It’s been more than a year since Cathy Bowers laid eyes on Gizmo for the last time. He’d been a loving companion to Cathy and her three girls for four years when the family began moving to a new home.
When the move started, Cathy was worried about leaving Gizmo at home as they made the trips back and forth from their old home to the new one, so she looked for someone to keep Gizmo during the move. Her step father suggested a couple, a pair he’d known for years, to watch over Gizmo until Cathy and the girls got settled in.
Alyssa Cureton Foster and Justin Foster met Cathy at her parents’ home and gladly accepted Gizmo. They were just supped to keep him for a few days and then Cathy would pick him up to take him home. But three days later, when Cathy went to collect Gizmo, he was gone.
Alyssa and Justin had sold Gizmo to Eddie Cureton, a family member, but Cathy didn’t know that at the time.
Cathy put up flyers, contacted authorities, and then took to Facebook to try to find Gizmo.
Authorities weren’t much help. One officer told Cathy there wasn’t much they could do and he was ‘just a dog’. Another officer made the comment to her that “she should cut her losses since Gizmo was a Pit Bull and Cathy had three small children.”
Cathy contacted rescues, shelters, and police departments all over Missouri trying to get help finding her dog. She posted flyers anywhere she was allowed to hang them. She blew up Facebook with pleas and begged people to be on the lookout for Gizmo.
One of Cathy’s posts made into the feed of a stranger and it was there Eddie Cureton posted about Gizmo being a great dog. He described how friendly and loving Gizmo was. Someone living near Herman Missouri saw that post, found out where Eddie lived, and visited Eddie’s property. There they found a dog they believed to be Gizmo, took his picture, and sent it to Cathy, giving her directions to the Cureton home. But by the time Cathy arrived, Gizmo was gone, and Eddie Cureton claimed to know nothing about the dog or his whereabouts.
Cathy wasn’t giving up. She’s one of those people that treasure their pets as family members and she was going to go to the ends of the earth if she had to, to find Gizmo. In March of 2015, Cathy started the Facebook page “Finding Gizmo” and began a campaign of searching and investigating on her own.
Cathy was able to learn that Gizmo has been sold to a man in Cape Girardeau named Deon. She found a Jackson man who knew Deon and went to talk with him. The man called Deon who confirmed he did indeed have Gizmo and agreed to turn him over to Cathy. But when Cathy went to collect Gizmo, Deon was not at the address when she arrived, and she’s never been able to get in contact with him since, although she has visited the property several times.
At one time Cathy was offering a reward for Gizmo but withdrew the reward and used the money to hire a private investigator out of Jackson, Mo. “I got more information on my own than the investigator has ever come up with,” says Cathy.
Gizmo is now five years old and is black and white with distinctive markings. There’s a white diamond on the back of his head and a broken white line on his muzzle. On Gizmo’s right front foot he has one white toe. Gizmo may still have a limp in his back left leg due to an injury he received as a pup. And the last time he was with the Bowers family, Gizmo was still intact.
While Cathy’s finding Gizmo’s page has garnered quite a bit of attention, not all of it has been good. Since calling them out by name and making their identities public knowledge, Alyssa Cureton Foster and Justin Foster have threatened not only Cathy but her parents as well. “Alyssa and Justin went to my mom’s house and told her straight out that they would burn her house to the ground if I didn’t take their names off Facebook. They also told her they would burn my house down with my kids in it and make me watch,” Cathy said.
Cathy says she won’t let threats stop her from trying to find Gizmo or telling anyone who will listen how he ended up missing. She refuses to take down the names on Facebook because she hopes that someone who knows the people involved might someday help her bring Gizmo back home.
Gizmo is currently believed to be in the Jackson/ Cape Girardeau, Mo. area or possibly even Sikeston where Deon has connections.
Anyone with information about Gizmo’s whereabouts is asked to contact Cathy directly either by telephone or through her “Finding Gizmo” page on Facebook.
“No questions asked,” says Cathy. “Me and my daughters just miss Gizmo and want him home, and we don’t care how. We love him. He’s part of our family. We will never stop looking for him.”
Cathy’s telephone number is (573) 233-2998 and you can find more information on Gizmo’s Facebook page by clicking here.