$500 reward for runaway Aspen shelter dog | VailDaily.com

$500 reward for runaway Aspen shelter dog

Katie Reddingkredding@aspentimes.comAspen, CO Colorado
Courtesy Bland NesbitAfter escaping from a volunteer, Ellie Mae, a shelter dog, has been on the lam in Aspen for 10 days. Because she is so skittish, and because many worry she will be hit by a car on Highway 82, Friends of the Aspen Animal Shelter have offered a $500 reward for her capture.

ASPEN, Colorado The Friends of the Aspen Animal Shelter is offering a $500 reward for the safe capture of a dog that has been on the lam for 10 days.Ellie Mae, described as a skittish, one-and-a-half year old, medium-sized, beagle-shepherd mix, ran away from a volunteer dog walker on Independence Pass on March 3, according to Anne Gurchick, assistant director of the Aspen/Pitkin Animal Shelter.Since then, the dog has been sighted by Aspen residents every day and appears to be moving west. She was last seen Thursday night at the S-curves between Poppies Bistro Cafe and the Hickory House. But for 10 days, neither shelter staff nor the Aspen police have been able to capture her.Gurchick said the nonprofit is now worried that Ellie Mae will head farther west onto Highway 82, in an attempt to return to the shelter or her former home in Old Snowmass and get hit by a car.Ellie Mae had just returned to the shelter two days prior to her escape, when her adoptive owner relinquished her and another dog named Zach, upon moving to California.On March 3, a shelter volunteer was unclipping Ellie Mae from her leash, after putting her in a car on Independence Pass, when she bolted.Gurchick, along with shelter Director Seth Sachson, and board member Bland Nesbit and even Ellie Maes dog friend, Zach spent four hours on the pass that evening trying to capture her. But after one close encounter, she was scared away by several young men yelling for their dog, said Gurchick.Shelter staff and Aspen police, and even Ellie Maes former owner, have spent the last 10 days attempting to lure her in, but to no avail.Rescue attempts included a trap consisting of a box with food and water, and a door with a motion trigger set for her at Difficult Campground, after a sighting.But Ellie Mae was not tempted.Gurchick stressed that Ellie Mae is very skittish and will be difficult to capture. Shelter staff hope someone will be able to lure her into an enclosed area, like a yard, and close the gate, she said.Residents who catch Ellie Mae between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. can call the Aspen/Pitkin Animal Shelter at 544-0206. After hours, anyone can call Sachsons cell phone at 274-3043. Gurchick promised that shelter staff would be on site immediately.Shes really, really sweet, said Gurchick. Shes just young and skittish.kredding@aspentimes.com

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