PICS | 'A joyous occasion': Skunk the Boston Terrier found after Capetonians rally together

  • Skunk the Boston Terrier has been found.
  • A R10 000 reward was offered for the safe return of the much-loved family pet.
  • Rotem Shachar and her husband, Andrew Whitehouse, were out of the country when the dog was found. 

Scores of Capetonians rallied together to find a Boston Terrier named Skunk that went missing for three weeks.

Its owners, Rotem Shachar and her husband, Andrew Whitehouse, offered a R10 000 reward for their much-loved pet in the hope of finding it.

Posters and pictures of the missing dog were doing the rounds on social media as Shachar, Whitehouse and others frantically searched for the dog.

PICS | ‘We want him back desperately’ – R10K reward for family’s much-loved Boston Terrier

But their search finally came to an end on Tuesday morning, when Skunk was found roaming in the vicinity of the M3 in Newlands and was captured unharmed near a canal in Upper Liesbeek River Garden.

The family was away on a holiday when their dog was found.

Speaking to News24 a few hours before boarding her flight back home to Cape Town, Shachar said cutting her vacation short was a no-brainer.

An emotional Shachar said:

My family and I were only due to come home much later in the month, but I managed to get a super early flight and now I’m on my way home to see my boy. I’m absolutely, fucking over the moon right now. It’s a miracle that he made it back to us. I still cannot believe it.

Shachar had no network signal for a few days and said she was only notified a day after Skunk was found.

By the time she received the news, Skunk was already at home, snuggled up on his little dog bed. 

“Words fail to express just how happy I am right now, I haven’t slept because I’ve been busy trying to sort out flights back home, but I think I’ll only be able to sleep properly once I hold my boy and know he’s finally safe,” she added. 


Skunk asleep after being found on Tuesday morning.

Photo Supplied Supplied

Shachar said she was in constant contact with those who managed to help find Skunk and added that she was “overwhelmed” by the pure generosity of Capetonians.   

KFM drive time host Carl Wastie and Smile90.4fm’s Angel Campey were the first people to spot Skunk roaming around. 

“I was driving along the M3 when I spotted what looked to me like a baby baboon, only to look again and see it was actually a black and white dog, and that’s when it hit me that the figure I saw could be the missing Boston Terrier dog. Instinct then kicked in and I started driving to where I thought the dog would be. I then ended up in the Newlands and Rondebosch areas and saw the dog. I stopped my car and immediately ran to where I could see Skunk was,” Wastie said.

He added that when he tried to lure the dog toward him, a car guard noticed what’s happening and hollered over to him to ask if he needed help. This scared the dog away.

Wastie recalled:

The dog was literally about two metres away from me when he got frightened away. I then got back into my car and drove to see if I could find him again when I spotted him running down along a road… but as I called out his name, he started to run faster and I then gave chase… hoping to finally catch him to reunite him with his owners.

As Wastie started running after Skunk, the dog turned toward Liesbeek River which leads to a canal. Skunk jumped into the water to get to the other side.

Wearing skinny jeans, a coat, Boston Terrier socks and shoes, Wastie jumped in to get the dog.

“I got to a part of the canal where it started to flood and I thought I’m not going to take the chance of going deeper, only to discover that the river flows into the Liesbeek dog park area, where Skunk was eventually caught,” Wastie said.

Two cousins, Kimberly de Klerk, 9, and Phoenix de Klerk, 7, were playing in the park when they noticed Skunk and called out to someone at the park to help them.


The area where Skunk was found in Cape Town.

Photo Supplied Supplied

Campey said the dog was found just after 11:00.

“When I got to Skunk, he was in the deep gutter of the Liesbeek canal where he had then managed to get himself onto the pavement next to the canal. Skunk was doing usual doggy things, such as sniffing the area where he popped up, oblivious to what was happing since his disappearance,” Campey added.

She said she did not have her phone with her for safety reasons.

Campey giggled:

I had no idea there was a reward out for the dog, only when more people started noticing the dog, did they come running with leashes, shouting there’s a R10 000 reward for this dog.

She said one of the residents in the area had a car and offered to take the dog to the nearby vet and contact the owners. 

Shachar and Whitehouse were only notified on Wednesday morning that Skunk had been found. 

Shachar’s brother Ohad was contacted to fetch the dog at the vet in Mowbray.

“I’m from Franschhoek and immediately when I got the call, I got into my car and dashed down to the vet. I just couldn’t believe that the dog was found because he had been gone for more than three weeks and the chances of us finding him seemed very slim,” Ohad said.

Cape Town

Skunk the dog has been found.

Photo Supplied Supplied

When he got to Skunk, it looked as if he had been having the time of his life at the vet and that he was unaware of the trauma he had caused the family.

He originally weighed 14.8kg, but lost 4kg.

“He’s a severely epileptic dog and it boggles the mind how he managed to survive this long without his medication. We are just so eternally grateful to everyone that helped search for the dog. He’s now back at home and awaiting the arrival of his parents, who I believe are as eager to see him. It really is a joyous occasion to have him back home” Ohad added.

Shachar told News24 they put out the reward for the return of the dog because they desperately wanted him back as he is “part of the family”.

She added:

We have had so many people try and scam us into giving them the money, saying they have the dog, but we were not prepared to pay anything unless proof was given to us that the dog was alive.

The family said once they have pieced all the pieces together on how many people came together to find the dog, they would split the R10 000 reward. 

“We have already had people indicate they don’t want the reward money and that they’re very happy for Skunk to be found safe and unharmed. I’ve told them that they still deserve part of the reward and that they should then donate their share to a charity. Once all the people have been contacted that had a hand in finding Skunk, we will then begin to disburse out the reward money, because we are eternally grateful to everyone that played a role in reuniting Skunk with us,” said Shachar.

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