By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Schnitzel, the dog who fled his home during the March 4 "swatting" on Cleveland Place returned home early Monday morning.
Animal Control Officer Michelle King said the missing female German shepherd returned home at 4 a.m. after spending three days on the loose after members of the Belknap Regional Special Operations Group inadvertently let her out of the house.
The group, along with the Laconia Police Department, went into Eric Charbonneau's home with his permission after getting what ended up being a hoax call reporting that a woman was in the home and a man had a gun to her head.
As it turned out, said police, Charbonneau was at work, his girlfriend was out of the state and only Schnitzel was in the single-family home.
Lt. Dave Perkins of the Belknap County Sheriff's Department and commander of the BRSOG, or SWAT, team said they were told the dog was in the home but that she was very friendly.
Perkins said that when they went in, Schnitzel was not aggressive but rather had her tail between her legs indicating fear.
He said the team tried to stop Schnitzel from leaving the home but she wriggled around them. Perkins said she stuck around in the immediate area for about 45 minutes but wouldn't come to any members of the team who had to first make sure nobody was in there, and secondly worry about the dog.
"I guess there were too many of us and we were all dressed kind of funny," said Perkins, referencing the physical demeanor of the team and its entry into the home. He said that if he was the dog or even a human being put in that position, he would be equally terrified.
In an effort to find the dog, the Laconia Police almost immediately posted a picture of Schnitzel on its Facebook page.
According to website Granite State Dog Recovery, Schnitzel was trapped by the someone in November 2015 who reported her capture to the agency. Charbonneau and his girlfriend adopted her after no one came forward to claim her.
King said Charbonneau sent a message of thanks to all the people in the community who reached out to him and his girlfriend through the Internet personally and who helped look for Schnitzel.
Laconia Police continue to investigate the hoax call and ask that if anyone has any information to call 524-5252 or 524-1717.
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