Losing a pet can be heartbreaking, especially in mountains full of dangers like mountain lions, bears, and Interstate 70. In a country where hikers can get lost, it can be difficult for pet owners. animals to imagine their furry friends coming back to them after being missing for weeks at a time.
Still, Summit Lost Pet Rescue hopes to allay that concern. Already in 2022, he has helped over a hundred local pets find their owners – even Luna, the dog who disappeared for two weeks.
The dogs escaped on Thursday, June 30, Izzay Cairo said, recalling the subsequent ordeal. A maintenance crew came that day to work on her sister’s house in Georgetown. She had no idea how the dogs escaped through the door, but anyway, the crew called her sister, Natalie Cairo, around 4:30 p.m. that afternoon to tell her the worst news as she tried to take advantage of the Colorado Avalanche’s Stanley Cup Parade. in Denver.
Zeus was brought back inside, they told Natalie, but Luna had rushed to Lake Georgetown. The maintenance crew told him that they had followed Luna for a mile to the dam but could not catch up with her.
Without hesitation, Izzy says, her sister flew home from Denver to Georgetown. She returned to Georgetown that evening and began looking for Luna.
Mountain lions and bears have been seen roaming around Georgetown, adding fears not only for Luna’s safety but also for Natalie and Izzy’s well-being. The couple did not walk out, but instead searched from their car, limiting the amount of ground they could cover.
The next morning, their search began in earnest. The sisters posted photos of Luna on social media and messaged as many people as possible.
“We probably walked a total of 15 miles,” Izzy said. The sisters put up posters all over Georgetown. They circled Lake Georgetown three or four times. They handed out flyers and took advantage of the Fourth of July crowds to spread the message, putting flyers on windshields and speaking with anyone who wanted to listen.
The news was passed on to Summit Lost Pet Rescue through its Georgetown volunteer, Debbie Butler, on July 3. She contacted the sisters after seeing their lost dog post on Nextdoor. She was the one who taught the sisters what they needed to know to find Luna: the cartwheel technique, soothing techniques to know when they would find her, and more information through the Lost Pet Knowledge Library. Rescue organized by its trained pet sleuths.
Armed with a better upbringing, the Cairos took the “correct” steps to reunite with Luna. They arranged familiar scents in a wagon wheel pattern around Georgetown – old socks, clothes, dog toys and other things to remind Luna of her home. The sisters were just beginning to make rational decisions, Izzy said. The anxious adrenaline had dissipated and they were thinking clearly.
But as they progressed, the COVID-19 virus disrupted their research. First Natalie, then Izzy fell ill, as did their mother and brother who came to help hunt Luna. Everyone involved became homebodies, and the search had to move from the streets of Georgetown to adoption websites and chat rooms. Izzy said her sister called every shelter within a hundred miles of Georgetown.
“Throughout this time, we haven’t had any credible sightings,” Izzy said. For two weeks, the sisters had heard nothing and with so much time, it became possible that Luna had arrived in Denver. “But we haven’t given up hope.”
On Thursday, July 14, exactly two weeks after Luna escaped, the sisters received their first glimmer of hope. A Good Samaritan called Summit Lost Pet Rescue around 11:20 a.m. to say he saw what might have been Luna on the northwest side of Interstate 70 near the water tower.
Moving quickly, the sisters met up with Georgetown rescue volunteer Butler and Lost Pet Rescue co-founder Melissa Davis at the water tower later that day. They searched the area. They looked in and around abandoned cars and found nothing.
“There were a lot of places she could take shelter there,” Izzy said.
But they trusted the lead and decided to leave out some water and more mature clothes with house scents. And they left a remote camera that would be replaced a day later by a different camera whose live feed can connect to any smartphone or device.
The new camera, installed on July 15, could detect movement and immediately alert users. But throughout the day, he picked up nothing.
Without news since the July 14 tip, Izzy had a feeling in her stomach. She opened the app on her phone and checked the live stream on a whim around 11 p.m. She saw something thin and furry. She thought she saw Luna’s tail.
Inspired, Izzy returned to the junkyard, armed with a collar, leash and squeaky toy, along with her sister and her new friend, Butler.
Suppressing her excitement, Izzy didn’t run to Luna. Instead, she wandered in the opposite direction with Zeus by her side. She sat on the ground a short distance away and played with Zeus. She gave Zeus jerkiness, attention, and affection in an attempt to lure Luna on her own terms.
The plan worked. Luna finally took a walk in her spare time to see what Zeus and Izzy were up to. A quick click of the leash later and Luna was back with her owners. That night, Izzy said Luna never left her side and the two spent the whole night together on the couch.
After a visit to the vet, Luna emerged from her misadventure with a broken toe, a few fleas and a tick on her ear.
Since then, she has been drinking water, eating food in small portions and resting as she regains her full health. Luna lost more than a third of her body weight, dropping from 57 pounds to just over 39 pounds during her two-week getaway, Natalie said.
“Most pets make a full recovery,” Davis said. Izzy said Luna’s health was improving steadily.
Reports of a rescue group near a paw record
Summit Lost Pet Rescue has returned 376 pets to their owners since January 2020, the group recently reported. It operates like its model, the human-focused Summit County Rescue Group, conducting missions with volunteer mission coordinators, said group co-founder Brandon Ciullo.
Ciullo also volunteers for Summit County Rescue Group and used her experience as a human rescuer to guide the creation of Summit Lost Pet Rescue.
The group organizes and conducts “missions” like Summit County Rescue Group, with mission coordinators. Volunteers and teams are organized by city and can be sent at any time.
“Even (if it’s) three in the morning, we’ll send as many people as we can after we get a sighting,” Davis said.
Davis shared the results of the group’s year-to-date mission. As of July 22, the group has conducted 121 “rescue missions” with a success rate of 93% as of July 22. Only nine pets remain to be found, Davis said.
Of the 22 indoor cats lost in 2022, 21 were found with only one – an ongoing mission – still at large as of July 22.
Of the 15 indoor and outdoor cats lost in 2022, only seven have been found and eight remain missing as of July 22. Indoor and outdoor cats’ penchant for roaming makes finding them difficult, Davis said. The eight missing cats are still part of active missions.
All dog-related missions ended with the animal being found in 2022. Some dog missions involved more than one dog, Davis said. A total of 89 dogs were found during the 84 missions in 2022.
Davis noted that not all successful “discoveries” are happy endings. Three pets have been found dead in 2022, she said.
If anyone wants to learn more or report a lost pet, Davis encourages people to check out the group’s website at LostPetRescue.org.