A family from eastern Iowa is hoping three of their pets will be found safe after a traffic accident set them free near Urbandale early Monday morning.
Jillian Coglan, of Oxford, says the Akita dogs are trained in Japanese, so they may not recognize traditional commands in English.
The animals are part of the family’s Samuri swordsmanship show. The Coglans were returning from a performance at a Renaissance Festival in Kansas when their truck and trailer hit a deer on I-80.
The rig crashed into a concrete barrier. The impact sent three of four dog kennels flying out of the bed of the truck.
"They burst open on the interstate and the dogs bolted out of them and took off…which is understandable, they were probably scared senseless," Coglan said. Jillian, her husband Dan, their two childen and two other people in the truck were not seriously injured. The truck and trailer were totaled. The family spent several hours after the crash searching for the dogs.
"We couldn’t find any bodies or any blood," Coglan said. "So, we’re hopeful the dogs are still alive." In Japan, the Akita breed is famous as a guard dog, but they are quiet, friendly animals. Jillian says her missing dogs weigh between 60 and 100 pounds.
"They’re out there somewhere…I’m worried because they do look moderately like wolves and I know some people are slightly frightened of larger dogs," Coglan said. "But they’re very, very sweet and probably just terrified right now." All of the dogs were wearing collars with tags and have microchip implants, so they can be identified by animal rescue agencies. Coglan is asking anyone who locates any of the dogs to call local authorities or call her directly at 319-930-0463.