Sunday, Nov. 9, marked the one-year anniversary of Havoc’s disappearance. In case you’ve missed the background: Mihalyfi went on a run with Havoc and his canine sister Raze in the Dalecarlia Reservoir and let the dogs off their leashes — “something she did often,” according to one recent story in Washingtonian magazine — to get a drink at a stream. When deer came nearby, the dogs took off. Raze came back, Havoc didn’t.
In a chat on Monday as she drove to her job as an information technology director at a consulting firm, Mihalyfi shared her latest efforts in trying to find Havoc, a rescue Lab/rottweiler mix she adopted in 2009. She is quick to defend her efforts — and the money — that she’s spent on trying to find her dog. The recent Washingtonian article on the dog search ran this headline: “This May Be the Most Extreme Lost Dog Search Ever.” Another headline, in Bethesda Now, read: “Some Complain D.C. Woman’s Search for Missing Dog Has Gone Too Far.”
“I try and not talk about that,” she said of the expensive search effort. Although she said that previous media reports of the $35,000 were “roughly accurate.” Mihalyfi said the money has gone to pay for cameras, trackers, signs, 20 staple guns and putting out dog food, hot dogs and beef at spots where Havoc has reportedly been spotted.
Why spend so much to search for so long?
“I love him,” Mihalfyi answered. “Who would give up on their dog? People spend their money all kinds of ways. I don’t take fancy vacations. I don’t drive fancy cars.” (Note: Yes, we asked — she was driving a 2013 Ford Fusion with 14,000 miles.)
“I can’t imagine a better way of spending your money than getting a family member back.”
Mihalfyi said she won’t give up her efforts as long as she continues to get leads on Havoc. She got two leads Sunday from people saying they had spotted him. The callers reported that he looked pretty good and appeared not to be hurt. “He seems to be doing fine,” she said.
She said Havoc seems to have a pattern in his disappearance, based on reported sightings. He started off in Bethesda, moved to Spring Valley, American University Park, Glover Park and parts of Rock Creek Park.
Like any missing animal in this day and age, Havoc also has his own Web page — bringhavochome.com, which describes “many tears and sleepless nights since our wonderful boy disappeared.” Havoc is also on Facebook at BringHavocHome.
On the dog’s Web site, Mihalfyi’s “web administrator” seeks donations for the search efforts, noting that “Janet is uncomfortable asking for donations, but…I’m not afraid to ask.” The site states that any donations will be used only for such things as hiring scent-tracking dogs, materials for printing posters and supplies like flashlights and batteries for volunteers.
Mihalfyi won’t say exactly how much of a reward she’s offering, although she says there is one.
“I would offer $1,000 if somebody found him,” she said. But she added, “In Northwest D.C., I don’t think many people are motivated by a reward.”