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LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 12 2015 3:18 pm
by neilends
Folks, I am writing this post on behalf of a family whose plea for help I randomly saw on the Internet. I spoke to them by phone to get some geographical details and see if any HAZers might pick this area for their next hike, in the hopes of a good outcome.

This family's two dogs got away during a camping trip and are now lost, on Saturday 5/9/15. I'm told they may have scampered after a squirrel, and they know the area so the family was used to them always returning, but they did not. They are both micro-chipped but neither of them had their collars on at the time. The family's craigslist plea is here, including their cellphone information if anyone wants to call for more info:

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/pet/5021269094.html

The ad was not written with us hikers in mind of course, so I got some location details from my phone conversation. Based on these little guys' mom's description of where they were camping, I'm spotting the following GPS coordinates as an estimate:

34.365746, -111.208124

This is, as their ad states, "at Tonto Village off control Road 5-6 miles passed the Double D Bar and Grill." I tracked this guessed location down by talking to her while clicking around on Google Maps, so I am confident that I've gotten as close as manageable given that they do not have GPS coords to offer. They picked a campsite off the "Fire Control Road" (aka NF-64 on Google Maps), on its right side, with a nice overlooking view.

The closest HAZ hike in that area looks to be this one:

http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=19757

I'll see if I can head out there myself this weekend or next. Any suggestions or advice, please post away.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 12 2015 3:49 pm
by Alston_Neal
Well on the plus side there are quite a few homes and vehicle traffic in that area. So hopefully the pups will be found quickly.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 12 2015 4:10 pm
by neilends
In an unbelievable coincidence, I know the mom's boyfriend. Now I'm doubling my energy to help these two out.

Torrey says that the exact coordinates are:

34.337762, -111.185094

And: "you pass Roberts Mesa rd. to the right, then you pass NF-65 on the left go up the hill over the cattle guard and its on your right at the top of the hill overlooking the Mesa."

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 13 2015 4:20 am
by neilends
I am headed to Payson on Sunday. If anyone can afford the time for a nice, cooler elevation hike out there any time soon, please take the opportunity. Their adoptive mom and dad are completely devastated. Torrey has been driving up from Phoenix to roam around and look for them daily, and they have contacted everyone local to file reports, like the Humane Society of Payson.

I've studied the topo and am dismayed that there aren't any decent trails in what could be the area Mick and Casey might be in. I'm not much of a bushwhacker but I'm going to give a try, maybe sticking to the direction of the mapped creeks. Torrey speculates that they took off north or northeast toward "the valley," but obviously they could have gone in any direction. Again, the campsite from which they took off is here:

http://hikearizona.com/map.php?QX=4003

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 13 2015 4:30 am
by neilends
p.s. Mick and Casey are reportedly extremely friendly, and will do anything in exchange for a tennis ball.

If you go and do manage a sighting, we might follow up by setting traps in the area of the sighting (following the advice of a rescuer of Ily I've contacted. Ily belonged to a HAZer and was saved in 2013 after being lost for two months in the desert). Personally, I'm taking two collars, leashes, and a tennis ball with me when I go.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 13 2015 7:27 am
by chumley
I'd recommend some beef jerky or other food over a tennis ball. Dogs that have been away from home for a few days are usually pretty hungry.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 13 2015 8:30 am
by neilends
Thanks for the idea. Makes sense.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 13 2015 1:57 pm
by Tough_Boots
a quick map scan of the area shows a few tanks nearby-- might be good places to check. Though there's probably enough water our there that they might not be drawn to tanks.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 13 2015 3:06 pm
by neilends
Appreciate that and all suggestions. I'm brainstorming on what route to pick. The owners are not hikers so I want to pick the most effective one that makes sense.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 14 2015 9:51 pm
by neilends
A HAZer picked the area for some hiking today. So grateful, thank you anonymous helper.

The dogs' grandparents have set up camp at the campsite and are staying put for now. There are efforts to recruit a pilot to do a fly over. Flyers are being posted around town.

And today a flyer paid off, because a caller told Lorene of a sighting of two dogs on Tuesday close to the Control Road. This is promising. If true, that was very close to the trailhead for the Hellsgate 37 Trail. I may not be bushwhacking after all on Sunday. Hope the dogs stick to paved surfaces.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 14 2015 9:51 pm
by neilends

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 19 2015 12:28 pm
by neilends
A group called Animal Search and Rescue has signed on to the Mick-and-Casey cause: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASART1/

This is the same group that rescued Ily from the desert in 2013, who belonged to a HAZer involved in a terrible car accident.

I've been in touch with ASART's leader to possibly sign on as a regular hiker-volunteer, for this and future searches. Anyone inclined to do the same, let me know!

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 25 2015 7:59 am
by azbackpackr
I just saw on social media page they are both home safe! Yay!!

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 26 2015 4:17 pm
by neilends
Both dogs rescued, on separate days, each by friendly locals who knew about them thanks to an intense public relations push by the family! The dogs did become separated during the ordeal. First, Mick was sighted by a local and lured to stay with him while the family rushed out to greet him. Then, days later, Casey was seen trotting along a road by another local, who took the trouble to lure her to his vehicle and physically get a hold of her.

I learned a lot about the dog rescue community that's out there, through this successful mission. I hope it is okay with everyone here if I occasionally post similar pleas for HAZ help when there has been a lost dog in a wilderness area. I will try to post relevant information and links to any trails in the area in the hopes that HAZers will pick the area for their next hike. If that's a problem, please someone let me know.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 26 2015 6:14 pm
by friendofThundergod
@neilends

Glad to hear there was a happy ending, reminds me of the time I lost my dogs in a wilderness area..

http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=410156

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 26 2015 7:48 pm
by big_load
@friendofThundergod
I'm not surprised. You probably taught them how to read. I hope you didn't teach them how to cheat at cards.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 27 2015 8:10 am
by neilends
@friendofThundergod

If you're going to lose them somewhere, may as well be at the Lost Dog trailhead!

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 27 2015 8:15 am
by azbackpackr
On the social media page the family thanked our HAZzer Neilends for his help.

It may not seem like a big deal if you've never owned a dog. Having owned numerous dogs, I can well imagine the distress and worry, however. I'm very glad they were found. I had a similar dog at one time, a Queensland Blue Heeler, and he was very smart, but loved to run off and chase elk.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 27 2015 9:09 am
by chumley
The Blue Ridge ranger station sends an email about once a week reporting lost dogs up on the rim. Sometimes they belong to local residents up there, but often they belong to campers or hikers who are just visiting. And it's not unusual for them to not be found :(

Obviously, keeping your dog on a leash at all times would prevent the potential for them running off. But that's not my preference either!

It's a good reminder that in the unfortunate event that something spooks your dog: gunfire, an animal encounter, etc. it is critically important for the dog to have a collar with tags -- and current contact information! It's amazing to me how often a lost dog is reported to have either no collar or a collar with no tag on it.

Re: LOST: 2 beloved dogs in Payson area

Posted: May 27 2015 9:28 am
by outdoor_lover
A Microchip can be very valuable as well. Sometimes the Collar can get hung up or pulled off out there...But like the Tags, the Microchip Information needs to be kept up to Date, otherwise it can be almost useless and many places won't put in the extra work to track someone down....