Leigh’s Lost and Found: Watch a fisherman save a lost dog who fell off a bluff above Lake Taneycomo

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 2:40 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In today’s Leigh’s Lost and Found, a fisherman reeled in a happy ending for a family missing their elderly dog.

Phil Lilley tapes a fishing cast every day about conditions on Lake Taneycomo and a recent episode caught an extra bonus on camera.

“Hey, this is Phil Lilley from Lilley’s Landing Resort.”

On Phil Lilley’s daily Onecast video, he’s shared many a tall fish tale, but none quite like the one that happened on April 27th, involving a little dog name Zoe.

In the video, Phil can be seen and heard saying, “okay, we got to go up there, it sounds like a dog’s in trouble,” and then turning his boat around.

Phil told us later in an interview, “I kept hearing almost a whimper but I couldn’t locate the dog. As I went by and started drifting down, I thought, I’ve got to go back and investigate because it’s going to drive me nuts.”

Phil pulled his boat up to shore and got in the freezing lake to investigate under a fallen tree, overgrown with honesuckle.

“I noticed some movement above my head, up in the bush. The dog had come out and fallen and was still in the bush.”

As this was going on, not too far away in Pointe Royale, Bill and Cindy Zeller, were frantically searching for their blind, 14 year old Yorkiepoo Zoe.

Cindy says, “she was gone for about an hour and a half before I knew she was gone, before we realized it. Then, everybody in Point Royale was looking for her.”

Phil meantime, was hip deep in the brush, digging and coaxing and eventually, he emerged with a wet and shaking Zoe.

Bill Zeller tells us, “thank God he pursued the sound. He just went above and beyond what I think most people would do. We drove down to the resort and he’d already given her a bath and had her in his arms. When we got there, she was still crying and shaking and this was an hour or two later. But she wasn’t hurt. She was just ready to get back home.”

Phil tells us this isn’t the first time he’s found a dog along the banks of the river. He’s been able to successfully reunite at least two other dogs with their owners.

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