After a week alone in remote Kimberley, social media helps reunite lost dog with frenzied owner
Len Simpson searched for his best friend over three miles a day in the heat of the Kimberley outback.
- Len Simpson and his loyal dog Jack were traveling the Kimberley
- Jack disappeared one night and Len spent a desperate week looking for him
- Social media and a Good Samaritan help them find each other in Broome
He searched the thick bushes and shrubs, over snake pits and kangaroo dung, for any sign of his beloved dog, Jack.
After seven days, Mr. Simpson was about to give up and go home.
The two had started their journey together, coming from Tasmania, and were camping near the Great Northern Highway, 195 km south of Broome.
Jack was usually let out overnight for a wash break, but he always came back to camp.
“When he didn’t come back, I thought, ‘He just went for a walk around a bit,’” Mr. Simpson said.
After the first day, Mr. Simpson no longer saw Jack’s footsteps.
So he used his old school compass to travel over 3 miles each day in a new direction, meticulously searching the sand for Jack’s tracks.
He texted his daughter, Kate, to Victoria to let her know that Jack was missing.
This was the start of a post about a missing dog that went viral and was shared on online billboards in the Kimberley and Pilbara areas.
Traveling good samaritan
Avid traveler Jolina Latusek was on her way from Port Hedland to Broome when she saw Kate’s post about the missing dog on Facebook.
During the week, Ms. Latusek helped with research, printing flyers at the local library and placing them along the highway.
She also supported Mr. Simpson while he was in the bush so that he could continue his research on the ground.
“Out of her own pocket, she was constantly refusing money,” Ms. Simpson said.
Ms. Latusek said she just wanted to help.
“I didn’t know Len Simpson, or Jack, or anyone, but I could imagine how he felt in this situation and I think if I ever needed help, I would like other people to ask me. ‘help too,’ she said.
She was halfway through a three-hour drive from Broome to Sandfire Roadhouse, just to post more leaflets on the missing dogs, when she received good news from Ms Simpson.
Jack had been found near the local indigenous community, Bidyadanga, after being seen next to a dump by a couple who recognized him, thanks to Ms Simpson’s various social media posts.
Ms Latusek said earlier in the morning Mr Simpson’s daughter texted her that Jack had been found when she was unable to reach her father.
“There isn’t a good phone signal there, so she couldn’t reach him,” she said.
So Ms. Latusek headed for Bidyadanga.
After picking up Jack, Ms Latusek headed to the nearest vets in Broome, who were surprised the dog was alive after seven days in the bush without food or water.
Vets, including Dr Chiquita Minshull, were very concerned that Jack could have heatstroke, been bitten by a snake, or ingested poison 1080.
“Fortunately, during the physical evaluation of him, we found that he was fine,” said Dr. Minshull.
A week into his search, after another five-hour search for Jack, Mr Simpson came back to a note placed on his car by Ms Latusek, letting him know that she had dropped Jack off at Broome’s vet.
As for the happy owner, he was shocked.
For Jack and his owner, their journey through the Western Australia region is not yet over as they prepare to travel to the southern part of the state.