Metro-East News

June 6, 2014

'Houdini Dog' reunited with owner

"Houdini dog," better known as Lulu, has been reunited with her human family after a still unsolved escape from a city holding cage, where she had been confined for rabies testing.

Gidget Erickson said she received a phone call Friday from a woman in Collinsville who had noticed a story and photo of the missing Jack Russell terrier in the News-Democrat.

Erickson and her children, Natalie, 8, and Jacob, 7, drove to meet the caller and, sure enough, it was Lulu.

"She was jumping and barking and she peed all over me," said Erickson, who said she would soon be on her way to an appointment with a veterinarian to get her pet's required shots.

Mayor John Hamm, who had instructed that the city's police officers be on the lookout for the dog, said he would give Erickson a week and a half to get the shots. By having her dog properly immunized, Erickson could then quarantine Lulu in her home for the required time it takes to determine if the terrier could have rabies.

On Saturday, May 24, the dog was picked up by the city's animal control officer Mike Reeter after a neighbor had complained it nipped her on the leg. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Lulu was kept in a cage in a truck with a fan blowing on her and was walked and fed daily. But on Tuesday, May 27, while the animal was in the truck cage awaiting Madison County Animal Control workers, it got out of the cage.

After Reeter found the cage door had been opened, Lulu got the nickname "Houdini Dog."

Contact reporter George Pawlaczyk at or 618-239-2625.

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