Two puppies stolen from a national search and rescue conference have been recovered in what their Canadian owner calls a classic example of coordinated search management.
The pups, 3 1/2-month-old female German shepherds being trained for search and rescue work, were stolen from their portable kennels on a camper truck parked at a downtown hotel early Tuesday, their owner, Erin Wilson of Surrey, British Columbia, said Wednesday.Wilson and some 600 other search and rescue specialists were attending a meeting of the National Search and Rescue Association, and she'd brought the pups along because trainers like to keep their dogs with them as much as possible.
One puppy, called Kita, was recovered later Tuesday by a woman who'd seen a man unsuccessfully trying to sell it at a nearby convenience store. The man left, but the puppy wandered back, Wilson said.
The unidentified woman fed it and notified the pound, which had been alerted to keep watch for the dogs, and Wilson was reunited with Kita.
On Wednesday, the conference participants pooled money for a $100 reward, a local graphics shop printed up 200 fliers that were posted in the area and Salt Lake County deputy sheriffs kept watch for the puppies, Wilson said.
The second pup, Shelina, was returned by members of a family who'd found and kept her overnight before seeing a flier and notifying the sheriff's office, she said. Wilson declined to release the family's name.
"Everyone's been just super," said Wilson, who frequently participates in searches conducted by the Provincial Emergency Program.
"Due to the concentrated and coordinated efforts of many concerned individuals, the pups will return to Canada to continue their training and return to help save other lives," she said.