Morgan Hill Community Rallies Around Months-Long Effort to Bring Stray Dog in From the Cold

Does playing hard to get ever really work?

Depends on who you ask, of course. If "Houdini" the dog could talk, the answer would likely be, "Heck, yea!"

For the past two months in Morgan Hill, Houdini played very, very hard to get and won a slew of admirers in the process. Not the least of them: Kayla Cromer, Lori Aldrighette, and Jenifer Lepow.

"I am going to get (him) no matter what," Lepow said. "No matter what it takes, I'm not going to give up."

Lori Aldrighette, Kayla Cromer, and Jenifer Lepow lead the effort to capture "Houdini," a small, white, stray dog that had been seen on the streets of Morgan Hill for months.

It was back in November that Houdini first showed up on the women's radar, when sightings of the little, white, terrier-looking stray began trickling in the All Animals Morgan Hill Facebook group.

It fell to Cromer, Aldrighette and Lepow, all with experience in animal rescue, to lead the effort to bring Houdini in from the cold.

"He was dying," Aldrighette said.


"We felt it was dire that we get him," Lepow added.

But capturing the dog was much easier said than done. He had not been given the name Houdini for nothing. "He got that name because he would appear and as quickly as he appeared he would disappear," Lepow said.

The women gave the stray the name "Houdini" because of his ability to disappear in an instant and for his skill at evading capture.

At times the women would get close enough to feed Houdini out of their hands, but were never able to nab him.

For two months the women played a game of cat and mouse with the dog.

"Sometimes I would be up until four in the morning, freezing," Cromer said. "I had binoculars, just looking at all these little areas."

"Literally walking down train tracks and in trenches and the other day running on 101," Lepow said. "I mean you would not believe this dog. He, it was all over this town."

All the while, the legend of Houdini began to grow in Morgan Hill. Hundreds of people started following the adventure on social media. They offered help, shared sightings and cheered on the rescuers.

"This is a very passionate community for their animals," Lepow said.

Hundreds of people followed Houdini's story on social media and were thrilled when the three women finally cornered him in a gas station convenience story in December.

Which is why there were a whole lot of people who were thrilled to hear at the end of December that Cromer, Aldrighette and Lepow finally managed to capture Houdini in a gas station convenience store.

"We were so happy, we're like oh my god so amazing," Lepow said.

Lepow has been fostering Houdini since his capture, making sure he is ready, both medically and behaviorally, for adoption.

The women say they are grateful for all the support they were offered during their quest, and proud of their community for the love they give all their animals ... not just this, stray one.

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