ANIMALS

Moinkoff family reunited with missing dog after attack

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After three days of searching, it was a tip that brought joy back to the lives of two-year-old Jakob and his parents, Lora and Lucas Moinkoff.

Sunday night, a family found their dog, Murray, in their yard about a half mile from where it was last seen.

On Monday, Lucas and Lora Moinkoff brought Jakob to see Murray for the first time since the dog went missing.

"See, he's okay. He's just at the doctor's office,” Lora told Jakob, as he petted Murray in a waiting room at Friendship Hospital for Animals.

"We worked very hard to find you,” Lora added.

The search started Friday after Murray got out of his leash when his care taker was assaulted in Northeast Washington, near 6th and K Streets.

Beth Kemler was dog sitting Murray for the Moinkoff’s. Like most mornings, Kemler decided to walk Murray along with her own two dogs, Spike and Roxie. But things quickly got weird when a jogger, who was friendly at first, then started claiming Murray bit him in his testicles.

Kemler said that’s not like Murray, but the man insisted and she said, “He grabbed Murray's leash and…caused Murray's collar to come off. The man started chasing him up the street. I started chasing him."

She went back home to drop off her own dogs and then caught up with the man.

“He ended up assaulting me while screaming at me about the dog, dragging me around in the street by the arm,” Kemler said. “He bruised my arm.”

It got worse. Kemler claims the man grabbed her breasts and other private areas and demanded she give him her phone number.

"Once I started yelling 'Help, somebody help me, please help me.' Then he finally gave up and left," she said.

Kemler said police have solid leads they’re following and she hopes the man is caught.

As for the search for Murray, Kemler started a Facebook page and she, along with the Moinkoffs and dozens of volunteers, started passing out flyers and posting them on street lights.

“I just had this sinking feeling. I didn't think we were going to get him back,” Lucas Moinkoff said.

On Sunday evening, they were still passing out flyers and were about to throw in the towel. But then they got a call phone from a Washington Humane Society officer, who got a tip about a medium-sized brown dog a family found in their yard.

It turned out to be Murray.

“It was amazing,” said Lucas Moinkoff. “He opened up back door and there was Murray sort of looking meek."

“He tried to stand up. He sort of like lumped down into my arms. And we brought him here,” Lora Moinkoff said of the first time she saw Murray.

The couple is overwhelmed by the amount of help they got from friends and total strangers.

"There are so many people who helped...just makes me want to be a better person,” Lora Moinkoff said.

“It's remarkable. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel hopeful,” her husband, Lucas, said.

Friendship Hospital for Animals Chief of Surgery Dr. Mathieu Glassman thinks Murray will be okay.

He thinks a car hit Murray and dislocated one of his leg bones. The dog also suffered several superficial scratches.

“He's very lucky. It was a lot of trauma that goes into that type of injuries,” Glassman said.

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