WATCH: Missing dog Olive has finally been rescued after almost 100 days on the run in Greater Victoria. Tess van Straaten has her amazing story.
Olive, a salt and pepper schnauzer-cross, is one lucky dog.
She’s been missing, and on the run, for almost 100 days.
“We took on the case right away and did not stop for 98 days!” says co-founder Barb Mah of volunteer group ROAM, which stands for Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing.
ROAM volunteers and Olive’s owners have been searching for the small pooch for months, after she went missing on April 8th.
“She did everything and anything to keep away from people,” Mah says. “If you called her, even looked at her or opened a car door, she bolted. There was no catching this dog.”
With the help of volunteers and tips from the public, Olive was tracked all over the South Island.
She disappeared near Spectrum School and there were confirmed sightings at Victoria General Hospital, Mill Hill, the old Belmont School, Royal Roads, Colwood Elementary, Prospect Lake, Francis King Park, Sidney and even Deep Cove.
“We thought now way, it’s gotta be a false sighting but we rushed out a 1 o’clock in the morning and it was her,” Mah says.
“It’s amazing — not many people would think a small dog like that would be able to get that far,” says James Colborne, Olive’s owner. “I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t followed her and seen her in the different areas.”
For the last few weeks, Olive’s been living in the bushes at a Brentwood Bay property, so ROAM staked it out, setting up trial cameras and a feeding station.
Plan to catch Olive included flying to Arizona to get a special net
They then hatched a plan to finally catch her that included flying to Arizona to get this special drop net.
“We didn’t know how long Olive was going to stick around in the area so I jumped on a plane and turned around and flew back in one day,” says ROAM co-founder Terry Mah.
They practiced on their own dogs first, knowing they just had one chance.
“It had to be perfect,” Barb Mah says. “We had to know what we were doing and be 100 per cent confident because there is no second chance with something like this.”
And Friday morning, they finally got her.
“I’m ecstatic,” Terry Mah said. “A little bit tired and no sleep but feel like on top of the world!”
“We hoped so, so much that it would end this way and it did,” an emotional Barb Mah told CHEK News.
Incredibly, Olive survived unscathed and didn’t even lose very much weight.
“I’m amazed to see what incredible shape she’s in from what she’s been through,” says Dr. Mary Thompson of Kindred Spirit Vet Hospital in Victoria.
And so, after thousands of hours of searching, Olive’s owners finally have her back.
“It’s pretty amazing and we’re all very tired,” says Olive’s owner Julianna Fischer. “It’s been a long haul and I’m just amazed this day came and so grateful.”