Cousin It is twelve pounds, has long white hair with some tan spots, is approximately three years old and could be a mix of Coton de Tuler and Havanese. He is wearing a collar with current ID tags and is microchipped.
His people were out of town when Cousin It took off from his yard as his caretaker let him out front for a few minutes. For four days he was spot several times in the area of the Santa Cruz/Capitola border. After that, no more sightings were reported. However, about one week after Cousin It was missing, the local animal shelter received a call from a man stating that Cousin It had been found and that they could no longer look for him.
When his person went into the shelter a couple of days later to look for Cousin It, he was told about the phone call. He stated that Cousin It was still missing.
We started the search from the last known sighting on 26th and E. Cliff in Santa Cruz. The track went straight down to the beach, about one block away. His people said he loves the beach and would spend hours down there having fun.
The track went along the beach for a short distance and then came up back onto E. Cliff and went all the way into downtown Capitola and then around the area, down to the beach and back up across E. Cliff. As we were leaving town, the track went directly across a crosswalk. At this point, I told Cousin It's person that we may be looking at somebody who is walking their dog. It told her it was a 50/50 chance at this point and that we would continue to look at the track to confirm or deny that option.
I have definitely done searches where we know the animal was alone and the animal did cross in a crosswalk, but the most common clue that the animal is with somebody is that the track follows through crosswalks.
After this first crosswalk, we were able to confirm that Cousin It had been picked up by somebody. We looked at the track, and since we know he was alone at the sighting on 26th and E. Cliff, we determined that the pick up was probably on the beach, since after that the track was pretty straight and purposeful. He was probably very tired and hungry after being loose for four days, and he was willing to go up to somebody who was nice and offering food.
This would answer the question why there were no more sightings after E. Cliff and 26th and it would also make sense about the phone call received at the shelter. Cousin It's people are going to recontact the shelter supervisor and tell them about the search results and to ask them to trace that phone number of the person calling.
They said they would keeping looking for Cousin It.
View Cousin It in a larger map
Total Distance: 562.60 km (349.6 mi)
Total Time: 2:27:57
Moving Time: 3:15:33
Average Pace: 0.26 min/km (0.4 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 0.35 min/km (0.6 min/mi)
Min Pace: 0.13 min/km (0.2 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -40 m (-132 ft)
Max Elevation: 14534 m (47685 ft)
Elevation Gain: 22351 m (73331 ft)
Max Grade: 17 %
Min Grade: -227 %
Recorded: Wed Nov 24 11:36:00 PST 2010
There was a very strong sighting of Cousin It by a woman on either the Sunday or Monday prior to this search. She said she saw the flyer at her vet's office on that Tuesday. She called Cousin It's people immediately. She was definite the dog she saw running down the street in Capitola was Cousin It. I received a call from his people that day, and they were going to that spot that afternoon and asked me to come out that next day, Wednesday, exactly one week from the previous search.
We went to that area, and we did pick up Cousin It's scent there. However, it was in the opposite direction in which he was seen. That is not unusual, and has happened before. The person who saw him was able to turn her car around to attempt to catch him, but when she went back, she did not see him, even though the street she saw him on was long and continuous, except for a short ramp going down to an abandoned home, which is adjacent to an open space/creek area.
The track we picked up in the opposite direction, appeared to me and also eventually to Cousin It's person, that he was with somebody, since the track was very direct down streets and back to the original spot of downtown Capitola and then up similar paths that we took the first search. There were some paths that were different, which caused the track to alter a bit, but it did eventually go back to the Soquel High School and the hiking paths back to it and then through some neighborhoods and then to the hiking path which eventually leads back to Rodeo Gulch Road, where we left off the first search, due to dwindling daylight.
With the use of the car, we were able to move all along Rodeo Gulch, which turned into Laural Canyon, which, eventually, went all the way back into town. It was very obvious to both of us that the person who had Cousin It was following the recycling cans that were all over both sides of the road just that day. That meant that we were only less than a few hours behind them.
As we were heading back into town following the track, I suggested to Cousin It's person that she go directly to the recycling center, the only one in the area for several miles around. I caught up to her near the center, and she said that the person at the recycling center, who said he had been there all day, never saw anybody like we described, and never saw Cousin It. At this point, we continued the track, and the scent led directly to the recycling center and directly in front of the large container and where anybody turning in bottles and cans would stand. Again, we asked him, and he said, in not a convincing way to either me or Cousin It's person, that he never say anybody of that description. I told him what the dogs were saying and he said he never saw anybody.
We continued to follow the track and it went back down through the center of Capitola, like before, but went to the beach, onto the beach and headed to the left to Brighton Beach. At this point, it was almost 5 PM and almost dark. We had to stop the search. Cousin It's person said she would continue the search.
Track One of Two:
View Cousin It 2.1 in a larger map
Total Distance: 13.16 km (8.2 mi)
Total Time: 2:56:46
Moving Time: 1:42:35
Average Pace: 13.44 min/km (21.6 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.80 min/km (12.5 min/mi)
Min Pace: 5.56 min/km (8.9 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -35 m (-114 ft)
Max Elevation: 71 m (233 ft)
Elevation Gain: 569 m (1868 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Wed Dec 01 09:10:45 PST 2010
Track Two of Two:
View Cousin It 2.2 in a larger map
Total Distance: 34.35 km (21.3 mi)
Total Time: 3:49:19
Moving Time: 2:31:07
Average Pace: 6.68 min/km (10.7 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 4.40 min/km (7.1 min/mi)
Min Pace: 1.01 min/km (1.6 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -41 m (-133 ft)
Max Elevation: 236 m (775 ft)
Elevation Gain: 858 m (2814 ft)
Max Grade: 15 %
Min Grade: -16 %
Recorded: Wed Dec 01 12:54:54 PST 2010