Missing dog fliers leads to dispute with Lansdale Borough officials and residents

Missing dog fliers are at the center of a dispute with Lansdale Borough officials and residents.

Cell phone video shows 2-year-old Balto a rescue Hound dog in happier times playfully running around. Sadly, a month and a half ago Balto got away from his foster parents and has been gone ever since.

"We have a lot of sleepless nights worrying about what's going to happen and unfortunately fearing for the worst," said Maura Hunter.

She and Jim Warwick only had Balto for two weeks before he got away. Maura says she was afraid something like this would happen.

"Just because he was so scared and skittish during the time we had him and we were really working on trying to bring him out of his shell," said Maura. He bolted just as Jim opened the garage door to take Balto and their Beagle Ivy for a walk.

"He just flew right out of my hands. I, of course, had Ivy on the other hand so he was pretty much out of sight by the time I even got out of the garage," said Jim.

They immediately put up signs around the neighborhood. Soon after, they say they got calls about sightings in Hatfield and Harleysville but mostly in the Borough of Lansdale.

"We were able to drop off like upwards of 30 signs or so to just Lansdale Borough alone," said Maura.

She says soon after Lansdale Borough Code Enforcement contacted them instructing them to take down the signs tacked to poles and erected in the yards of homeowners who gave permission.

The borough says they received complaints. FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson talked to the borough manager who also pointed out that Maura and Jim aren't borough residents. They actually live in a municipality just outside.

Maura says this is all hampering the search and causing her more panic the longer Balto is gone.

"We by no means are trying to offend anyone with missing dog signage. This is something we really can't understand why anyone could complain because it's, of course, temporary and designed to help locate the dog to help to spread awareness. The sooner we find the dog the sooner we could take down the signs," she said.

The borough says it's not appropriate to discuss the ongoing matter but sent over a statement which reads in part, "Our policy is to enforce the borough's ordinances fairly and reasonably. Staff does not routinely patrol the borough looking for code violations, but when a potential issue is brought to our attention, we are obligated to respond."

The borough also tells FOX 29 these types of signs are allowed to be up for 10 days and that the missing dog fliers had been up longer than that.

If you wish to report a sighting or if you find Balto, please visiting the following links: