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Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Benny", Chihuahua mix, Black with white, Salinas

Benny is a nine pound black with white Chihuahua mix. He has long legs, unlike a lot of short legged Chi mixed we saw running loose in Salinas. He is not wearing a collar and does not have a microchip. He was let out into his fenced yard early Monday morning, but managed to push aside several blocks that prevent him from crawling under the large rolling gate. There were no sightings of him. I was called out about one week after he went missing. 

I forgot to start the mapping/tracking software for about one half hour after we started. 

The track we found led away from his home and all the way to a 101 North highway entrance. Here the track was kind of erratic as it went onto the entrance, then backed away, then turned left and then right back over the entrance and continued up the road and away. It appears Benny was by himself at this point.

The track continued all the way to the other side of Salinas, through a massive lettuce farm and all the way out to Old Stage Road, which, as it turns out, isn't to Old Stage. We discovered it was a very busy commuter road. However, there was very little shoulder along the way. We went as far as possible until it got dark at 5 PM and got too unsafe to walk on the road.

They asked me to come back the next day. 

There were definite overlapping signs that Benny may either still be by himself or with someone. The signs are very similar. 

Day One:

View Benny in a larger map

Total Distance: 16.97 km (10.5 mi)
Total Time: 2:38:02
Moving Time: 2:12:13
Average Pace: 9.31 min/km (15.0 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.79 min/km (12.5 min/mi)
Min Pace: 0.78 min/km (1.3 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -25 m (-83 ft)
Max Elevation: 35 m (114 ft)
Elevation Gain: 385 m (1264 ft)
Max Grade: 5 %
Min Grade: -1 %
Recorded: Mon Dec 13 14:22:45 PST 201

Day #2:

We continued along the track the next day. 

The roads were very similar to the previous day. Farms and fields for miles and miles in every direction, but we were still in Salinas. I had no idea how massive and spread out Salinas was. 

Once we got off of the main farms road and went directly into the shopping center via foot paths and not driveways, and straight toward a recycling center, I was convinced that Benny had been picked up and was with somebody. I told this to Benny's people. I said I was not sure where the pick up had occurred, but it could have been anywhere along the road or fields that day or the previous.

After we left the shopping center, we were along roads that led directly to remote neighborhoods and trash cans were all along the sides of the roads. Since the search we were currently on was Tuesday, and they would have been passing in that same area about last Tuesday.

The track led all the way down to Highway One, where it crossed over the freeway and up a steep road to an area that was all fields and farms for miles without a human in sight. Honestly, that place was very spooky and eeriey. There was trash tucked on the edges of the weeds and bushes and the area had a lot of activity by people just sitting around. Benny's scent was all over the place. It took me and Dot about three rounds of checking all the ways out until we found the most current scent, which led back down the same road. This tells me they spent several hours in this one spot, probably in the middle of the night where they couldn't be detected. However, that is a one way road for vehicles. So that confirmed that we were not following somebody in a vehicle. 

After making a u turn on One and got back to that road, we picked up the track again and it continued back up the previous road down. Here Benny's person stopped the search. She was frustrated that she didn't feel we would catch up to these people, especially since we were a week behind. She said they would keep looking for Benny. 

View Benny 2 in a larger map

Total Distance: 23.33 km (14.5 mi)
Total Time: 3:52:31
Moving Time: 2:45:11
Average Pace: 9.97 min/km (16.0 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.08 min/km (11.4 min/mi)
Min Pace: 0.67 min/km (1.1 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -30 m (-98 ft)
Max Elevation: 28 m (91 ft)
Elevation Gain: 575 m (1888 ft)
Max Grade: 10 %
Min Grade: -7 %
Recorded: Tue Dec 14 08:48:48 PST 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Jasmine", Australian Shepherd/Cattle Dog mix, Grey/Black/White, San Lorenzo - Found

Jasmine is a grey, black and white six year old Aussie/Cattle dog mix. She is wearing a purple collar with ID tags and is microchipped. Jasmine was staying with some friends while her person was in the process of buying a house and moving.

Early on Sunday morning, while her caretakers were out shopping, Jasmine opened a window to the apartment and jumped out. The weather was raining and overcast and windy. Within a half hour, Jasmine was seen at a local Target parking lot running around. A neighbor recognized her and attempted to catch her, but could not. That was the last sighting of her. I was called several days later on the following Friday.

We did find the track leading away from the Target parking lot, which had an In and Out Burger at its far corner, near the 880 overpass. From here the track lead for several miles along Lewelling Blvd all the way to the trail that leads along the bay. The track went all the way to the Marina Park, through Oyster Bay Park, along the airport and into Oakland and onto Hegenburger.

It was here that we stopped to rest for a few minutes, regroup, and get something to eat and drink. Jasmine's person had a message on her cell phone from the Hayward Animal Shelter about Jasmine. She was super excited that Jasmine was found. She went behind the mini -mart to get away from all the street noise. When she came back to me she was crying and said that Jasmine had been found that day deceased in Hayward by animal control. She didn't know the location or any further details.

We know that sometime on Sunday (probably around the time she was last seen by the neighbor in the parking lot) Jasmine was picked up by a transient/nomad type of person (probably somebody sitting at the In and Out Burger resting) and within a few short hours was probably in Oakland that day. The track was clearly human we were on and it was very direct to get out of the area as quickly as possible, especially since Jasmine had her ID tags and this person knew that somebody would be looking for her soon. Also, in the past, when Jasmine had gotten out, she was found running around within a few blocks and it took her up to several hours to do that, so this track was clearly not a dog wandering around loose by themselves.

The rest of the week was probably going around Oakland, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and into Hayward, where she was found.

View Jasmine in a larger map

Total Distance: 21.08 km (13.1 mi)
Total Time: 5:36:11
Moving Time: 4:45:25
Average Pace: 15.94 min/km (25.7 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 13.54 min/km (21.8 min/mi)
Min Pace: 1.39 min/km (2.2 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -42 m (-137 ft)
Max Elevation: -11 m (-36 ft)
Elevation Gain: 269 m (881 ft)
Max Grade: 12 %
Min Grade: -13 %
Recorded: Fri Dec 10 10:13:00 PST 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Hakuna, Shib Inu, Red/white, San Leandro

Hakuna is a 14 month old male, red and white Shib Inu. He is microchipped, but does not have his collar on. Hakuna's person was in the garage looking at some things with the door open, and Hakuna slipped out. They did attempt to catch up to him, but they were not able to follow him and lost sight of  him in a couple of blocks. He was missing for a week before I was called. Per his person, Hakuna is very shy and reserved toward strangers, yet he is curious and friendly with other dogs.

The track we found was that Hakuna went directly to the Marina Park, a regular spot where he is taken to by his people. After that the track went straight down Marina and then turned right down Merced. From there the track went for several miles in one direction, and then turned into another neighborhood in San Lorenzo. Soon after this, Hakuna's person stopped the search after four hours.

Track #1:

View Hokua 1.1 in a larger map

Total Distance: 692.42 km (430.3 mi)
Total Time: 2:06:50
Moving Time: 1:44:56
Average Pace: 0.18 min/km (0.3 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 0.15 min/km (0.2 min/mi)
Min Pace: 0.24 min/km (0.4 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -57 m (-186 ft)
Max Elevation: 6830 m (22409 ft)
Elevation Gain: 7591 m (24905 ft)
Max Grade: 27 %
Min Grade: -111 %
Recorded: Wed Dec 08 08:46:54 PST 2010

Track #2:

View Hokua 1.2 in a larger map

Total Distance: 6.17 km (3.8 mi)
Total Time: 1:01:05
Moving Time: 48:46
Average Pace: 9.90 min/km (15.9 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.90 min/km (12.7 min/mi)
Min Pace: 5.90 min/km (9.5 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -38 m (-126 ft)
Max Elevation: -2 m (-8 ft)
Elevation Gain: 225 m (739 ft)
Max Grade: 1 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Wed Dec 08 11:07:47 PST 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Roxy", Terrier Mix, White/Tan, Carmel

Roxy is an adult terrier mix who is wearing a collar with ID tags, a body harness and is microchipped. Her family was visiting relatives in the Carmel area, and they took her to a groomer for a bath. While at the groomer, Roxy escaped through the front door. She was spotted a couple of times in the surrounding area throughout that Saturday. There was a possible sighting on Sunday, but follow up information was not available to check. 

Her people stood out on Highway One with a large banner asking if anybody had seen Roxy. A woman stopped by and said she thought she had seen a dog that looked like Roxy that Monday morning on her way to work deceased on the road at the intersection of Highway One and Handley. She said she was convinced it was Roxy. She said she went by later that day and did not see the body, so she assumed either Cal Trans or the owner had come by to pick it up. 

Roxy's people were convinced that the body this woman saw was Roxy since the sightings and the body were all in the similar area, and there were no other sightings of Roxy after that Monday. They called me one week after Roxy was missing, told me what they had discovered and wanted me to confirm that the body was Roxy's. I asked them if Cal Trans had confirmed they picked up a body in that area, and they said they had not talked to Cal Trans to confirm that information. Animal Control said they did not know what would happen to bodies found on the highway. Even though Roxy had visible ID and the body harness, her people thought that Cal Trans would pick up the body and just discard it. I said I did not think that would happen. They would take the body somewhere for the people to be contacted. 

We went to the spot where the body was supposedly seen by this woman. We did pick up Roxy's scent in the area, on both sides of the highway, and we picked up her scent up on Handley, and it also appears she spent some time at a home on the front porch down at the end of one of the streets. From there the track went back down Handley and then turned right down the highway and went all the way down the road and wrapped around the high school, all the way to the isolated part of the back. There was a lot of construction at the school, so there were a lot of storage and office trailers and supplies. 

After leaving the school, the track went straight down Ocean all the way down to the beach. At the beach the track made a right and went all the way down to the end, and then went up onto the Pebble Beach Golf course. From here the track went along the golf course and went eventually up to main roads and went all along the coast and along the 17 Mile Drive. 

The weather was very windy and overcast and eventually was raining hard. We had to stop the search around 4 PM because we could not see in front of us due to the wind and rain. 

By the time we stopped, I told Roxy's person that there were signs that she had been picked up somewhere, in my opinion, after the high school. The back of the school was very isolated and was a very easy spot for somebody to hide for long periods totally undetected, especially on the weekend. If she got to the school by Sunday, and a transient/nomad type of person was there, they could have coaxed her over. 

The other possible pick up spot could have been on the beach. Roxy's person said that Ocean is the normal way they would go to the beach and that they would go to that specific beach a lot. If Roxy got to the beach on her own and recognized the place, she may have sat down somewhere to rest and may be been hungry and could have been coaxed over by somebody sitting on the beach. 

I sent the following email to Roxy's person a few days after the search:


I just had dinner with a friend who is living here in San Leandro, but has been a past resident of Monterey/Carmel area and still goes down there a lot. I was telling her about being in Carmel to look for Roxy, and she told me, all on her own, about a dog she saw last week.

Last Tuesday, one week ago, she said she was driving through Santa Cruz on her way back to the Bay Area, and she was driving along Highway One. She said she had just come out of Santa Cruz, and was heading north along Highway One. She said it was approximately 1:30 PM (she said she remembers the time because she had to be back in the Bay Area by 3 PM). She said she was on the part where Mission Blvd turns into One. Here is the link on Google Map.,+ca&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=33.077336,59.150391&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Santa+Cruz,+California&ll=36.961346,-122.063255&spn=0.032577,0.057764&t=h&z=14

She said she saw a little whitesh dog with a collar and tags and a harness run across the  highway, crossing in front of her. She said it struck her as unusual because where the dog came from, she said she knew nothing was there but open space, and where the dog was heading was residences, but a ways away. She said she had not come to the Wilder Ranch State Park. She also knew the area enough to know that nobody would be around because everybody takes 17 to go north. 

I showed her Roxy's picture on Craigslist, and she said the picture looked very similar to the dog she saw. But she definitely saw a collar with tags and the harness, but she couldn't say the color of the harness.

If Roxy was carried into Santa Cruz from Pebble Beach and got loose somehow, this could be her. We don't know the timeframe of the track we were following without positive sightings. The only thing close is the possible one on Sunday, but that is unclear, or go back to the ones on Saturday.

I asked my friend that if somebody carried her on a bike from Pebble Beach to Santa Cruz, could they make it from Sunday to Tuesday. She said Yes. She said there are routes from the two locations. 

Have you contacted Santa Cruz Animal Control to let them know she is missing?"

They said they would continue to look for Roxy. 

Track #1:

View Roxie 1.1 in a larger map

Total Distance: 15.40 km (9.6 mi)
Total Time: 4:12:45
Moving Time: 4:01:20
Average Pace: 16.41 min/km (26.4 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 15.67 min/km (25.2 min/mi)
Min Pace: 1.28 min/km (2.1 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -56 m (-182 ft)
Max Elevation: 146 m (480 ft)
Elevation Gain: 348 m (1141 ft)
Max Grade: 18 %
Min Grade: -25 %
Recorded: Sun Dec 05 11:13:32 PST 2010

Track #2:

View Roxie 1.2 in a larger map

Total Distance: 2.82 km (1.8 mi)
Total Time: 32:43
Moving Time: 27:31
Average Pace: 11.61 min/km (18.7 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 9.76 min/km (15.7 min/mi)
Min Pace: 3.89 min/km (6.3 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -41 m (-135 ft)
Max Elevation: -15 m (-50 ft)
Elevation Gain: 101 m (332 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Sun Dec 05 15:26:29 PST 2010