DALLAS — The effort to rescue a lone dog roaming a Northaven Park neighborhood has ended with the successful capture of the dog and a new sense of community for neighbors who rallied around a singular cause: rescue "Rambo" and find him a new home.
"It was so skittish it wanted nothing to do with anything," said Dawn Perry who first noticed the dog on her street back in July.
She thought the Akita mix had been dumped in the neighborhood. It was skinny. It didn't have a collar. So, she went to the Next Door app for Northaven Park and started asking for help.
"So I just put a Hail Mary to the universe on Next Door. And it was just like the technology Gods, and Britney answered my prayers," she laughed as she stood next to neighbor Britney Conner. The women didn't know each other before they bonded over the effort to capture and rescue the dog. Other neighbors, alerted by the Next Door posts, responded in droves. They offered financial support and food for the feeding station Britney set up in her front yard. Rambo would show up twice a day, but wouldn't let anyone get close to him.
And Britney explained why they decided to name him Rambo.
"And Rambo is a misunderstood loner who would have a completely different much better life if only his circumstances were different," she said. "And that seemed to embody our Rambo."
And over the course of five months, they kept the dog fed but couldn't get within two feet of him. He was too smart for a trap provided by the dog rescue group The Street Dog Project. But the two neighbors, now so dedicated they started wearing matching "Team Rambo" hoodies, kept trying to rescue the loner. They even created a website to help tell his story.
"This is our small way of contributing to an animal that needed help," Conner said.
"He's asking for help in his own way," Perry said of the 45-pound dog he continued to show up day after day for food.
"And if you have the ability why wouldn't you help," Conner added.
Then, on December 4, with the advice of the Street Dog Project and the inventive ingenuity of Dawn Perry's husband, Rambo was captured with a remotely triggered net. The dog was no longer a wandering loner and the Street Dog Project took him in. He is now in a foster family's home getting readjusted to humans and other dogs. And when he's ready, he will get a permanent forever home.
But he's already done something for the homes and families in Northaven Park.
"It's a neighborhood that I think was made up of a lot of strangers," Britney Conner said. "And now we have a lot of incredible friendships because of this one dog."
"You are smart, you are loved, and you are seriously popular," Dawn Perry can be heard in home video consoling Rambo shortly after his rescue.
A dog rescued from the streets of north Dallas, while helping rescue and connect a few lonely neighbors at the same time