Community bands together to help bring little Theo home after he was struck by a car

Brendan Rees

A North Melbourne woman has spoken of her relief after being reunited with her furry friend who ran away after being hit by a car.  

A “massive” community search for Theo, a Beagle Kelpie cross rescue dog, was undertaken after he ran onto the road and was struck by a speeding car near Clayton Reserve about 2pm on June 3 before he ran off in fear.

At the time his owner Suci Ida Bagus had been out walking her other rescue dog at Royal Park in Parkville when Theo’s dog walker called her in distress about the incident.

“I broke down, I was really freaked out,” Ms Ida Bagus said. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, is he dead?’”

Ms Ida Bagus said her mischievous Theo, who is “a bit double-jointed”, managed to free himself from his harness during a regular walk.

He was then hit by a car after running onto Gracie St, which was witnessed by shocked onlookers and staff from the nearby Lost Dogs’ Home.

Frantic, Ms Ida Bagus raced to the scene where she spent hours desperately searching far and wide for two-year-old Theo.

Luckily, social media posts about Theo’s disappearance caught the attention of the community – with dozens of people “coming out of the woodwork” to help find him.   

Ms Ida said she was “roaming around in circles” after there were sightings of Theo near Royal Park as well as at O’Shanassy St – about a kilometre away from Clayton Reserve.

“It was dark and getting colder … and then suddenly, I got a call at 8pm. It was my family saying some people found him and he’s at the Kensington emergency vet.”

 

Theo was checked over and “miraculously there was nothing wrong with him.”

 

“Apart from a scab on his chin, he was pretty good,” Ms Ida Bagus said after a couple had found Theo at the corner of Howard and Queensberry streets at an empty construction site.

“The funny thing is the people who found him didn’t know he was missing. He didn’t attack or anything which is also rare for a rescue that’s injured.”

He returned home the same night and has been “literally himself”.

Unfortunately, it’s believed the driver did not stop at the scene and the registration of the vehicle is unknown.

Ms Ida Bagus said she was overwhelmed by the community’s heartfelt effort, adding “I don’t think words can express how grateful I am.”

“Even my friend who grabbed his car after he was meant to sit his third-year psychology exam that afternoon, said, ‘No, no, I’m gonna search up and down the street’.”

Others who recognised Ms Ida Bagus as the owner of the Warung Agus Balinese restaurant in West Melbourne also joined the search.

“If no one was looking for him it could have been a completely different outcome,” Ms Ida Bagus said.

“I’m planning on doing a thank you dinner to all the people that helped in the search.”

In the meantime, Theo, who has been “busting to go outside”, finally made it back to his favourite park – in a different harness, of course. •

 

Caption: Suci Ida Bagus is reunited with Theo thanks to a heartfelt community effort.

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