Rosie’s ordeal is finally over after 62 days on the run.
The lost dog originally from Korea was captured safely by Petsearchers Canada on Sunday afternoon in Chilliwack.
“She doing fine,” said Al MacLellan of Petsearchers Canada, a pet recovery and bloodhound tracking service based in Surrey. “She’s a very sweet little dog.”
He managed to rescue the Jindo-cross dog by tracking her nightly with a thermal drone, among other of his signature search techniques, with many successful searches under his belt.
“She’d been out there a long time,” MacLellan said about “Rosie,” as they called her, who was originally named “Rose.”
He says he’s become a little attached to the dog, as he often does. It happens before he even finds the dog he’s searching for, but he knows he can’t take them all home.
MacLellan had been on way out to Chilliwack on June 25, with son Parker, and daughter London, around lunch time. They had a trap set-up in a blocked-off alleyway, when another call came in with a fresh sighting of Rosie.
This time would be the charm.
“We found her underneath a back deck,” he said. It was under the deck structure at a home near Reese Avenue and Corbould Street in Chilliwack.
He was being careful not to spook her as he approached. He could see there wasn’t enough room to throw the net over the dog.
“I started talking to her quietly,” he said. “They don’t know if you’re there to hurt them or help them.”
He put the catch pole around her, gently scooped her into his van.
“She was very calm, and stayed with me all night,” MacLellan said. “She allowed me to pet her, and check her over.”
Rosie was safe, after going missing on April 24. She escaped from her adoptive home in downtown Chilliwack.
It was the owner of Koastal Dog Rescue on Vancouver Island who first reached out to Petsearchers Canada to find Rosie soon after she escaped, he said.
Once on the search MacLellan would drive out to Chilliwack almost daily, setting traps, feed station, following sightings, with 300 posters that went up to encourage calls about sightings.
“She was everywhere,” he said, citing calls about sightings from Airport Road, Skwah First Nation, Downtown to Prest Road.
In the past they have brought in bloodhounds in certain searches but in this case it was the thermal drone that did the trick.
“She was so fast and small, she would just disappear,” he said when she was on the run, and sticking close to the edge of buildings.
But from the drone they could track the dog’s movements from the air.
He appreciated all the calls from neighbours trying to help, and those who followed the searchers’ specific requests not to put food out, or call to the dog.
“People were so kind and helpful,” MacLellan said. “Rosie had a pretty big following.”
Volunteer Karen McKay, who’d been helping with the search, said she was speechless when Rosie was finally safe and sound.
“It was incredible,” she said. “Al was so calm. He has a heart of gold and is so good at what he does.”
He never gave up and stayed positive, she said.
“He knew he was going to catch her,” McKay said. “When he was approaching her, he was talking to her so quietly, telling her she was safe, saying ‘We’ve got you now.’”
Rosie was expected to head to a veternarian’s office for a complete check-up on Monday.
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