Durham Bulls canine mascot found

Jul. 17, 2013 @ 06:35 PM

Deuce, a Durham Bulls canine mascot who ran away from his owner on Saturday at the start of the post-game fireworks, was found in healthy condition Wednesday.

The 1-year-old border collie runs the bases for Bulls’ wins at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park along with his 1-year-old brother, Ace.

Fireworks spooked both dogs as owner and trainer Gene Lonsway was loading them into a van, unleashed, after the game. Lonsway said he called Ace, who came back, but Deuce already had panicked.

Deuce was healthy when Durham resident James L. Pryor found him on Wednesday, Durham County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Sherwin said in an email.

The dog was running around inside a fence at Carroll Street Park at 815 Carroll St., not far from DBAP, Sherwin said, and Pryor was able to coax the dog into his car.

Pryor, who could not be reached for comment, called the sheriff’s office, Sherwin said. Animal services officers “took custody” of the dog and called Lonsway.

“Deuce seems to be happy and healthy,” Lonsway said in a post on Facebook after Deuce was found. “In fact, he seems totally unfazed by his three days away from home.”

Lonsway said Wednesday that Deuce was tired and sore, possibly from all of the exercise he’s likely gotten since Saturday and possibly from running “double his maximum speed” during the fireworks.

“He’s a little uncomfortable, but other than that, he doesn’t need a bath, he’s maybe lost a pound or two, but not much,” Lonsway said. “(He’s) like his old self, other than a little hint of him being uncomfortable – a slight limp-- you’d never know he’d been through anything.”

Scott Carter, a spokesman for the Durham Bulls, said in an email that Deuce will be recognized during an inning break.

Lonsway, who owns Chapel Hill Boarding Kennel and Mister Obedience, said Deuce and Ace will run the bases again on Friday.

“We’re running the bases win or lose,” Lonsway said. “Even if the Bulls don’t win, it’s a victory that we got Deuce back.”