WOODSIDE — Things were finally looking up for Mary Tyler.
After being rescued from a kill shelter and spending almost a year in foster care, the adorable beagle mix was adopted earlier this month and was just settling into her new permanent home in Woodside.
But a day after joining her new family, the shy dog broke free from her leash during a walk on Queens Boulevard, leading her new owner and volunteers from the rescue group that cared for her on a desperate search through the neighborhood for the last three weeks.
"It's just heartbreaking, it really is," said Eleanor Bazazian, who adopted Mary Tyler from Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue on March 2. "Now we're just praying that she's still OK."
Bazazian was taking Mary Tyler for a walk the day after they brought her home when the skittish dog got frightened by the noise of a siren at Queens Boulevard and 61st Street in Woodside.
"She got spooked by an ambulance and broke free from her leash and went flying," Bazazian said.
She and volunteers from Heavenly Angels have been searching for the dog ever since, handing out fliers in the area and setting up a Facebook page to coordinate their efforts.
Mary Tyler was spotted by workers at Calvary Cemetery the day after she went missing but the pup managed to escape them, Bazazian said. Other possible sightings have been reported in that area and around nearby Mount Zion Cemetery.
Mary Tyler is micro-chipped and was wearing a collar when she ran off, which she may still have on. She is described as a mid-sized dog, weighing between 30 and 40 pounds.
The search team is asking anyone who spots Mary Tyler to take a picture of her, and call Bazazian immediately. The owner said the dog is shy around strangers and will likely run if someone tries to approach or chase her.
"She's friendly once she warms up to people," Bazazian said. "She's such a ham once she gets to know you, and playful, but she gets very skittish in loud situations."
Mary Tyler — named by Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue after Mary Tyler Moore — was saved by the rescue group as a puppy from a high-kill shelter in Tennessee about a year ago, along with a sister and two brothers.
She was the last of her siblings to get adopted, according to volunteer Mayra Menendez.
"She was the shyest of four. She was also the smallest of four," she said. The dog spent time living with two foster families before she was finally adopted by Bazazian at the beginning of March.
"She slowly started coming around," Menendez said. "She was finally ready for her forever home, and then this happened."
The search group is looking for volunteers to help look for Mary Tyler and hand out fliers, which can be picked up at Wespaw Pets at 44-05 Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside.
They've also set up a fundraising page to cover the cost of printing posters, and plan to make postcards and door knob hangers to post around the neighborhood.
"We're just trying to think of every avenue we can possibly take to try and get her picture out there," Bazazian said.
Anyone who thinks they see Mary Tyler is asked to call Bazazian immediately at (845) 642-6698. Those interested in volunteering can also contact her directly, or reach out to the group through its Facebook page.