Vail girl reunited with stolen puppy |

Vail girl reunited with stolen puppy

Sarah Mausolf
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

EAST VAIL, Colorado – Fifteen-year-old Ellen Edgerton feared she would never again see her puppy after he vanished Friday from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Avon.

“I was nervous that he’d never come back and that I’d lost him,” she said.

Luckily, the puppy is back safe and sound.

Apparently, the parents of the teenage girl who stole the puppy from the bed of the Edgertons’ Ford pick-up truck returned the dog Sunday.

The Edgerton family had been searching for any information about the nabbing of their 9-week-old puppy, Wilbur.

Karl Edgerton, Ellen’s dad, said he reached a low point Sunday morning when Wal-Mart security tapes failed to provide any new leads.

“I thought we lost our last chance of getting the puppy back,” he said.

Then, he received a surprising voicemail from the father of the teenage girl who stole the puppy. When Karl Edgerton called the man back, the man said he had good news and bad news about Wilbur. “I’ve got your puppy,” was the good news.

“I said ‘That’s wonderful. I hate to ask this but, what’s the bad news?’ Karl Edgerton recalled. “He said, ‘The bad news is I’m 450 miles away.'”

According to the conversation, the man’s daughter and two friends had taken the dog and driven to the dad’s ranch in New Mexico. The father didn’t know the dog had been stolen but his daughter’s mother, who lives in Gypsum, read about the theft in the newspaper and told her daughter to bring the dog back, Karl Edgerton said.

Both parties agreed to meet in a parking lot in Alamosa Sunday afternoon to return the dog. At the sight of her puppy, Ellen was ecstatic.

“I started crying and then we went and picked him up,” she said.

Karl Edgerton said the puppy was whimpering and licking his daughter’s face.

The father of the girl who took the dog apologized several times, Karl Edgerton said. The Edgertons offered the $500 reward they had promised for the safe return of the dog, but the dad refused it.

The dog had no signs of abuse.

Karl Edgerton said he’s unsure whether to press charges against the dog nabbers.

The puppy’s return puts an end to the family’s desperate search. The Edgertons had plastered the community with 300 posters in an effort to get more information about their dog. Avon police had been investigating as well. The puppy disappeared while 18-year-old Cynthia Edgerton, Ellen’s sister, stopped into Wal-Mart for about 10 minutes, leaving Wilbur and an older dog in the back of the pick-up truck.

Now that she has been reunited with Wilbur, Ellen Edgerton is thrilled. She has known the dog, which is a blue heeler, border collie and catahoula mix, since he was born. She said the dog had been following her around Monday at the Vail Stables where she works at a pony camp.

“I thought I’d never see him again,” she said. “Now I’m really happy that I get to be with him every day and not be alone.”

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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