19 June 2020

'Franklin' the Maremma of Gungahlin

| My Gungahlin
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Over the last year we have had several reports of a Maremma dog sighted on it’s own in Franklin, Harrison, Bonner and Forde. It has been suggested he has been on the run for 18 months now. This dog has raised the interest of several people that follow us on Facebook and have often reported him wandering on his own. He has often been mistaken for a golden retriever or Labrador.

We have decided to nick-name this dog ‘Franklin’ as suggested by Ben and his wife due to the frequency of him seen in Franklin.

The Maremma is an Italian sheepdog. This breed was used to guard livestock by Italian shepherds to protect them from wolves. The Maremma does have a thick white coat to protect it during the cold winter months.

We originally thought Franklin belonged to a family in Hall who had reported a Maremma missing but we have since been advised that dog was actually a female and is definitely not this dog sighted in Gungahlin. See this article for information on the female Maremma missing on The RiotACT.It has been suggested Franklin may live under one of the bridges between Harrison and Franklin. He has however seen as far out as Bonner and Forde. Apparently he frequents the pond and school at Forde.

The ACT Rangers have all but given up trying to catch Franklin as he is too elusive. Others have also tried without success. Amelia posted our page suggesting that Franklin may actually like the independent life and it’s coat will protect him from the elements. We were advised that Rangers have been seen out again in June 2013 trying to catch Franklin before it gets too cold.

We have discussed Franklin with RSPCA and they have advised that the best thing we can do is to leave Franklin alone. The more people chase and try to catch him the more frightened he will become and could potentially cause an accident if he runs onto a road.

The RSPCA recently had success catching another long term runaway dog. The way they caught this dog was setting up just one home that would provide food and shelter for the dog. The dog then developed a routine with this household and became more relaxed around them. This took quite some time though.

With your assistance we would like to gather as much information on where Franklin roams so we can pass to the RSPCA. The RSPCA will then work with members of the Gungahlin community to try and identify a suitable household to assist.

The RSPCA did report that there was one household Franklin did regularly visit because they were providing food and shelter. He has since stopped returning. It is believed because others have been feeding him or because he has been getting chased too much.

You can follow Franklin on Facebook, share photos and sightings of him. https://www.facebook.com/franklinthemaremma

Photo provided by Amelia

Photo provided by Cat

Photo provided by Cat

Photo provided by Anna

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