Pls see her picture at bottom. She still is not found. This is close to Savannah.
Family, animal lovers search for dog missing after fatal wreck
By Jennifer Menster
Created 2008-05-23 23:30
POOLER - Carl McKay says his brother was a hard-working, yet free-spirited man.
His brother loved the simple things in life such as his family and his 3-year-old German shepherd, Bell.
McKay is grieving for his younger brother. Daniel Lee McKay, 49, who was killed May 10 along with his wife, Mary "Sissy" McCarthy McKay, 52, in a single-vehicle wreck on Interstate 95 in Pooler.
Bell was the sole survivor. And now Carl is searching for a wandering, confused pooch.
"Yeah, this definitely would be what (Daniel) wanted," Carl said. "He loved that dog to death."
Bell has been spotted several times in Pooler at exit 104 on I-95. The last sighting occurred about 11 p.m. Thursday near Sam Snead's restaurant. She also has been seen elsewhere - sleeping near the spot in the ditch where the couple crashed, in the woods surrounding Crosswinds Golf Course and out back of Candlewood Suites.
Carl is not alone in his hunt for Bell. Two days after the wreck, Save-a-Life Inc., a nonprofit animal rescue organization in Savannah, got involved. David Bollinger, a 20-year veteran with Save-a-Life, is leading the effort.
Bollinger said he can't speculate how Bell survived the wreck.
The McKays were traveling in their black Chevrolet pickup in the inner lane of the interstate when the vehicle veered, crossed all lanes and overturned on the east shoulder, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
The pickup left the highway and wound up on its side in the ditch. Daniel and Mary McKay were ejected from the vehicle.
Bollinger said Bell walks with a limp and might have other non-visible injuries.
He said the few times he has seen the dog, she has looked ragged and dirty. Bell is wearing a purple collar and dragging a tattered leash.
It's obvious she is not a stray, Bollinger said, but she acts as any lost animal would.
"She's in unfamiliar territory, disoriented and confused," Bollinger said. "She's completely lost. And what's so sad is that none of this is her fault."
Bollinger said he has received cooperation from the hotels along Airways Avenue and Crosswinds Golf Course.
The golf course has posted fliers and photos of the dog around its buildings, said Austin Meadows, assistant golf professional at Crosswinds. Everyone is looking for the German shepherd, Meadows said, but the dog runs off when anyone approaches her, even Carl McKay.
Bollinger said that's most likely because she's so scared.
"Bell is very smart. She knows her name, and her ears perk up when she hears it," Bollinger said. "But when she realizes, 'I don't know you,' she takes off."
Candlewood Suites has a photo of Bell posted at the front desk, a high-traffic area. Desk clerk Justin Maxwell said he saw the dog, as did several hotel guests, in the first week after the wreck but hasn't seen Bell since.
"For that animal to lose everything it knew, it's horrific," Maxwell said. "You wouldn't wish that on anyone - animal or alike."
Bollinger isn't giving up. He hopes by putting out fresh food and water, he'll gain Bell's trust. Bollinger also would like to organize a search party of about 10 to 15 volunteers to try to rescue Bell.
Carl McKay said he wants his late brother's pet to be found, taken care of and sent to a new home. Because of the neighborhood he lives in, Carl said, he would not be able to house the German shepherd.
"(Daniel) was a free-spirited man, so if he would be sure Bell would be all right, he'd be fine with her running free," Carl said. "But right there at the highway, she might get run over.
"I appreciate everyone that's helping to find her. It's surprised me. There are good people out there."