© Photo courtesy: Christine O'Donovan
Christine O'Donovan's dog had left home before, but when the Belle Harbor, N.Y., woman's year-old dog Ridgeback-shepherd mix ran away after superstorm Sandy devastated the community, O'Donovan said, this time was different.
She and her children searched the neighborhood, but weeks went by without any sighting of Buster.
"Time went on," the mother of five children said Monday. "I was just, I said either somebody took him, and I was hoping he was in a good home, or I thought the worst that he may have been killed by either a car or, you know. A thousand things go through your head."
On Dec. 12 - about a month after Buster disappeared - a friend sent O'Donovan, 42, a text message to say she believed she'd seen a photo of the dog on Urgent Part 2, a Facebook page that posts the euthanasia schedule of New York City's Animal Care and Control.
The friend, Kim Frazier, said the dog was on the list to be killed the next day. O'Donovan called the shelter and left a message to put a hold on Buster.
"I couldn't sleep that night because I was so worried they were going to put my dog down," she said, adding that she got up early the next day and took her children to the shelter's emergency facility in Brooklyn in the hopes of recovering their dog.
He was alive.