City councilman, local resident help reunite lost dog with his family

Sam the dog is safe after an unsupervised stroll in Northeast Philadelphia.

Sam the dog is safely at home after dashing from his Fox Chase home last week, reunited with his family thanks to City Councilman Al Taubenberger and a motorist, Tara Leithead.

Taubenberger aide Lou Feinberg picked up the councilman at his Fox Chase home on the morning of June 21, and the two headed east on Rhawn Street. Just past Dungan Road, Taubenberger saw a dog running loose. The dog had a tag.

“He was a cute little dog,” said Taubenberger, whose daughter, Sarah, is a veterinarian in Arizona.

Feinberg parked in the CVS parking lot, and Taubenberger ran inside to buy dog biscuits.

A 15-minute pursuit ensued, with Sam crossing Rhawn Street as motorists slowed down and stopped to avoid hitting him.

Leithead, a dog groomer, was driving west on Rhawn Street as part of a move from Mayfair to Fox Chase. She saw Sam walking in the middle of the street, and opened her car door to let him in, but said he didn’t see her because of his poor eyesight.

The dog vanished for a short period of time, and Feinberg moved the car to the Tacony Academy Charter School parking lot. Sam was there, bumping into a fence, and was cornered by Leithead with a leash and Taubenberger with the biscuits.

Sam’s tag was from North Penn Animal Hospital in Lansdale. Feinberg called the hospital, and staff contacted Sam’s owner, Maria Gonzalez, who was at work at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Taubenberger and Leithead pet Sam until Gonzalez’s teenage son came for him.

As it turned out, Sam was gone from his temporary home on the 1200 block of Rhawn St. for about an hour. Age 15 or 16, the Lhasa Apso and his family completed a planned move to Glenside over the weekend. ••