Hero Dog Helps Find Over 60 Lost Pets
- Plato the Dude, a 10-year-old Shiba Inu mix from California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, has become a local hero for his astonishing tracking skills, helping locate over 60 lost dogs in his community.
- Plato’s owner, Micahel Fradin, discovered his dog’s natural talent for tracking through hide-and-seek games and started performing test tracks with him. Plato’s successful finds have made him a go-to resource for lost pet cases in the area, with a strong community support system.
- Despite occasional challenges and setbacks, including Plato’s recent diagnosis of congestive heart failure, he remains focused on his mission to help rescue canines develop their tracking skills and give back to the community. Plato’s selfless dedication has earned him admiration and support from his community.
In California’s rugged Santa Cruz Mountains, there’s a four-legged hero who has earned the admiration and gratitude of his community. Meet Plato the Dude, a 10-year-old Shiba Inu mix with an extraordinary talent for tracking lost pets.
With his kind heart and unwavering determination, Plato has located over 60 missing canines in California’s San Lorenzo Valley area, making him a beloved figure on his community’s Nextdoor social network.
Plato’s incredible tracking skills were discovered by his owner, Michael Fradin, who adopted him about 10 years ago from a local who could no longer care for him. Despite being overfed and initially calm, Plato’s affectionate and loving nature soon became evident as he formed a strong attachment with Fradin and his girlfriend at the time, Steph.
“We started noticing this pattern and quickly capitalized on his attachment to us by playing hide-and-seek with him. It took no time at all to recognize he had a natural talent for following our scent trails,” recalls Fradin of Plato’s talents.
After Plato successfully tracked down a lost Yorkie for a local couple through a Nextdoor post, Fradin and Plato began performing test tracks on hikes with friends’ dogs. While Plato wasn’t always successful at first, he was persistent, and a successful track became his favorite reward. Since then, Plato has gone on to locate 61 more missing pets from his community, earning a reputation as a reliable and dedicated tracker.
Plato’s efforts to reunite families are entirely voluntary, as Fradin and Plato do not accept payment for their services. Fradin believes in empowering Plato’s instincts and not impeding him, especially during times when Plato is unable to locate a pet or when the trail ends with a deceased animal. Plato’s unwavering dedication to his life goal of finding every single puppy has earned him countless fans in his community, who appreciate his selfless and compassionate nature.
Plato’s impact on the community goes beyond his tracking abilities. When he was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure, the tight-knit San Lorenzo Valley community rallied together to raise the funds needed for Plato’s treatment, showing their support and gratitude for the heroic dog. Fradin acknowledges that San Lorenzo Valley is a community that is supportive of each other, and Plato’s tracking is just one of the ways he contributes to the community.
Despite facing health challenges, Plato remains focused on the future. He is now working to help other rescue canines develop their tracking skills, giving them an opportunity to learn and give back, just like he has done for his community. Plato’s legacy as a hero dog who has brought joy and hope to families in distress continues to grow, and his heartwarming story serves as a beacon of positivity in a world that can always use more good news.