February 16, 2006

NY searchers scale back hunt for missing show dog

By Scott Malone

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A massive search of John F. Kennedy
Airport has failed to find a prize-winning show dog named Vivy
who escaped while being loaded onto a plane, but authorities
said on Thursday they had not given up hope.

Vivy, who was returning to California after competing at
the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, had likely
fled to marshy areas next to the airport, said Paul Lepiane,
co-owner of the whippet.

He said security guards might notice the dog, which stands
about 20 inches high, during their regular patrols of the
perimeter fence.

"If she's out there and she moves around at all, they will
see her, I think," Lepiane said in a telephone interview. "A
lot of it is heavily wooded."

A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey, which operates the airport, said security had combed
the 4,900-acre (2,000-hectare) facility several times in the
last two days.

"Security officers will continue to keep their eyes open
for the dog during their regular rounds," the spokesman said.

The 3-year-old canine won an award of merit in the whippet
category at this week's Westminster competition, said David
Frei, a show spokesman.