:41 am

The Rescue I worked with had a no second chance policy for re-adoption. We would help if a dog got loose and do everything we could to help get it back but if it was due to an owner not making sure the dog was secure at all times they were never allowed to adopt from us again. We stressed it over and over again in the adoption process. Poor puppy. :nono:
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