A Labrador retriever puppy that was ejected from his owner’s car during a crash on U.S. Route 201 has been found and reunited with his family after surviving more than two weeks in the woods of East Madison.

Tucker, the 7-month-old puppy, was rescued on Thursday with the help of volunteers from Maine Lost Dog Recovery who helped his family set a live trap for the dog, said Chief Deputy James Ross of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

Ross said Tucker was on the verge of starvation when he was found, and pictures on the Maine Lost Dog Recovery Facebook page show a very skinny dog with his ribs showing.

The nonprofit organization works with families of lost dogs, shelters, animal control officers and people who find lost dogs to help reunite them with their owners. Natalie Messier, president of Maine Lost Dog Recovery, said Monday night that Tucker was found at the scene of the crash, as is often the case when dogs get lost after crashes or traumatic events.

Tucker’s owner, Shanya Pottle, 20, of South China, was seriously injured in the Aug. 9 crash that took place about a mile north of the Lakewood Golf Course on Route 201. The dog was reportedly thrown from the vehicle by the impact during the crash and had been missing since.

He was spotted by a passerby early last week, and his family left food, water and items with his scent and their scent to lull him into the trap, Messier said. She said the worst thing to do if a dog is lost after a crash or traumatic event is to yell and search the area since the animal is scared and unlikely to respond even to a familiar voice.

“After an event like that the dog is scared,” she said. “They’re thinking about survival, which at that point includes food, water and shelter, not humans. He’s going to pretty much run from everybody, especially if the dog is shy or a rescue.”

The dog isn’t the only pet that’s been lost in the woods of East Madison lately. Last week, an artist at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture reported that his Timneh African Grey parrot, Paco, flew off his shoulder into the woods on Aug. 18 and has been missing since. Bill Holmes, grounds and maintenance supervisor for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, said Monday that the bird is still missing and that its owner, Oscar Cornejo, is continuing to search for it. The bird is believed to be in the area of the school off East Madison Road.

“He’s still trying every day,” Holmes said. “He’s been broadcasting parrot sounds throughout the school grounds in the hopes of calling him back.”

In the Aug. 9 crash, Pottle was taken by ambulance to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan and later transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

A hospital spokeswoman at Maine Medical Center said Monday that she did not have a record of anyone with Pottle’s name at the hospital.

Pottle could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

A truck driver who Pottle passed immediately before the crash told police she was on her cellphone, and police said at the time the crash may have been because of distracted driving.

Ross said Monday that he did not have further information on the cause of the crash or Pottle’s condition. He said it is unlikely there will be criminal charges.

“Under the circumstances it would be really hard to prove (that there was distracted driving),” Ross said. “That’s what it appeared to the truck driver who passed her, but being able to convert that into something you can prosecute is hard.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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