Where Are You Riley?

Winter will rear it's chilly head this week, and Riley is still out there somewhere.


has been keeping hope alive for the past seven weeks that somehow her yellow Lab, Riley, 7, will come back home.

With all the responsibility of trying to win the $100,000 for the Orange Schools through the Patch Deck the House contest, you might think that I have forgotten about Riley.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I feel like I know this boy and my heart aches when I think about him, not knowing where he is.

I was out and about after the Chilly Run yesterday hoping for a miracle. But still no signs of Riley.

Lauren Collier from News12 gave us hope by saying that she knew of a dog that was missing for three months last winter and was reuinited with its family — we hope the same for Riley.

Also, I hope Ms. Collier is planning to do a story on him soon.

The next step is coming together and hiking the wooded areas where Riley may be hiding. If a cow can go undetected with a bunch of deer in Milford for several months, who says Riley can't be hunkered down somewhere too?

Patch readers are already volunteering to join in search parties, but we need the guidance of someone who knows the terraine and has experience in such things. Will anyone step up to lead us in the search for Riley?

Christmas has come and gone

Here at Patch we hoped Riley would be home for Christmas, but we aren't giving up on him.

If everyone could please keep spreading the word by posting his story on your Facebook pages, mentioning him to your Connecticut friends and relatives so everyone is aware that he is missing maybe the one person who knows something will get the message and let the LaPlantes know where he is. 

The weather is getting colder and if he hasn't been taken in by someone he's got to be cold and hungry. Let's not give up on Riley and keep him and the LaPlante family in our thoughts today.

Merry Christmas Riley, buddy. I hope you're okay on this Christmas Day. Come home soon.

Most Recent Post

Your local Patch, with readers' support and encouragement, is continuing to rally around the LaPlante Family in the search for Riley and our goal of getting him home for Christmas.

We ask that any media group, including television, radio and newspapers with a wide reach join us.

Why? From what I've heard in private e-mails, phone calls and people I meet on the street, Riley has become everyone's dog. We all feel for the LaPlante Family and we are worried about him.

Someone must know something, all we have to do is reach that one person to get the answer we need.

Let's all keep spreading the word and bring Riley home.


Orange Patch and several other Patch sites have published his story across the state and many Patch readers (more than 600) have reposted his story on their Facebook Pages and reached out to local news personalities.

One Patch reader said Scott Haney from Channel 3 showed Riley's "missing" poster on television early one morning and Lauren Collier from Cable News 12 responded to a Facebook plea and asked for more photos of Riley which she will hopefully show on her weekend Pet Talk show.

Readers have been offering up a lot of wonderful ideas to the LaPlante family, including places to search online and a craig's list ad to follow up on. We would welcome some different photos of Riley so everyone can see what he looks like from different angles etc.

There are only 6 more days until Christmas and our goal at Patch is to have every follower post this story link on their Facebook page and spread the word throughout Connecticut and get Riley home by Christmas.


and he was last seen on Halloween night between Forest Road and Orange Avenue in Milford after he was frightened by trick-or-treaters.

Since their story came out, Carol LaPlante said she has received calls of possible sightings, but they turned up empty. They are inconsolable in his absence, as "the Boy" is a beloved member of their family.

If you see him, the LaPlantes ask that you please , but call out, "Treats!" and call them any time of the day or night at 203-878-4556, or 203-606-8234 to report his location.

In a heartwrenching statement on Sunday, wrote, "It continues to get more and more difficult to live without knowing what has happened to our Riley. Life is not the same without the big golden boy bringing a smile to our hearts. My family is heartbroken so it is very hard for me to write about the boy. We are keeping the faith, and we are continuing to look."

EDITOR'S NOTE:  I don't know where Riley is, but I keep my eyes open for him wherever I go. If everyone in the area could repost this story link http://patch.com/A-px4P on their facebook pages then the word would get out beyond our area and maybe we could help make a Christmas miracle happen for Riley and the LaPlante family.

Carol LaPlante December 18, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Once again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Ed received a call from a concerned person who had spotted a yellow dog wandering on Grassy Hill Rd. After searching...no results. We just got off the phone from another kind person who had posted a picture of a yellow dog being kept in a Norwalk shelter. The poor boy was not looking happy, but it was not Riley. Please keep letting us know of any sightings. It does knock the air out of us, but it must be done. We must follow through. The days and nights are filled with a deep sorrow even though we are well aware of our abundant blessings with our family. I want to thank all of you for giving me these opportunities to cry my heart out among good people who are empathetic and kind. We wish you all a blessed holiday, and appreciate all you have done to bring our boy home. God bless you. Carol LaPlante and Family
Stephanie December 18, 2011 at 02:48 PM
(((Carol))) (((Family)))) Calling on Saint Anthony Saint of lost and Saint Francis to keeper of our animals ....Please bring Riley home for the LaPlante family...I pray, I share, Ive been looking on line... Please call channel 3 and 8 and see if they can help post his Picture...you never know when they are looking for a story... Blessings. I believe in Miracles... just believe!
Carol LaPlante December 18, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Stephanie, Thank you for your caring and concern. It really does help. Channel 3's Scott Haney was kind enough to show Riley's picture and story on his Sunday morning TV show (the weekend after Riley went misssing). Scott also put me in contact with a network of fabulous people who have spread the word about the boy. Scott has been sincere with his efforts. I have not heard back from Channel 8, or from Channel 12 (Pet Show). If someone has a better way for me to share my message on the local shows, would you please let me know? I will resend my family's search for our beloved boy. I have truly implored them to please consider communicating a message of hope from an average family who adores their missing Lab. A Christmas miracle ... believe. I pray all the time to St. Anthony as well as to St. Francis. I will send the prayer today in a separate comment. Bless you, Stephanie. Carol
Carol LaPlante December 18, 2011 at 06:54 PM
Re: Riley's Rescue This is all so emotional for me so I can only write a little. "We ask you to help us find our lost companion, Riley, and pray that you will keep him safe and protect him until he is found." We need to know whatever the outcome may be. We need some degree of closure. If anyone has spotted a black collar with tags, please let us know. Again, thank you all. Carol LaPlante
Priscilla Lynn December 18, 2011 at 08:04 PM
I just contacted News 12 CT to urge them to reach out to the LaPlante's and air their plea to find and return Riley home. Hope they respond, I gave them the LaPlante's contact info.
Angela L. December 18, 2011 at 11:20 PM
There is a handsome yellow lab posted in the pets section of hartford craigslist, found in rocky hill... Its prob a long shot, but the picture is at least worth taking a look at. *Best Wishes*
Priscilla Lynn December 18, 2011 at 11:41 PM
To the LaPlante's: I had posted the link to this article on page FB pages of several News 12 contacts and Milford -based FB pages earlier today, including the FB page of Lauren Collier (she's the host of News 12 CT's 'Pet Talk") and below is her response. I wanted to share that she offered hope of finding Riley even after a period of time, which is the miracle that I have heard about with other dogs, even some who have strayed afar across state lines. You can email her photos to news12@news12.com and write into the subject line: ATTN; Lauren Collier regarding finding Riley Priscilla posted on Lauren Collier's FB profile: "Please, please help the distraught pet-owners, the LaPlante's of Milford, to find and bring home their beloved Riley" and added the link to the Patch story. A Christmas Wish: Riley's Safe Return milford.patch.com A heartbroken family only wants one thing for Christmas... LikeUnlike · · Reshare · 3 hours ago · . 3 hours later, New 12's Lauren Collier posted, "Yes please help!!!!!!!!!!!!! and please don't give up we had a family on Pet Talk whose dog was missing for three months last winter and was found safe and sound and reunited with her family...please email me some photos too so I can spread the word..thanks Priscilla``~~ .Priscilla responded to Lauren: You are wonderful, and I also always enjoy your Pet Talk programs. I'll share what you wrote with the LaPlante's. Should I get the LaPlante's to email to news12@news12ct.com?
Carol LaPlante December 19, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Thank you, Angela. We have put in a call to the number that was given. So far, no call back. We don't believe that that handsome boy is Riley. However, photos can distort appearances, etc. We will let everyone know when we he
Carol LaPlante December 19, 2011 at 01:58 AM
Priscilla, I am in awe of the goodness in people's hearts. You are remarkably generous with your time, effort, and kindness. I am about to e-mail Lauren Collier of News12 some photos right now. This is something. Priscilla, thank you, thank you to you, and Terri Miles who has kept Riley's story alive. Carol LaPlante
Larissa Watt December 19, 2011 at 03:21 AM
It is heartbreaking to lose a pet:-( I hope he is reunited soon.....To Priscilla and Terri, you are kindhearted individuals to devote such time to spreading the word.
Carol LaPlante December 19, 2011 at 03:27 AM
Thank you very much, Margaret. You have been wonderful, and it is deeply appreciated. Carol LaPlante
Terri Miles December 19, 2011 at 04:13 AM
Priscilla, you have gone above and beyond for Carol and her Family and Riley. Lauren is SO awesome and if anyone can convince people to search for Riley it's her. I sent the station a link a few days ago and didn't hear back, but I am so pleased that Lauren got back to you. As of tonight 424 people have reposted the story link on Facebook. I'm just waiting for the day when Carol tells us that Riley has returned.
Margaret Taylor December 19, 2011 at 05:45 AM
www.Fidofinder.com is a free listing for lost and found pets. I just checked and did not find any dog matching Riley's description. Another thought...don't assume that people know he is a yellow Lab. He could be listed as a "found" dog with the breed misidentified. Or some people might call him brown instead of yellow.
Margaret Taylor December 19, 2011 at 06:28 AM
Carol, This is probably a long shot and maybe you saw this already, but just in case....there's a posting on craigslist.com re: a found dog with no description. Date of the listing is 11/27 in Fair Haven near Quinnipiac River. The address to respond to is: comm-arduw-2723665075@craigslist.org
Robin Swan December 20, 2011 at 03:21 PM
Dear LaPlante Family: Petfinder.com has two areas your should check. First select dog, then yellow lab, and then the zip code. This will bring up all the shelters within 25 miles. Then on the top bar, go to the classified ads for "found" animals, but also for animals for adoption. Hope and prayers that Riley is home for Christmas.
Carol LaPlante December 23, 2011 at 03:42 AM
Dear Orange and Milford Patch Friends, Words are not enough to express our forever thanks for all of your humanity and compassion. Lauren Collier of News12 contacted us on Monday, and she has posted info. about Riley on her Facebook page. Plus, Lauren explained how in January her show, "Pet Talk", begins taping again. Hopefully, some good news will result. A sighting of a yellow Lab running around in the arae of Milford's Mill River neighborhood came in last night. We appreciate the call, but nothing has resulted. Time is not easing the pain. It is worse. It is a traumatic event that will alwys live in our hearts. Where are you, Riley? Does someone have you? Are you running free, but scared? Are you hungry and cold? Are you gone forever, and not with us anymore? If so, where is your collar? Where are your tags? It just hurts--it's so hard. Thank you for all of your support. May your holidays be blessed. Carol LaPlante
Margaret Taylor December 23, 2011 at 04:56 AM
Would someone tell me where the Mill River neighborhood is in Milford? I've only lived down here just under 4 years, so I don't know where this is. I will drive through that area over the weekend. Thanks.
Carol LaPlante December 24, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Margaret, It is in the area of the Great River Golf Club on Coram La. (off of Wheeler's Farm Rd.). Please know how much we appreciate your heartfelt caring. Riley-boy is never out of our thoughts. Thank you for your support. Have a wonderful holiday. Carol LaPlante
Susie December 24, 2011 at 08:04 AM
Sending you hope and white light that you will find your Riley safe and sound. My eyes are tearing just thinking about it. I am a groomer and have alerted all the groomer's I know. (I'm a groomer)
Margaret Taylor December 24, 2011 at 03:45 PM
That's a good idea about telling groomers about Riley. Have Vets in the area been notified? What about the emergency animal hospitals also? Just trying to help leave no stone unturned. Carol, i continue to watch for Riley in hopes that he will just happen to be in sight as I drive by. I hope that people who have property in this area, especially wooded land, will walk their land to check for Riley. If he is hurt, he would be harder to spot,, unless someone is looking for him. There was another missing dog that was recently found when the property owner was cleaning up their land. That dog had nestled into the ground.
Vicky December 25, 2011 at 04:12 PM
To the Laplante family. Although it's not the same without your precious dog Riley.....I hope you can take some comfort knowing how many people feel your pain and are praying for Riley's safe return. Merry Christmas and God Bless humans and animals alike.
Margaret Taylor December 25, 2011 at 05:11 PM
I agree with Vicky. Carol, please continue to post any possible sightings of Riley. There are many kind people who care and will continue to drive out of their way just in case they spot him. I would like nothing more than to be the one person who happens to find him and drive him home to you.
Terri Miles December 26, 2011 at 04:50 AM
I drove around for two hours tonight in quiet remote neighborhoods hoping to catch a glimpse of this pup, but alas, it was only wishful thinking. Would anyone be interested in forming a search party and taking a walk on Tucker's Ridge or one of the other trails in the area to look for any traces of him?
Margaret Taylor December 26, 2011 at 05:17 AM
Depending on how rough the terrain is, I would go.
Margaret Taylor December 26, 2011 at 05:20 AM
P.S. If we are going to do this, we would have to go soon-- before it snows. Any one experienced is tracking and searching for lost animals???
Priscilla Lynn December 26, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Count me in, let me know when, where and I'll be there. I have no experience in tracking and search for lost animals - but that would most certainly be a good idea to have someone with that expertise joining us. Best to text me directly at 407-340-9496 with details and I'll continue to follow on Patch of course.
Terri Miles December 26, 2011 at 08:09 PM
I'm looking for someone with that experience. In the meantime, I'm hoping that someone will jump in and volunteer to lead us. If only for an hour or so.
Terri Miles December 29, 2011 at 04:29 AM
Carol, I just saw this ad on our site. Have you ever heard of it? Have You Lost Your Dog? Your Pet Is Our Business. We Act Fast. Great Service. Call Us Now! www.LostMyDoggie.com
Orange resident December 29, 2011 at 03:18 PM
We need Ace Ventura, Pet Detective !!
Stephanie January 22, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Carol, I continue to check www.petfinder.com and on line rescues in case he was picked up etc...and of course if you dont know, who cant claim...so the possibility of him ending up adopted is possible. Ive been looking. As my work comes to me, Ive got alot of spare time at work waiting...and looking!. Put his pic on very rescue group you can find. The is a Lab rescue in Killingworth, I sent his pic there as well. There is also CT Lost & Found animal page, Lost-and found pets, Riley's picture is going everywhere...please stop in and post it often where ever you can. DONT worry about offending by posting frequently...do what you need to do... Im still praying for your family and Riley too. I believe, I believe, I beleive.


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