Members of the National Association for Search and Rescue attending an annual conference in Salt Lake City had an unscheduled field exercise, of sorts, when two search dog pups were stolen from a hotel parking lot.
One of the dogs was found late Tuesday afternoon at a downtown convenience store, but local authorities were still watching for the other dog Wednesday morning.Both 15-month-old female German shepherd pups belong to Erin Wilson, who traveled from her home in Surrey, British Columbia, to attend the conference. The dogs were in airline-style kennels outside Wilson's car in the Red Lion Inn's underground parking lot when they were stolen between 2 and 4 a.m. Tuesday, said convention spokesman Edward A. Stern.
Several people saw a man, described as a transient, inquiring about the pups at the hotel before they were stolen. About 2 p.m. Tuesday, a man left a German shepherd pup at a convenience store near the downtown hotel after trying unsuccessfully to sell the dog outside the store.
A store clerk noticed the pup between 4 and 5 p.m., fed the dog and called animal control officers, who had not heard about the earlier disappearance from the hotel, Stern said.
Both pups had tattoos and collars with identification, which helped officers reunite the found dog, named Shelina, with its owner.
The other pup, named Kita, is described as tan with a black face and saddle marking on her back. She weighs about 30 pounds and stands 16 inches at the shoulder. The dog has an identifying tattoo on her stomach and was wearing a brown, webbed collar with Canadian license tags.
Stern said Wilson brought the dog with her to the search and rescue conference so she could continue their search and rescue training and because the dogs were too young to be left behind.