Palatine family adds Facebook to search for missing dog

The more than three-week search for missing dog Digger of Palatine has spread to Facebook in hopes of soliciting more leads.

The German shepherd-beagle mix escaped from a Palatine kennel Aug. 5 while owners Todd and Christy Caponi were visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, California, with their three young children.

Todd Caponi said he's turning to social media in addition to volunteers' extensive ground search to make sure he's left no avenue unexplored for the sake of his distraught wife and kids.

"It's been three and a half weeks," Caponi said Friday. "Since there's been so little sightings, we believe someone has him."

Among the few sighting reports there have been, two have been made at Sunset Meadows Park at New Wilke and West Kirchoff roads in Arlington Heights - the new center of the search.

One report was of a man walking a dog matching Digger's description but using a rope rather than a regular collar and leash.

In another sighting, a 10- to 12-year-old boy called Caponi to report he was looking at a dog similar to Digger's photo at the park. But before Caponi could do anything, the boy said two men wearing suits had arrived and put the dog in a black Honda Civic.

Caponi said he's spent several thousand dollars on search efforts so far - including buying 30 yellow weatherproof signs only to see 25 of them vanish. The village of Palatine told him its employees would not have removed the signs.

Since then, Caponi has bought about 20 more signs, mailed 1,500 postcards to homes in the vicinity of Sunset Meadows Park and sent letters to all the veterinarian offices in the region asking that any dog brought in without papers be scanned for Digger's microchip.

Caponi said the children - ages 10, 4 and 2 - are beginning to tire of the intensive efforts and resume their regular kid activities, but his wife, Christy Caponi, a true dog lover and the force behind the family's owning two more besides Digger, remains desperate to find the missing pooch.

"My wife is really struggling with it," Todd Caponi said. "It's been really hard on her."

A particularly difficult day was when they were alerted to a dog struck by a car at Lake-Cook and Rand roads. It turned out it wasn't Digger.

Anyone with information about Digger is asked to call (847) 567-4550.

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