She spent $35,000 searching for her lost dog
She spent $35,000 searching for her lost dog Janet Mihalyfis 5-year-old dog, Havoc (AP photos)
She spent $35,000 searching for her lost dog
Lexile: 1250L

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A District of Columbia woman has spent more than $35,000 in a year-long search for her beloved missing dog.

Janet Mihalyfi, 39, of the Georgetown section of Washington has hired psychics and private investigators, posted thousands of fliers, installed cameras in the woods and put out dog food at spots where the Rottweiler mix has reportedly been spotted.

Mihalyfi lost 5-year-old Havoc on Nov. 9, 2013, after she took him and her other dog off their leashes during a run in a wooded area. Just then, a deer bolted by and both dogs gave chase.

She hasn't seen Havoc since.

"Anybody that has a pet knows that they are a family member," Mihalyfi told The Associated Press. "I love him as I would anybody that I'm close with ... I can't give up on him."

Mihalyfi, an information technology director at a Washington consulting firm, said she has devoted every weekend since Havoc's disappearance to the search, which she called all-consuming, exhausting and depressing.

"It's been a very emotionally taxing year," she said. "It just feels like all these efforts why am I not getting closer to getting to him?"

Mihalyfi said her hope of finding Havoc, who has an implanted identifying microchip, is constantly renewed by tips from people who have seen her signs begging for information about his whereabouts. Mihalyfi estimates that about 30 to 40 percent of the tips have been accurate and said she has plenty of evidence that Havoc is spending his days in two wooded parks in the District that are thousands of square miles large.

Though Mihalyfi has gotten help searching from a group of volunteers sympathetic to her plight, she's also fielded some criticism for the amount of money and time she has spent searching for a dog.

"I know people are in shock by the number but there's also a correlation between how long I go after this," she said. "Lost-dog searches are expensive and this has lasted a year."

She said she can't imagine a better way to spend her money than getting a member of her family back.

Critical thinking challenge: If Janet knows her dog is in one of two parks, why is the dog so difficult to find?

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  • 1CoraA
    11/19/2014 - 12:49 p.m.

    After reading this I think it's kinda silly. By the time she fined her dog it if she ever does it might die soon. But like she said it a better way to spend Her money on a family member then herself

  • 1seanB
    11/19/2014 - 12:55 p.m.

    Wow! I think Mihalyfi is crazy because, she had put up way to many flyers looking for her dog. I have a dog and if he got lost i would look for him... im close with my dog to though. Anyways i would not spend 35,000 dollars looking for a lost dog! It just sounds crazy! I would imagine her getting demoted every week because she is searching for her lost dog.

  • CHB2001aaa
    11/19/2014 - 01:12 p.m.

    I believe the dog is still really hard to find because the parks might be very large parks and maybe when they are at one park, the dog is at another. Also, she might be inaccurate about the park assumption and the dog could be at plenty of different parks.

  • ratiaira
    11/19/2014 - 01:37 p.m.

    first off that's a lot of money that she had to spend and yeah its true that a dog is like a family member but i don't think that's a reasonable price to look for a dog that's a lot of money

  • TreyvaunT
    11/19/2014 - 01:50 p.m.

    I do love my dog to death, but i would not spend that much money to find him. With that much money you could just get a new dog.

  • jessea-Bea
    11/19/2014 - 02:40 p.m.

    I think this article is interesting, but the lady that lost her dog is ignorant. This dog could have died the first night in the wild. Even though dogs are animals, they are not wild and do not know how to survive by themselves. Spending $35,000 on a search for a dog, seems a little bit over the top to me.

  • WAustin-Sti
    11/19/2014 - 02:52 p.m.

    spending $35000 looking for a dog is insane.Dogs are not people.If the dog wanted to come back he would have come back. You could have bought a car with that much money.

  • andrewcbeard-Bea
    11/19/2014 - 03:23 p.m.

    I believe that what the woman did was reasonable. She made it very clear that the dog was important to her and she was going to do what it took to get him back. It is her money and she can do what she wants with it.

  • cailynnes-Bea
    11/19/2014 - 03:23 p.m.

    It is very sad that you have lost your dog, and I would try to find my dog if I lost him as well. However, I do not believe I would spend that much on my pet. $35,000 could be used to buy many necessities.

  • autumnt-Bea
    11/19/2014 - 03:24 p.m.

    Although she may love her dog, I don't feel like it's something she should spend so much money on. Also, if the dog is supposedly in one of two parks, I don't think it would be so hard to find him. I'd say the dog has either died or been taken by someone else unfortunately. I feel it's time she tries to move on.

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