A $1,000 reward is being offered for the safe return of Bam Bam, the shih tzu that belonged to Donna Sartori, a Middle Island woman who was killed on Sunday morning on Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays after she was struck by an alleged drunken driver.
The two-year-old black and white shih tzu was believed to have been in the car at the time of the accident, and ran off. Sartori was standing near the car when she was struck at 4:24 a.m. The drunken driver, who is facing charges, also hit her car, and another parked car.
Leslie Kappel, an East Quogue resident, said she read about the story on Patch and reached out to Sartori's family to see if she could help put up posters in the area. "I also lost someone in a car accident so I know how hard it is," she said. "Then I heard about the dog missing so I just wanted to help as best I could."
Gail Murcott, a Hampton Bays resident, also commented on Patch, offering the reward. Kappel reached out to her to set it up and get the information on the posters. Murcott and her twin sister, Lynn, who also lives in Hampton Bays, put up the reward money together.
"The woman and the dog have been on my mind constantly — if that was me, I'd want every everyone looking for my dog," Lynn said. "I realize what the family is going through right now, and we wanted to do something to help."
Kappel said on Thursday that she is working the Southampton Town Animal Shelter to see if they can hold the award because she feels it would be best for whoever finds Bam Bam to bring him to the shelter so his microchip can be scanned.
Making matters a bit more complicated, none of the photos run with the stories of Bam Bam are actually him. Kappel said Sartori's cousin, Doreen Obiedzenski, who has been spreading the word of the dog's disappearance, doesn't have any photos of him. The only photos of him may have been on Sartori's cellphone, which was destroyed in the accident, Kappel said.
Bam Bam, a black and white dog, has a short hair cut now. Kappel said she sent pictures she found on the Internet of similar shih tzus to Obiedzenski to see which one he looked most like. That picture appears on the poster.
Obiedzenski didn't immediately return a request for comment on Thursday.
"My cousin Donna would want to know her dog was home safe with her family," her cousin Doreen Obiedzenski told Patch on Monday. "If we can find him, it will bring a small bit of comfort everyone."
Anyone with information about the dog can reach Obiedzenski at 631-721-6485 or Kappel at (516) 380-7077, or, they can notify the Southampton Animal Shelter or Southampton Town police, are continuing to work on the investigation into Sartori's death.
The poster, attached here, include information in Spanish.