By Daniel Silliman
Unable to locate the animal's owner, Clayton County Animal Control has agreed to give a black-and-white Great Dane to a local family.
"We've decided, since no one's come forward, we're going to adopt out the animal," said Capt. Mark Thompson, commander of the Clayton County Animal Control Unit.
The unit delayed the adoption for 10 extra days, hoping to reunite the big dog with his owner, who was heartbroken when the dog first went missing more than a year ago.
The Great Dane, a "harelequin" with pale blue eyes, eluded animal control officers for more than a year in Jonesboro, running wild in the woods off of Thomas Road.
He was too big for even the biggest of the unit's dog traps, and officers could never get more than a glimpse of him.
The Great Dane's owner reportedly checked in every day for months, to see if animal control officers had caught his dog, but eventually gave up. The officers kept getting reports of the Great Dane, though, reports he was eating cat food, roaming through the woods, and hanging around dogs in heat.
"We saw him all the time," said Officer Tiffany Phillips. "But he always evaded us."
Eventually, in early August, the officers were able to use a dog in heat to lure the Great Dane into a backyard pen. By that time, though, no one at Animal Control could find any information about the animal's owner.
The owner didn't leave any contact information, that they know of. He may have posted a picture and a "LOST" notice on the bulletin board on the office wall, which is customary, but the board is cleaned semi-regluarly. Thompson said it's very unusual for a dog to be lost as long as the Great Dane was.
Going to extra lengths to try to find the owner, officers posted pictures on Craigslist, the online classifieds site. "If anyone recognizes this dog, and thinks they know who he used to belong to, please let them know where to find him," the listing read.
Thompson said the Internet posting turned the dog into "a rock star," but didn't connect him with the owner. The Animal Control office waited, but after a week passed, officials have agreed to "adopt out" the Great Dane.