HILLSIDE, NJ – Louis, the lost five-year-old Yorkie who’s taken social media by storm, was found on New Year’s Eve in Hillside’s Evergreen Cemetery.
Louis, who lives in Mountainside, ran away from his dog sitter’s home in Kenilworth on Dec. 25. On Sunday afternoon, he was caught by a father and son who lived near the cemetery.
“I didn’t believe it was him at first, I was in such shock,” Victoria Binko, Louis’ owner, said. “I started hysterically crying and Louis was shaking, terrified.”
After reconnecting with Louis, Binko immediately brought him to an animal hospital, where he was given a clean bill of health after surviving for one week in the bitter cold. Her next step was to groom him, which Louis loves.
“I look like a train wreck and he’s adorable,” Binko said. “He’s eating, going to the bathroom and doing great. It’s a miracle.”
When Binko first heard that Louis was missing, she immediately came home and launched a Facebook page to try to find him. She left dog traps in areas he may have gone to, handed out more than 1,000 flyers to local businesses and kept bacon and hot dogs in her car to try to lure him.
“Everybody was telling me he was stolen or he froze to death, but I knew he was out there,” Binko said. “I was hysterical every day. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.”
Approximately three days ago, Binko received a late-night phone call that Louis was seen in the cemetery. She immediately drove there, hopped over the cemetery gate and started looking.
“I couldn’t be sitting inside if he was outside freezing,” Binko said. “I was warm in my bed and I knew my baby wasn’t and it was so terrible.”
On Sunday at 5 a.m., she received a call from a woman who lived near the cemetery who said Louis was crying on her stoop. When the family tried to bring him inside their home, he ran away.
Binko went to the home but couldn’t find Louis. She later returned to the cemetery to look again. She had been searching for Louis for six or seven hours when she got the call that Louis was caught by the resident’s neighbor.
“I hadn’t eaten all day,” Binko said. “I was just about to take a break when they found him.”
Binko said she’s still in shock that Louis was found and credits social media for bringing him home.
“The power of social media is incredible and I’m so thankful for everyone’s help,” she said. “My dog is a celebrity now. He’s the next Kim Kardashian.”
What’s next for Louis?
“I’m getting him a GPS collar and I’m never leaving him with a sitter again,” Binko said. “I’m going to start volunteering with a dog rescue charity.”