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Apr 25, 2017 3:58 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Yogi Bob Is Found

Apr 25, 2017 4:18 PM

After more than a year of people searching and fearing the worst, Yogi Bob is homeward bound.

The male Yorkshire terrier, who went missing at the age of 3 on the evening of January 7, 2016, has been found and identified and was set to return to the arms of his owner, Dominique Garstin of East Hampton, on Tuesday afternoon at the Hempstead Animal Shelter.

After he disappeared, Ms. Garstin searched frantically for Yogi Bob, posting fliers all over town, offering a $5,000 reward, starting a Facebook page to ask for leads, and even hiring a team of expert tracking dogs from Ohio to come try to find Yogi Bob.

“Hopefully, someone picked him up because they love animals, but I don’t understand how someone could have such a finders-keepers attitude about a living being,” she told The East Hampton Press in January 2016.

According to Christie Fanti, an animal behavior training consultant contracted to the Town of Hempstead, Yogi Bob was brought to that shelter 12 days ago after being picked up as a stray. On Monday, Ms. Fanti was about to evaluate the dog to see if he was fit to be adopted when … something about him looked familiar.

“I took a picture of him and, just for peace of mind, decided to send the picture to the ‘Find Yogi Bob’ Facebook page,” said Ms. Fanti—who was an animal control officer for the Town of East Hampton at the time of Yogi Bob’s disappearance.

“I just messaged it to Dominique saying, ‘I’m so sorry to do this to you, it’s been so long, I know the odds are really low, but take a look at this picture,’” Ms. Fanti said on Tuesday. “She then asked me to take a look at his teeth and take a picture of his tail. When I sent her all of that, Dominique said, ‘I’m coming down!’”

Although Ms. Fanti said that Yogi Bob wasn’t in the best shape, Ms. Garstin came to the shelter at around 3:30 p.m. on Monday. “I actually wasn’t sure that I would recognize him, for some reason,” Ms. Garstin said over the phone on Tuesday as she was driving to the shelter to pick up Yogi Bob and finally bring him home to stay. “It was like a ghost, I had kind of accepted that he was gone, so I was really nervous to be super-hopeful.”

Once Yogi Bob was brought into the meet-and-greet room with her, Ms. Garstin said, she started realizing he was Yogi Bob as he walked around and finally turned to face her.

“She looked at him and she picked him up and kept saying, ‘Is it you?’” Ms. Fanti said. “He started licking her, and she said, ‘It’s a hundred percent him.’”

To further confirm Yogi Bob’s identity, Ms. Fanti had a veterinarian look at his rear left knee to see if his kneecap was slightly out of place. This is part of a condition Yogi Bob has that Ms. Fanti referred to as a luxating patella, which she explained is when a small dog’s kneecap slides sideways, locking up the leg, which the dog will usually hold off the ground. The dog did, in fact, have a luxating patella, confirming their hope that it was Yogi Bob.

“I still can’t believe that it’s him,” Ms. Fanti said. “It’s so crazy to me with the odds of me working at a different shelter and finding the dog. It’s very rare.”

Ms. Garstin’s Facebook wall has been plastered with cheers at the announcement of Yogi Bob’s finding—something that she is very thankful for.

“We all need some good news every once in a while, and there was a lot of heartbreak when he went missing,” said Ms. Garstin. “There are so many loving pet owners out here. Our community is so supportive, and it’s really neat to see everyone brighten up about it.”

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glad you found your dog now can u take down the thousand or so flyers still tacked on all the trees and poles all over southampton and east hampton and as far west as hampton bays. Again so glad your dog is home.
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Apr 25, 17 5:44 PM
Great. Now the eccentric family can take down the 100s of signs that have polluted the entire East End for the last 2 years.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Apr 25, 17 5:59 PM
You guys are thinking of the wrong dog. The one your thinking about is still missing. Sorry:)
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Apr 25, 17 6:52 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By MJ66, East Hampton on Apr 25, 17 7:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
I took down over 100 signs in my village. There was a sign on every telephone pole on a few roads...This is no exaggeration. This is completely inconsiderate to the residents. There were thousands of signs put up, some less than 50 feet from the other, on both sides of the road. The towns should have fined the owner of the dog. This was tantamount to graffiti and defacing property. It was enough to turned sympathy into anger. Don't get me started on this.. Lol
By deelove (152), Bridgehampton on Apr 25, 17 9:24 PM
2 members liked this comment
Those signs are an absolute scourge and you taking them down is greatly appreciated.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Apr 26, 17 7:34 AM
Well I can think of many more offensive sights ....
By Sturgis (611), Southampton on Apr 25, 17 9:44 PM
This story is featured in every local paper--and only on this site are few positive comments made about the happy reunion of this pup and its owner. I am always amazed at how this venue is used for nothing but complaining and trashing others. Take the time to enjoy a happy story once in awhile!

By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Apr 26, 17 8:54 AM
So glad to see common sense remark regarding a simple story with a happy ending. I am astounded by the amount of negativity generated in these posts no matter what the subject.
By summertimegal (97), southampton on Apr 27, 17 11:30 AM
I'm so happy her dog was found. I too, would put up a thousand flyers to find my dog. Obviously it worked for her. Stop hating, there are worse things in the world than a missing dog poster. And why would you take them down ? We need to show more compassion and argue less.
By marybmary (54), east hampton on Apr 26, 17 10:02 AM
I'm so happy her dog was found. I too, would put up a thousand flyers to find my dog. Obviously it worked for her. Stop hating, there are worse things in the world than a missing dog poster. And why would you take them down ? We need to show more compassion and argue less.
By marybmary (54), east hampton on Apr 26, 17 10:02 AM
Now take the time and microchip your dog. They would have contacted the owner as soon as it came into the shelter. It costs less than $50, not doing so is irresponsible.
By DonQuixote (4), Southampton on Apr 27, 17 11:53 AM
1 member liked this comment
Microchip - Dog "lo-jack" - Highly recommend...
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Apr 27, 17 7:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
I am very happy the dog was found, made my week. To the haters who complained: you probably never owned a dog or truly cared for one, which means you do not know what unconditional love is.
By lizziebay (7), BH on Apr 27, 17 8:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
The police can only do so much when it comes to a family pet. So if one you garbage and graffiti haters lost your child, you wouldn't make an effort to do an all out search?!

By Harbor Master (114), Sag Harbor on May 5, 17 4:33 PM