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
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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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COMMENTS (66)
  • jakeg-Bea
    11/19/2014 - 03:25 p.m.

    I completely agree with all of the money that Mihalyfi has spent searching for her lost dog. I know if this were my dog, I would do the same thing. I am sure she will narrow it down to a more specific spot and eventually find her long lost family member. Until then, keep up the hard work, and good luck.

  • 5AdelleD
    11/19/2014 - 05:44 p.m.

    My opinion is that shes doing the right thing, but why that much money. I would go searching through the two parks first before I do further investigating. I understand how she feels I love my dog and would do anything for her. I just wouldn't spend that much money. I think she is doing the right thing.

  • 1michaelm
    11/19/2014 - 08:59 p.m.

    Janet Mihalyfi is spending a lot of her money on her dog that has been missing for a year. One of the main cons to her searching for her dog Havoc is how much money she is spending on finding Havoc. Havoc may have died over the past year or may have been taken by another person. Hopefully she will be able to find her companion and not stop trying until she does. One of the pros is how much help she's received in looking for her dog. Evaluating the story in terms of pros/cons

  • NW2000Basketball
    11/20/2014 - 08:37 a.m.

    because the dog could've went to either and maybe 1 park is much bigger than the other so it might be difficult for her. I would've checked the smaller park first.

  • r2000soccer
    11/20/2014 - 08:41 a.m.

    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. So the dog go too far away and this is difficult to find because the wooded park is thousand of square miles long.

  • LAvery-Sti
    11/20/2014 - 11:02 a.m.

    I think spending this much money is a little ex stream, but I would do anything to find my animals too. I love my animals and nothing will change that, and that is just how she is. She would do anything for her animals and some people wouldn't even care they are gone. I think she really cared, and it was great of her to do!

  • JacobM-5
    11/20/2014 - 11:55 a.m.

    This article is about a women who lost her dog. When she a lost her dog she decided to tae extreme cautions and for a whole year she put cameras micro chips and lots of other thing all to find her missing dog. She admits she doesn't mind the number she just wants her member of her family back. I thought this article is shocking how much work and money is used to find her dog it also interested me a little.

  • IM2000food
    11/20/2014 - 01:04 p.m.

    the dog is so difficult to find because he is wondering around he wont stay in one place he and is probably trying to find his way home to his owner.

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    11/20/2014 - 01:24 p.m.

    I know that some people's dogs are like their children, but this is pretty ridiculous. That is a lot of money I think she wasted. She has not only wasted her money, but her time too. After a year has gone by, why does she even think he is still alive?

  • NashMcComsey-Ste
    11/20/2014 - 01:52 p.m.

    Missing animals, if they don't immediatly return, are very, very likely not to be found again. Certainly, then, a great expense must be exhausted to find the animal, unless it was previously chipped. I wish the best for her search, it would be a shame if the animal wouldnt find it's way home, especially with all the work that has gone into her search.

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