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Home New Release Missing dogs in Enderby, B.C. reunited with owner after five days outdoors

Missing dogs in Enderby, B.C. reunited with owner after five days outdoors

Being separated from your pets can be a painful situation and that was one North Okanagan woman’s reality for the past five days.

Her two dogs went missing at the start of the week and after an unexpected chain of events, she was reunited with them again.

Vernon Search and Rescue (VSAR) members were scaling a portion of the Enderby Cliffs Friday morning, as they were called out to rescue two dogs who had been missing for five days, which is an uncommon situation for VSAR members.

“In my 39 years of doing search and rescue with the Vernon Search and Rescue team, this is, I think the fourth time,” said VSAR search manager Leigh Pearson.


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The search and rescue team got a call in the early morning about two dogs who appeared to be stranded on a rock face.

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“They’ve got a full complement of rope rescue equipment, several hundred feet of rope and all the carabiners and breaks and things that they need to do this. There’s a six-man team on the mountain right now,” said Pearson.

In a normal situation, members can tell those they are rescuing to stay in one spot and that they will come to find them. Working with animals adds an extra level of complexity.

“It can be very difficult depending where the dogs are. Sometimes they’re very difficult to get to and to get to a place we can access them safely. Number one, of course, is always the safety of our members,” Pearson said.


Click to play video: 'Okanagan dog missing for five months returns home'


Okanagan dog missing for five months returns home


However, not long into the rescue, the team got word that the dogs had returned home all on their own — a sigh of relief for their worried owner.

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“I’ve been up on the mountain for a few days now, so glad to sit on the couch for the weekend,” said Erin Jardine.

Shortly after the call came in that they came back, Jardine rushed back home so she could be reunited with her dogs.

“Oh man, they lost weight out there, holy cow,” she said.

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Her dogs, Rip and Walker, went missing Monday evening after she took them out for a short hike. Since the dogs are only two years old and seven months old, she was very concerned. She returned to the cliff’s base every day in search of them.

“I hiked up there by myself and it was just cliff. I was climbing, grabbing roots and I was scurrying up there. I’m pretty good but I was like, ‘This is dangerous. If I find the dogs, what am I going to do?’” said Jardine.

Jardine and her neighbours heard the dogs barking over the next few days. They returned on horseback and on foot, hoping to find any trace of the pups. She says this is not like her pets at all.

“They always come back, like I always work on their recall and I’m out there with treats. You have to be very vigilant with them because it’s pure wilderness,” Jardine said.

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After searching for a few days, Jardine turned to the community and social media for help, which finally resulted in Jardine connecting with the VSAR.

“It was just so cool to have that local organization have such compassion for dogs. It was a training exercise but the fact that they can do it is just so, so cool,” she said.

Both dogs are happy and healthy and Jardine says they’ll rest on the couch for the next few days.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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