- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

LAKEHURST, N.J. (AP) - The search is on for the pet cat of an elderly woman rescued last week after being stranded for several days in a hot car near a New Jersey military base without food or water.

Jeannette Haskins’ 4-year-old gray tabby, Mokey, is still missing after the woman was found deep in a wooded area last week, The Press of Atlantic City reported (https://bit.ly/2aw4FUT ).

Soldiers from the Massachusetts Army National Guard had been training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and were on a scouting mission when they found the Egg Harbor Township woman, 87, slumped over in the backseat on a dirt road off of Route 539 near the base. She remained unresponsive after they honked the horn several times, but she awoke when a soldier approached.

Officials said Haskins suffered dehydration and possibly heat illness. Temperatures reached the upper 90s.

Volunteer pet detective Bonnie Wagner-Westbrook is leading the search for Haskins’ cat. She said she reached out to Haskins’ family after she found out that the woman’s cat was still missing.

“This is the perfect storm of a place to lose an animal: on a military base with no access, a desert/Pine Barrens environment, excessive heat. There is, fortunately, a stream nearby where the car was found,” she said.

The Hunterdon County woman is working with military officials to have a K-9 tracking team search the base area where Haskins’ vehicle was located.

“Right now, we’re at a critical point as to how long the cat’s scent would be around and be useful to conduct a search,” Wagner-Westbrook said.

Haskins’ family is offering an unspecified reward for finding the pet.


Information from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.), https://www.pressofatlanticcity.com

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