A Stoke dog marooned on a Waimea Inlet island is back home 10 days after she ran away, thanks to a marathon rescue effort by strangers determined to help the lost pup.
Quizzy, a shih tzu-jack russell cross who was adopted from the SPCA after being caged and badly mistreated by a previous owner – went missing from her Stoke home on January 26.
She was returned to her grateful owners, Vicki and Phil Leslie, on Monday, after spending several days on Oyster Island, off Monaco, without food and water.
In an adventure reminiscent of the seafaring dog on the Lotto ad, Quizzy – who is fearful of humans – was eventually caught after she swam 500 metres and ran 3 kilometres down wet sand behind Nelson airport.
Nelson paddle boarder Marcus Graf first spotted the small dog running around on Oyster Island last week. He went back that evening and spotted her again but she would not come when called, and took off.
Mr Graf said he went back a few times to look for her, but did not see her again until Sunday. Unable to catch the dog a further time, he went home and called the SPCA. He also rang his ex-wife, Nelson policewoman and animal lover Nyanne Graf, seeking help.
They rallied a group, which included SPCA volunteer weekend duty officer Amy Jukes, her partner Cameron Strange and boat owner Blake Abbott, to go to the dog's aid.