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Outpouring of Support For Family With Lost Dog

UPDATED
UPDATE: Buttke found Velvet after she returned to Peoria Wednesday night. She drove up from Tennesse that day with the other family dog. The pair took to the streets searching for Velvet and found her.

"We planned that I would stay on the balcony with Diesel and try to lure in so we could block her. Well she comes up the stares sees me, stops, Diesel barks like crazy, Velvet runs. I thought she ran away again so I got up to walk down the stairs and she was right there at the bottom looking at me. I crouch down and she slowly comes up, sniffs, and starts slowly coming closer and closer. All of a sudden her face just changes and she starts going crazy with kisses and knocks me over," Buttke said in a post on Facebook.

PEORIA – Hundreds of people are showing their support to a family looking for their lost dog from hundreds of miles away.

 “I personally don't know Kristin, but I was just a volunteer,” said Victoria Stanislovaitis.

“We've been talking about velvet at work and I actually had the day off to come out and help her,” said volunteer, Karin Doll. “I'm a dog lover I’ve got two rescues at home.”

For weeks these volunteers have been searching for the Buttke family’s dog.

“We all have our personal reasons for having this determination, a lot of us are dog and cat lovers,” Elza Ghantous said.

The three women are trying to capture Velvet. She’s a black lab who ran off on December 7th while her Tennessee family was visiting Peoria. Owner Kristin Buttke said what a neighbor saw next, “screech and a thud and then he saw just velvet rolling about 20 feet on t he ground after she got hit by a car.”

And then the dog bolted. Buttke's husband has since deployed to Afghanistan. Because the kids are in school, Kristin had to go back home.

“So I knew when we were leaving that it was just the only thing I could do was depend and hope that you know good people like all the volunteers that have come out would help me and it just grew,” she said.

Ironically, all the searching has turned up other dogs.

“We caught the pit bull last night. We found several black labs also, finding every dog but ours!” Stanislovaitis said.

 Since the “Help Find Velvet” Facebook page became so popular, they've almost had too much help.

"We have a trap in progress and we're just asking everyone right now to kind of, stay away and just let us trap to capture her. We almost caught her last night but with the crowd that was so interested in her also we happened to scare her off," Stanislovaitis said.

At this point the biggest help they can get is positive thinking from a distance. Velvet’s owner thought volunteers had spotted the dog on so she drove up from Tennessee on Wednesday. She’s hopeful for a reunion soon.
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