One local family recently learned that Facebook can be a valuable tool in time of need.
On Halloween night, the Chinikaylo family from Church Road in Lehman Township, lost Lillie, its 3-year-old Border Collie/Labrador mix.
Seventeen-year-old Vladimir Chinikaylo had the family dog in the yard and made the mistake of setting off firecrackers. Lillie was frightened and ran off. That was about 8 p.m. and a search began, lasting well in to the night.
The first thing I did was to put it on Facebook, said Anna Chinikaylo, telling how she posted a picture of Lillie and asked for people to keep their eyes out for her.
Then the family took to the streets, on foot and by car, armed with flashlights on a frantic search for its pet. The family lives near the Hunstville Dam and searched the entire area. According to Chinikaylo, family members went from Hillside Farms towards Penn State Lehman campus, up and Down Huntsville Road and everywhere in between.
Chinikaylo said Lillie knows where she lives because she frequently goes for walks and never with a leash.
She is very well trained, Chinikaylo said. Lillie doesn't wear a collar so there would be no way to identify her. The family was very worried about its dog, especially given the extreme cold on that night, and came home around midnight empty-handed.
You wake up in the morning and it's like a bad dream, Chinikaylo said, and then you think, oh man, my dog really is missing.
But what the family didn't know that night was that Lillie had been rescued almost immediately after leaving her yard. A Domino's Pizza delivery driver had seen Lillie on the road near the Huntsville Dam and, fearing she might be struck by a car in the busy intersection, ushered her into his vehicle and took her with him.
I said that I would take her overnight, said Becca Janerich, proprietor of Beccaina's CafĆ© next to Domino's Pizza. She was honestly the sweetest dog on the planet and you could tell that she was well trained.
Janerich called shelters, emergency vet hospitals and the police to report she was holding the dog in case anyone had reported her missing. But with no collar, she had no way of knowing where to start.
The morning of Nov. 1, Janerich had a picture of Lillie posted on the Facebook page for Beccaina's Cafe. Chinikaylo's friend Christian Switzer was connected to Beccaina's Facebook page. The photo showed up on his list of activity and was seen by another friend, Josh Morgan.
Morgan posted the photo of Lillie on Chinikaylo's Facebook wall with the caption Is this your dog? If so, she's safe.
And that's how it all came together.
Within an hour of posting the photo of Lillie on Facebook, Janerich was able to return her to the very grateful Chinikaylo family.
Without posting it on Facebook, said Janerich, there was no way for her to know where Lillie belonged and she could not have gotten her home so quickly.