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: 1110L

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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 is an information technology director at a Washington consulting firm. She said she has devoted every weekend since Havoc's disappearance to the search. She described it as all-consuming, exhausting and depressing.

"It's been a very emotionally taxing year," she said.

Mihalyfi said her hope of finding Havoc, who has an implanted identifying microchip, is constantly renewed by tips from people. Mihalyfi estimates that about 30 to 40 percent of the tips have been accurate. She 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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  • skylar94
    11/19/2014 - 07:56 a.m.

    This is so insporational for me because if I lost I most likley would not spend a whole year looking for a lost pet, but now I think I would now. I love my dog, but you love your's more. I would never spend that much money either. You guys are amazing showing how much you guys care.

  • Wl81800darkgray
    11/19/2014 - 08:42 a.m.

    if the dogs is elder in one park or the other the dog might be going back and forth to those parks. the dog probably have to find food elsewhere

  • Jm1999white
    11/19/2014 - 08:48 a.m.

    the parks that the dogs are at are huge and its like trying to find a nettle in a haystack they would need lots of people to search the ground to find the dog.

  • 21ajmich
    11/19/2014 - 12:06 p.m.

    I would not even imagine spending $35,000 on a dog. She must of loved that dog a lot. I would have to be in a good relationship, to love that dog so much.

  • 21hlmich
    11/19/2014 - 12:07 p.m.

    I think it is sad that she lost her dog and wants to pay $35,000 to someone that finds her dog. If I were that person to find the dog I would give it to her and tell her to keep the money because it is just a gift to me that people love and have their animal back for free.

  • 21jlphal
    11/19/2014 - 12:09 p.m.

    She lost her dog November 9th 2013, and yet found him? $35,000 is a lot of money, and this is how people show they love their animals. She could've used it to buy a new dog, but she used it to find her old one. That is extraordinary.

  • 21jmborm
    11/19/2014 - 12:09 p.m.

    That was the right choice but she shouldn't of spent that much money. She could of just posted posts all over town. But that is a cool dog.. I'm going to beg my mom to by one! I can't believe that she did that for just a dog.

  • secretswagger
    11/19/2014 - 12:15 p.m.

    If my dog went missing I would be so sad. I love my dog just as much as she does. I would take a jeep out in those two parks if it was my dog. She had to been very sad when the dog first bolted after that deer. I can not believe she was willing to spend $35,000 on her dog a year. I would but I don't have the kind of money. I would put up hand made missing posters but not spend that much a year. I can see why see did it though.

  • RaphaelLover14
    11/19/2014 - 12:52 p.m.

    Awwwww..... That dog is so cute!!!!!!! The owner of that dog spent a lot of money to find him. $35,000! Wow, she must have loved him alot.

  • 9caitlync
    11/19/2014 - 12:57 p.m.

    Some pros and cons to this story are, for the pros, you would be getting you dog back, you would be getting you family member back, and you wouldn't have to live wondering what happened to him. Cons of this would be that you are spending a TON of money to find a dog, you may get depressed from it, lots of ups and downs, and you may never find your dog.

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