A Coquitlam search and rescue member with 20 years of experience looking for people is facing his most difficult search yet: finding his missing puppy.
Maisie, Garry Mancell’s six-month-old female black labrador-coonhound cross, went missing July 3 after fleeing a car accident on the Upper Levels Highway near the Caulfield exit in West Vancouver.
Mancell said he was returning from his daughter’s veterinary clinic after getting Maisie spayed when the crash occurred. The dog — with stitches in her belly and a leash attached to her collar — jumped out of the vehicle and ran away.
Mancell said he has spent most of the last 12 days frantically searching for Maisie but the Anmore resident took a break after camping out for eight days in parks, roadsides and in neighbourhoods in hopes of finding her.
“We’re chasing an elusive subject that’s moving fast and doesn’t want to be caught,” Mancell told The Tri-City News.
He has now hired Canine Valley, a dog education centre that also searches for dogs. The West Van neighbourhood where Maisie bolted has also been plastered with posters and, so far, 12 people have called in with sightings, although not all of them have been confirmed.
It’s important for people not to call or approach the dog because her name is associated with trauma, according to Valley Calderoni, the facility owner, and people should call in immediately if they see Maisie, who is easy to spot with her leash dragging behind her.
Those who see the dog should take note of where they are located and which direction the dog is headed, and if possible, put a pin on a map if they have a smartphone.
“If the dog is not leaving, not scared and is curious, sit on the ground and wait for the dog to come to you,” Calderoni suggested.
Although the dog has been missing for 12 days, she could still be located and reunited with its family, as the company has been involved in many searches, with the longest being a dog that was found after being missing for a month.
Maisie’s whereabouts and the search information are being updated regularly on Facebook, and Canine Valley is collecting names of people who could volunteer for a grid search if the dog’s location is confirmed.
“As soon as we have an ability to set up a search, we’ll need people — but only when we have an actual sighting when we are ready for it.”
Meanwhile, the Mancell family is standing by, waiting for the next step in the search and hoping for a positive outcome.
“Eventually, we hope she’ll come out of the woods when she hungry and tired,” Mancell said.
• If you see Maisie, call 1-604-848-4401.